Learners' Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.  How will a FETAC award benefit me? 

2.  Where is my closest programme leading to a FETAC award located?

3.  How much will it cost me?

4.  What is the certification cost?

5.  What is CAS?

6.  Who makes CAS awards?

7. What about awards that are not part of CAS?

8.  What happens to my FETAC awards when FETAC is dissolved?

9. Does FETAC offer grants to learners?

10. How can I use my FETAC award to progress to 3rd level?

11. Are FETAC awards open to non-EU citizens?

12. Can I get a replacement if I have lost my original FETAC award?

13. How do I get my Irish qualification recognised for work or further study when travelling abroad?

14. What you need to know about your award before enrolling on a programme?

1. How will a FETAC award benefit me?  

FETAC awards:

  •  are quality assured
  •  are nationally and internationally recognised
  •  offer access to further and higher education and training opportunities
  •  are recognised by employers

All FETAC awards are part of the new inclusive National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), developed by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI). This Framework brings greater clarity to the Irish education and training system, making it possible for learners, employers and providers to understand and compare different types of qualifications. All FETAC awards already have a specific placing on the national framework between levels 1 and 6, allowing FETAC award holders to progress more easily within the system. 

Employers will also recognise your abilities and skills because FETAC awards are quality assured.

Back to Top

2. Where is my closest programme leading to a FETAC award located?  

With over 1,200 centres offering programmes leading to FETAC awards, you are bound to find a course provider near you. Please refer to Qualifax: The National Learners' Database for course search facility and also FETAC Searchable Database. Application is directly to the provider.

Back to Top

3. How much will it cost me?  

FETAC is an awarding body and therefore does not determine the cost of any of their providers courses. See Search for Course Provider Details and request an admissions booklet which will give you full details of tuition fees and other expected costs. Course entry is by direct application to the centre of your choice. FETAC charges for certification only. To find out more about fees and eligibility requirements for free fees see www.studentfinance.ie.

Back to Top

4. What is the certification cost?  

FETAC has reviewed its fee structure in order to make the charges more transparent to providers and their learners. FETAC will now charge for the certificate issued for each eligible learner. This is the only charge FETAC makes to learners.

Centres are invoiced for certification costs. Where a learner is eligible for a component certificate (s) a simple charge i.e. 20 euro applies regardless of the number of minors achieved.

There are two charges depending on the award achieved and the certificate issued:

• major certificates €50
• component/specific purpose/supplemental certificates €20

Back to Top

5. What is CAS?  

A new national qualification system for further education and training has been introduced across further education and training in Ireland. Known as CAS or the ‘common awards system,’ programmes leading to these awards are increasingly being offered to learners. CAS awards are part of a national commitment to the highest quality experience for you when you take on a course or programme.

Back to Top

6. Who makes CAS awards?   

FETAC makes CAS awards. By 2014 all FETAC awards will be part of CAS. This makes it easier for you to understand your award and to move between programmes of education and training getting recognition for your learning.

FETAC is being amalgamated with HETAC, the IUQB and the NQAI into Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Awards will continue to be made by the new agency. The new agency is responsible for maintaining, developing and promoting the National Framework of Qualifications. 

Back to Top

7. What about awards that are not part of CAS?   

By December 2013, all FETAC registered providers offering validated programmes leading to FETAC (QQI) awards, will only use awards that are part of CAS. The existing awards, recognisable by different codes, will cease to be offered. Programmes should lead to awards in one system or the other.

Until December 2014, minor awards that are not part of CAS can be used as exemptions within CAS major, special purpose and supplemental awards provided the minor ‘fits’ with the structure of the award. The programme provider manages this process according to FETAC requirements http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/documents/Managing_Transition_to_CAS_L5_L6_Info_Note_June_12.pdf 

Back to Top

8. What happens to my FETAC awards when FETAC is dissolved?

Any award that is on the National Framework of Qualifications continues to be recognised because it continues to signify achievement of learning at a particular level on the framework.

Back to Top

9. Does FETAC offer grants to learners?

FETAC does not provide funding for individual learners or courses. We would suggest you contact the Department of Education directly and also your local County/ City Council and ask to speak to someone in the Education Grants section. In addition, information on financial support for further and higher education is available at www.studentfinance.ie or Student Universal Support Ireland www.susi.ie.

