Higher Education and Training Awards Council

Degree validation and awarding body, Ireland (2001–2012)

.mw-parser-output .infobox-subbox{padding:0;border:none;margin:-3px;width:auto;min-width:100%;font-size:100%;clear:none;float:none;background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .infobox-3cols-child{margin:auto}.mw-parser-output .infobox .navbar{font-size:100%}body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-header,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-subheader,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-above,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-title,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-image,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-full-data,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-below{text-align:center}

Active 1972 as the National Council for Educational Awards 2001 as HETAC–2012


Website http://www.hetac.ie

The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (Irish: Comhairle na nDámhachtainí Ardoideachais agus Oiliúna) (HETAC), the legal successor to the National Council for Educational Awards (NCEA), granted higher education awards in Ireland beyond the university system from 2001 to 2012. HETAC was created in 2001, subject to the policies of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, and, specifically, granted qualifications at many Institutes of Technology and other colleges. HETAC was dissolved and its functions were passed to Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) on 6 November 2012.[1]



The logo of the National Council for Educational Awards which sometimes appeared in different colour schemes.

In 1967 the Steering Committee on Technical Education recommended the creation of a body to control non-university higher qualifications, and in 1969 the Higher Education Authority similarly recommended the establishment of a “Council for National Awards” to better organise the non-university higher education sector; the HEA recommendations were tentative, to be refined after application to the work of the newly-established National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick.[2] Following these recommendations, the National Council for Educational Awards (NCEA) was founded in April 1972 on an ad-hoc basis. The Minister for Education, Padraig Faulkner, specified its terms of reference, including the promotion and coordination of industrial, professional, commercial and scientific education, and the conferring of certificates, diplomas and degrees. The NCEA granted the first National Certificates, 93 in number, in 1972; these were awarded at five Regional Technical Colleges. The NCEA granted its first bachelor degrees, to four students in Physical Education, in 1974.

Early on it was decided that the NCEA would be the only extra-university award-conferring institution in the State for higher education, rather than having a multitude of competing institutions, with authority to grant awards at all academic levels including degree level. Hence it was the award-granting body for NIHE Limerick, for example. Despite this, the Fine GaelLabour (National Coalition) government limited the NCEA to sub-degree awards only from early 1976, and the later Fianna Fáil government of 1977 restored its full powers in November 1977, and placed the NCEA on a statutory footing in 1980 by commencing the National Council for Educational Awards Act, 1979.

In 1982 the first master’s degree is awarded at NIHE Limerick in Arts, Business Studies and Engineering,[3] and in 1985 the first doctorate degree was awarded at NIHE Dublin.[4]

The founding director of the National Council for Educational Awards was Padraig Mac Diarmada, whose educational vision and philosophy contributed to further development of higher and continuing education in Ireland and whose vision enabled students to attain educational qualifications which would never have been envisioned by them prior to 1972. The last director (CEO) of the council was former Holy Trinity NS (Donaghmede) national school teacher and former INTO President Séamus Puirséil (Seamus Purcell).

Establishment of HETAC[edit]

HETAC was created in 2001 under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, 1999 (Section 21). It inherited the work of the NCEA, validating and awarding qualifications up to degree level, for the institutes of technology and a wide range of third-level institutions.

The first chief executive of HETAC was the former head of the NCEA, Seamus Puirseil. He was succeeded in 2008 by Gearóid Ó Conluain, formerly Deputy Chief Inspector of Department of Education and Science.

Merger into QQI[edit]

In October 2008 the Irish Government announced its intention to amalgamate HETAC with FETAC and NQAI, the two other bodies established under the Qualifications Act, while also incorporating the functions for the external review of Irish universities then carried out by the Irish Universities Quality Board.[5] The Minister appointed an interim board for the new agency. This board appointed Dr. Padraig Walsh as chief executive Designate in September 2010. In February 2011, Dr. Walsh became chief executive of HETAC, pending the establishment of the new statutory agency.


In 2004 HETAC completed the transition from awards derived from the NCEA standards to a new awards system based on the National Framework of Qualifications. A rough correspondence between the awards of the two systems is shown below.

Legacy Current
National Certificate Higher Certificate
National Diploma Ordinary bachelor’s degree‡
Honours bachelor’s degree Honours bachelor’s degree
Graduate Diploma (conversion)† Higher Diploma
Graduate Diploma (professional)† Postgraduate Diploma
Master’s degree Master’s degree
Doctorate degree Doctorate degree
† Not granted after June 2006.
‡ Granted from July 2004.

Recognised institutions[edit]

The providers of courses which lead to HETAC awards were called “recognised institutions”, recognised under the Qualifications (Education & Training) Act, 1999 (Section 24). Some of these institutions were granted “delegation of authority” (often referred to as “delegated authority”) which allowed them to make HETAC awards in their own name, this was limited to the Institutes of Technology and often to certain award levels at certain institutions.

Section 24 (1)(a)[edit]

Regional Technical Colleges[edit]

Non-RTC bodies[edit]

Section 24 (1)(b)[edit]

(Other bodies, public and private sector)

Former Providers[edit]

Institutions whose degrees were formerly awarded by HETAC, or its forerunner the NCEA before 2002; some no longer exist.

See also[edit]


.mw-parser-output .reflist{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em;list-style-type:decimal}.mw-parser-output .reflist .references{font-size:100%;margin-bottom:0;list-style-type:inherit}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-2{column-width:30em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-3{column-width:25em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns{margin-top:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns ol{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns li{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-alpha{list-style-type:upper-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-roman{list-style-type:upper-roman}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-alpha{list-style-type:lower-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-greek{list-style-type:lower-greek}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-roman{list-style-type:lower-roman}body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .reflist{column-gap:2em}

  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free.id-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited.id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration.id-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription.id-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}“Minister Quinn merges educational agencies to establish QQI”. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  2. ^ A Council for National Awards and a college of Higher Education at Limerick. Dublin: Higher Education Authority. 1969. p. 11.
  3. ^ NCEA Annual Report, Ninth Report, 1982
  4. ^ NCEA Annual Report, Twelfth Report, 1985
  5. ^ Consultation on amalgamation of qualifications and quality assurance bodies [1]

External links[edit]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *