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Welcome to SkillsDirect

Welcome to SkillsDirect, the online system for submitting Springboard and ICT Skills Conversion course proposals in 2014. The system has been developed to make it easier for prospective providers to submit and manage their course proposals. SkillsDirect features a fully online, paperless approach to the submission of course proposals.

SkillsDirect is a fully secure system, hosted by HEANet.

The Call for Proposals documentation is available through this website (see Call Documents, in the menu, top right) and has also been published on www.hea.ie

To submit a course proposal you are required to register on this web system. As part of registration you will be asked to input information on your college, and contact details. Please note that user registration for the 2013 proposal submission systems do not carry through for 2014 and such users are required to register again.

The deadline for submission of course proposals for both Springboard and ICT Skills Conversion is 17.00 on Wednesday 12 March 2014. The online application system will not accept proposals submitted after this deadline.

In advance of preparing proposals for submission we ask that you familiarise yourself with the following course eligibility criteria.

Click here to read the eligibility criteria for Springboard/ICT Skills Conversion and register.

Springboard 2014 Call for Proposals - Course Eligibility Criteria

Springboard will support part-time courses provided by public, private and not-for profit higher education providers. Eligible courses must either:

  1. (a) Lead to a higher education and training award that is included in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) at Levels 6 to 9, which is made by one of the following Irish awarding bodies:
    • Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
    • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), including combinations of modules from already validated programmes leading to a major award
    • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority to make awards
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    • Universities
  2. Lead to a higher education and training award that is aligned with the Irish National Framework of Qualifications at Levels 6-9. These awards must be aligned with the Irish NFQ as at 01 January 2014.

Collaborative proposals from a group of providers will be eligible for funding through Springboard, however a lead provider must be clearly identified as part of the proposal and the proposal must adhere to all requirements regarding quality assurance and the making of awards.

To be considered eligible for approval, proposed Springboard courses must seek to address an identified current or future skills need, include a precise labour market rationale, and provide evidence of active links with relevant employers/industry.

A small proportion of ‘accelerated’ full-time courses will be considered for funding, where course providers can show that the approach is over-and-above standard full-time provision and that the proposed course clearly meets an identified skills need.

Proposals which lead to an award of less than 10 ECTS credits or equivalent per annum will not be eligible for funding.

For the purposes of this Call, the term part-time is intended to cover all forms of flexible delivery including those offered partially during the day or in the evenings or those with an online and/or distance component.

Course proposals must be made using the online course proposals template.

Important information accompanying the template include the background information on the Call and 2014 Guidance for higher education providers on current and future skills needs of enterprise by Forfas. The Call and supporting documentation are also available on the HEA website www.hea.ie.

ICT Skills Conversion 2014 Call for Proposals - Course Eligibility Criteria

  1. The ICT Skills Conversion initiative will support specialist programmes provided by public, private and not-for profit higher education providers which lead to a higher education and training award included in the NFQ at Level 8, made by one of the following Irish awarding bodies:
    • Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
    • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), including combinations of modules from already validated programmes leading to a major award
    • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority to make awards
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    • Universities
  2. Specialist programmes which will lead to a higher education and training award that is aligned with the Irish NFQ at level 8 may also be considered.
  3. Collaborative proposals from a group of providers will be especially welcome, however a lead provider must be clearly identified as part of the proposal, and the proposal must adhere to all requirements regarding quality assurance and the making of awards.
  4. Proposals should be for full-time programmes of study which provide at least 60 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits or equivalent per annum. Proposals which lead to an award of fewer than 60 ECTS credits or equivalent per annum will not be eligible for consideration. Proposals for programmes involving intensive attendance over a shorter duration may also be considered, for example 10–20 contact hours per week for a specified number of weeks.
  5. To be considered eligible for approval, proposed ICT Skills Conversion courses must seek to enable the successful conversion at Level 8 of talented graduates from non-computing/IT disciplines to meet identified ICT skills needs. In making an application under this scheme, higher education providers must clearly demonstrate a collaborative partnership with a relevant industry partner(s) for the design, implementation and provision of the proposed course.
  6. Course proposals must be made using the online course proposals template.
  7. Important information accompanying the template include the background information on the Call and 2014 Guidance for higher education providers on current and future skills needs of enterprise by Forfas. The Call and supporting documentation are also available on the HEA website www.hea.ie.

I have read and understood the criteria governing course proposals

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