Governance and Management of Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance and Oversight Structures

Executive Governance and Oversight – click to enlarge 

MSLETB CE and Directors Group

This group compiles the senior management (CE and three directors) of MSLETB. It is responsible for the strategic management and direction of the organisation. It is representative of the three pillars of the organisation; Schools, FET and Organisation Support and Development.

Management Leadership Group

The purpose of this group, which meets monthly is to discuss and make decisions on cross-departmental developments and activities. The CE chairs this group and its membership includes the three directors, two AEOs, Area Training Manager and three APOs (Finance, HR and Corporate Services). It acts as an advisory group for the MSLETB CE and Directors Group and the FET Leaders and PLC Principals Group.

FET Leaders and PLC Principals Group

The purpose of this group is to have a shared collaborative space in which FET provision is planned and managed. Common areas of management and operations of FET, including Quality Assurance, are discussed and decisions are made within the group for progression to other relevant groups.

The FET Leaders and PLC Principals Group currently consists of the FET Director, 2 Adult Education Officers, the Area Training Manager and 9 PLC Principals.

FET Leadership Teams

There are four FET Leadership Teams which are led by a designated FET Leader, with specific FET programmatic responsibility, e.g. Full-time FE, Part-time FE, Training and PLC.

Each teams’ membership includes the specific programme principal, coordinator or centre head. Its function is to ensure that the specific programmes are operated in line with the National Operational Guidelines, National and MSLETB policies and procedures, deliver appropriate and relevant FET courses for the specific programme and operate within the funding parameters. Each team and FET programme is supported nationally by programmatic associations, e.g. CEFA, BTEIA, ALOA, VTOS Coordinators Association, Youthreach Coordinators Association, Area Training Managers Forum, Principals of FET Colleges Network, etc.

Quality Assurance Group

The mission and purpose of this group as agreed is:

“To integrate, harmonise and develop the Quality Assurance and Quality Management Systems approach across MSLETB; our mission is to continually improve our further education and training quality assurance and quality management services to meet all of our learners and other stakeholder needs”.

The QA Group currently consists of the FET Director, 2 Adult Education Officers, the Area Training Manager, QA Staff, 3 Training Standards Officer and 2 Assistant Training Standards Officers.

The QA Group has responsibility, amongst other things, for the approval and oversight of the development of quality assurance policies and procedures, programme development, approval of delivery of programmes, external authentication and results approval.

Programme Approval Committee

This group was set up to provide management oversight of MSLETB FET centre submissions for programme delivery, development, evaluation and submissions for validation. It also provides oversight for the delivery and inclusion of new programmes and/or additional modules relating to existing validated programmes. All new programmes must be approved by PAC. Membership of the PAC is made up of the FET Director, Adult Education Officers, Area Training Manager, QA Staff and Training Standards Officers. The Terms of Reference for MSLETB’s PAC can be accessed here. 

MSLETB will continue to review and redefine multi-layered structures of QA governance and will be guided in this process by the ETBI reference handbook for the ETB sector.


Quality Assurance Role and Responsibilities

All FET Heads of Centres report directly to an Adult Education Officer (there are two Adult Education Officers; one responsible for full-time services and one responsible for part-time services) and PLC Principals report directly to the FET Director. Heads of Centres and Principals are supported in their responsibility for quality assuring programme delivery within their centre by QA staff. In all centres, an identified member of staff has specific responsibility for coordination of assessment-related activities.

All centres delivering QQI assessments operate Internal Verification/External Authentication (IV/EA) processes and have Results Approval Panels (RAPs) which review the results of the IV/EA process and addresses any quality assurance issues which may have arisen in the course of the assessment process.

Post Leaving Certificate Centres

MSLETB is responsible for 9 PLC centres. In dedicated FE Colleges, final, centre-level responsibility for quality resides with the principal, supported by the deputy principal. In dual provision schools, consisting of a co-located further education centre and secondary school, the further education element is managed by the PLC coordinator (or a similar role), who reports to the school principal. PLC Centres deliver QQI awards, as well as awards from other certifying bodies. ETB-level oversight of QQI delivery is managed through a review of the IV/EA/RAP processes. Currently, oversight for non-QQI awards resides at centre level.

Training Centres

The Training centres are run by the Area Training Manager, supported by assistant managers. Day-to-day responsibility for assessments and monitoring lies with the Training Standards Officers (TSOs), supported by three Assistant Training Standards Officers (ATSOs). The TSOs report directly to the Assistant Manager with responsibility for Quality Assurance. Training centres deliver courses leading to QQI certification, as well as extensively delivering courses leading to non-QQI certification. All contracted trainers who deliver courses for the training centres do so under the Transitional Quality Assurance System (TQAS), and contracted trainers are monitored on a monthly basis. All results are submitted to QQI through the training centres, following processes of IV/EA/RAP. In addition to the IV and EA reports, the Training Centres include and consider information and recommendations gathered from the following:

  • Assessment Supervisor and Assessor Reports
  • Internal Verification Report of the Conduct of the Assessment Process
  • Peer Review of Assessment Results
  • Certification Audit Checklist

Oversight for all certification currently resides at centre level.

Adult Education Service and Youthreach

The Adult Education Service is led by two Adult Education Officers, with responsibility for Adult Literacy, BTEI, Community Education, ESOL, Guidance, VTOS and Youthreach with a number of adult education centres across the ETB, and is supported by programme coordinators. Adult Literacy Organisers, and Community Education Facilitators have responsibility for the classes within their own services. Other programmes, such as VTOS, BTEI, Skills for Work or ESOL, may be managed by programme coordinators who have responsibility for the day-to-day running of the courses which are delivered by teachers/tutors/adult educators. The Adult Education Service delivers certified courses (mostly leading to QQI awards), as well as uncertified courses. ETB-level oversight of QQI delivery is managed through review of IV/EA/RAP processes. Currently, oversight of uncertified and non-QQI certified courses resides at service level.


FET Management, Governance and Oversight – click to enlarge