Shared Programmes

A shared programme is a programme that is developed by a consortium for sharing by a number of providers.  The key point to note in relation to shared programmes is that the 'sharing' takes place at the point of programme development.

To initiate and facilitate the sharing of a programme a group of providers and other relevant organisations come together to form a consortium with the purpose of developing a programme which will be designed from the outset to be shared.

The consortium decides the extent to which sharing will take place. There are three options. The programme once approved by FETAC can be used by:

  •   the named members of consortium
  •   a list of named providers (not necessarily members of the consortium)
  •   any provider from a list of named provider types (all VEC providers, all special schools etc.)

Shared Programme Guidelines have been developed to assist providers who wish to develop a programme for sharing. Providers are advised to read these guidelines carefully before developing a shareable programme.

The Further Education Support Service has developed a resource for providers wishing to form a consortium. The Support Service can also be approached to provide information briefings for consortia. The resource and details on how to request an information briefing session is available from the Further Education Support Service.

Once a programme has been developed there is a two step process to be followed:


A lead provider on behalf of the consortium completes the FETAC programme descriptor for shared programmes and submits it to FETAC with a list of the providers who can apply to use it. Applications should be made using a Shared Programme Approval Application Form.  The form presented here is for information only. Applications for approval of a shared programme can only be made following a briefing by the FETAC or the Further Education Support Service.

Consortia can contact FETAC for an application by email Once approved by FETAC the programme will be available for sharing.


Once the programme has been approved by FETAC providers permitted (members of the consortium, named providers or named provider by type) to use the programme submit additional programme information relating to their particular context. Applications should be made using the appropriate application form. Each submission to use an approved programme is treated as a separate application for validation. Only programmes from providers named (or of named type) in the original submission by the consortium can be evaluated.

FETAC will either validate or refuse to validate the individual programmes in accordance with the procedure and criteria for the validation of programmes.

Terms and conditions attaching to the delivery and review of shared programmes will be issued to each individual provider. Each provider is then responsible for the delivery, assessment and review of the programme in the context of their individual Quality Assurance Agreement. The ownership of the programme, originally developed for sharing, transfers to each individual Provider once the programme has been validated in that provider’s own context.