Quality Assurance Information
11 Core Areas of Quality Assurance
The LWETB Governance Policy reflects how our governance system supports the implementation of LWETB’s FET quality assurance policies and procedures and ensures that decision-making is aligned with our strategy, mission, vision and values.
Governance in LWETB operates at corporate, ETB and centre levels. LWETB is governed by a Board of 21 democratically-appointed members including 12 representatives from the local county councils of Longford and Westmeath; two members elected from staff; two parent representatives; and five members with a special knowledge of education and training. The Chief Executive, Liz Lavery, has ultimate executive responsibility for the oversight and management of LWETB with the support of the Senior Management Team (SMT), comprising the Director of Further Education and Training, Director of Schools, Youth and Music and the Director of Organisational Support.
FET QA operational support is provided by FETQS, who, along with staff representatives across LWETB, form part of the LWETB governance structures; namely the Quality Oversight Group (QOG), Quality Governance Group (QGG) and Programme Governance Group (PGG).
Programme and service managers for each centre provide governance oversight at local centre level in line with the subsidiarity principle.
LWETB FET Governance Structure
The LWETB Chief Executive approved the LWETB FET Policy on Governance in February 2019. For more please click here.
The LWETB Quality Statement was approved in August 2019.
Longford and Westmeath ETB (LWETB) are developing a quality assurance (QA) system, of the FETQS, that is fully documented to ensure there are robust policies and procedures operating across all provision of further education and training (FET).
Legacy quality assurance currently exists also within LWETB FET centres. These QA systems have an extensive suite of quality assurance policies and procedures documented in the relevant legacy QA agreements as follows:
The integration and enhancement of the six existing legacy QA systems will be an on-going continuous improvement project for LWETB in the migration over to a fully functioning FETQS that supersedes all legacy QA.
LWETB have developed a Glossary of Terms to ensure clarity and consistency of the QA language used.
As procedures are developed / revised, approval is sought from the QOG. Once approved, QA documentation will be uploaded to SharePoint and the relevant sections of the LWETB website found here.
This is a long-term project in an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement; as new common policies and procedures are developed/reviewed they will supersede the existing individual policies and procedures which are currently available in each centre.
Where policies and procedures have yet to be developed, learners, FET staff and stakeholders should refer to legacy QA agreements.
Ongoing QA Development
LWETB’s external Quality Assurance obligations include a statutory review of Quality Assurance by QQI, as outlined in the Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012. In December 2021 FETQS completed the LWETB Self-Evaluation Report 2021. Please click here to view the Executive Self Evaluation Report.
FETQS also completed the LWETB Provider Profile. The function of the self-evaluation process was to evaluate current practice to then inform future development of quality assurance and enhancement activities within LWETB.
Quality improvement planning is ongoing and annual, and, as Self-Evaluation Reports and Quality Improvement Reports are finalised they will be published here:
• Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), 2017 – 2018 and Progress Report on 2018 QIP
• Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), 2019 and Progress Report on 2019 QIP
• Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), 2020 Progress Report 2020 QIP
Longford and Westmeath ETB’s (LWETB’s) Programmes
All courses and programmes offered by LWETB can be found on the FETCH (Further Education and Training Courses Hub) Courses website. To access this website, please click here.
LWETB looks forward to the revalidation of programmes by QQI and anticipates this as an opportunity for enhancement of existing programmes.
Programme development and approval procedures are the responsibility of the Programme Governance Group and oversight ultimately rests with the Quality Oversight Group. Programme design should ensure the learner is supported to achieve the programme’s intended learning outcomes. The new Programme Descriptor Templates being piloted in line with the roll-out of the new Validation Process will be incorporated into the development. Ongoing national sectoral work is being completed by ETBI on programme development, design and approval and this is welcomed by LWETB.
A process will be developed to map the lifecycle of a programme through all relevant stages – proposal, design, development, evaluation, validation, approval, delivery, monitoring and review. The qualification resulting from a programme will be clearly specified and communicated, and refer to the correct level of the NFQ.
The drivers for new programmes may come from sectoral training demands, industry and business representative groups, community groups, government initiatives and other stakeholder requirements. Demand may also come from customer feedback, labour market reviews, new company start-ups and company closures, internal research and planning reports, European Union initiatives, regional business needs, emerging EU/national policy, job vacancy trends and requests from external bodies and organisations.
LWETB is committed to a learner-centred approach to the delivery of programmes in ways which encourage learners to take an active role in the learning process and that this is reflected in our assessment process. The completion of the Programme Design Templates as part of the new Validation Process will provide a roadmap for LWETB to ensure that all aspects of delivery are planned. Learner admission, the diversity of learner needs, different modes of delivery (including blended learning), protection for enrolled learners, progression and recognition of prior learning are all key elements in improving service provision.
The LWETB FET TEL Action Plan is in place and has been developed taking both local and national strategies. To date additional equipment has been procured to ensure a streamlined approach to support blended learning. There has been an increased provision of short training courses on the use of educational technologies on both Microsoft Teams and Moodle.
Resources can be accessed by staff members on Microsoft TEAMS. Email [email protected] to be added to the MS TEAMS.
The main focus of the plan for the year is as follows:
Provide Office 365 training for staff on the use of Microsoft Teams in a classroom environment and using OneNote Class Notebook
Continue to provide on-boarding support for new staff
Continue to use eCollege to develop staff skillsets using Moodle
Purchase relevant software to support Blended learning engagement
Launch Blended learning strategy
Continue to develop the role of TEL link person in centres
Continue to provide relevant resources to staff using Teams and Moodle platforms
Increase implementation of UDL in classrooms
Encourage the roll out of Communities of Practice among staff in their vocational/subject area