Back to Top

10. How can I use my FETAC award to progress to 3rd level?
Many learners complete Post Leaving Certificate or Further Education and Training courses leading to FETAC Level 5 or 6 awards with the specific intention of using their award to progress to 3rd level through a system known as the Higher Education Links Scheme. This scheme has been in existence for over a decade.

Applicants must submit their third level applications to the CAO by 1 February in the year in which they are applying. Detailed information is available on www.cao.ie. In July, FETAC results are issued to the CAO. Details of how applicants are assessed vary somewhat between 3rd level institutions but all information can be found on www.cao.ie. A new scoring system for your FETAC awards applies from 2013 http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/documents/Progression_to_Higher_Education_2013.pdf

Please note – universities and some higher education institutions offer places from a reserved a quota. In general, institutes of technology offer places from a list ranking FETAC achievements with other candidates who apply based on leaving certificate.
Back to Top

11. Are FETAC awards open to non-EU citzens?
FETAC is an awarding body and will provide certification for all successful learners put forward by further education and training providers who have agreed quality assurance arrangements. The entry requirements for a course are determined by the course provider. Students whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate that they have the minimum required standard of English prior to joining the course. To check your capacity to participate in a programme, talk to the adult guidance service, your provider or view ‘Information for Learners: Guidelines for Providers’ to assess yourself. http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/documents/Info_for_Learners_Guidelines_for_Providers.pdf
Back to Top

12. Can I get a replacement if I have lost my original FETAC award?
FETAC does not issue replacement certificates but it is possible to receive a Record of Awards. In the event of your misplacing or losing your FETAC certificate, you may apply to FETAC for a Record of Awards. Application form for Record of Awards.
Back to Top

13. How do I get my Irish qualification recognised for work or further study when travelling abroad?

For information and advice on travelling abroad with your Irish qualification, whether for work or for further study, please consult the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland's information leaflet Travelling with your Irish Qualification.
Back to Top

14. What you need to know about your award before enrolling on a programme?

Is the award that the programme leads to on the National Framework of Qualifications? All FETAC awards are on the Framework. FETAC award titles tell you the level of the award on the Framework. If e.g. the title of the award begins with Level ... and is in Level 4 Certificate in Information and Communications Technology Skills, then the award is placed at level 4 of the Framework.
What are the title(s), type(s) and level(s) of the awards the programme leads to?

Any provider offering a programme leading to a FETAC award is required to publish the title(s), type(s) and level(s) of the awards that the programme leads to.

Who makes the award? CAS awards are made by FETAC. FETAC is amalgamating in 2012 into the qualifications and quality assurance authority of Ireland. Once this happens, the awards will be made by the QQI. Information on the changeover will be printed on the reverse of certificates.
What are the codes of the awards?

Check that either all or none start with a CAS code (Level number, then ‘M’ for major, ‘N’ for minor, ‘S’ for special purpose or ‘U’ for supplemental). Programmes should lead to awards in either one award system or another, not a mix of awards systems or code types

 

What transfer and progression opportunities are associated with the programme and award?

Programme information should tell you what opportunities the award makes you eligible for, either to transfer or progress to other programmes. It is important to note that while you may be eligible for a particular progression or transfer opportunity, there may be no guaranteed entitlement to a place. Check for particular requirements.
If the award is part of CAS, there will be a broad range of transfer possibilities to other programmes leading to different awards at the same level. The Awards Directory shows the ‘related certificates’ for minor awards, where the same minor award also occurs. Major awards typically give eligibility to progress to programmes leading to awards at the next level.
For information on progression to higher education using your CAS

award, view Progression to Higher Education 2013
If you already have some FETAC awards, ask whether they can help you meet the requirements of your CAS major, special purpose or supplemental award. The provider can show you how your existing awards map to the new CAS awards.

Is the Provider registered with FETAC?

FETAC provides a searchable database which allows you check which providers have agreed quality assurance systems with FETAC, and to view any relevant monitoring reports. Monitoring reports evaluate the effectiveness of the provider’s quality assurance systems and provide useful public information on quality in general.

 

Is the programme validated by FETAC? FETAC provides a searchable database which allows you check that the programme is validated, leading to a CAS award.
Qualifax is the national database of courses and provides broad information on a range of other opportunities.

Back to Top