Awarding Bodies

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and the NFQ

LHP Skillnet is a QQI recognised provider. QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is a state agency established by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 with a board appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills

What does QQI do?

  • Maintains the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications).
  • Maintains the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications).
  • Sets standards for awards made on the NFQ.
  • Validates education and training programmes
  • Makes awards in the further education and higher education sectors
  • Provides advice on recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland and on the recognition of Irish qualifications abroad.
  • Publishes a directory of providers and awards in the NFQ.
  • Reviews the effectiveness of quality assurance in further and higher education and training providers in Ireland.
  • Authorises the use of an International Education Mark (IEM)

The Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

The NFQ is a ten-level system (1–10) giving an academic or vocational value to qualifications obtained in Ireland.  Each level is based on nationally agreed standards of what a learner is expected to know and be able to do after receiving an award. There are four types of awards;

  • Major Awards: the principal class of award made at a level
  • Minor Awards: for partial completion of the outcomes for a Major Award
  • Supplemental Awards: for learning that is additional to a Major Award
  • Special Purpose Awards: for relatively narrow or purpose-specific achievement

LHP Skillnet delivers a programme which leads to the major award Healthcare Support. The award code is 5M4339. The award is made to learners who reach the required standard in 8 taught modules; 5 mandatory, a minimum of 2 elective modules and 1 other healthcare related module. There is also a clinical (work experience) placement of 300 hours’ duration.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of 26 classroom days (182 class contact hours). Some of these hours are allocated to study and writing skills and explaining assignments



  1. Care Skills
  2. Care Support
  3. Health & Safety at Work
  4. Communication
  5. Work Experience/Work Practice

Elective modules

  1. Care of the Older Person
  2. A Palliative Care Approach
  3. Teamworking or
  4. Infection Prevention and Control

Students are also welcome to undertake stand-alone modules which lead to minor awards and will be awarded a component certificate for each module undertaken successfully.

Clinical Component/Work Experience

Students are required to work as a healthcare assistant in a healthcare setting for a minimum of 300 hours over the duration of the programme (outside of scheduled class time) to satisfy the requirements of this programme. This can be as part of the students’ normal work if already employed as a healthcare assistant or working in a voluntary capacity on a work experience placement. This component of the programme is designed to build students’ clinical competency over time and is integral to the programme.


Progression, is defined by the Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training)  Act  2012  as  the  process  whereby  learners  may  transfer  from  one programme of education and training to another programme, where each programme is  of  a  higher  level  than  the  preceding  programme.  Learners who successfully complete the programme leading to the major award in Healthcare have the opportunity to progress to programmes at a higher level on the National Framework of Qualifications NFQ. They may gain access to a variety of third level programmes via the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS), which provides progression opportunities, through the Central Applications Office, for QQI award holders. Alternatively, learners may apply for direct entry to third level programmes through the CAO on the basis of their educational qualifications or as a mature student.

Equality and Diversity

LHP is committed to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment where all staff and students are equally valued and respected. We value the diversity of our staff and students and respond positively to different needs and circumstances so that all staff and students can achieve their potential. We aim to create an inclusive learning community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and inequalities are challenged.

Protection for Enrolled Learners (PEL)

LHP Skillnet has appropriate arrangements in place for protection for enrolled learners (PEL) to protect learners who undertake the programme that leads to the major award Healthcare Support should LHP cease to complete the provision of this programme for any reason.  This is a requirement under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.