Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 16 October, 1997

Written Answers - Course Accreditation.

53. Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has satisfied himself with the progress made to date by Teastas in securing an integrated system of accreditation of courses in accordance with best international practice which facilitates progression for students at all stages in their lives. [16685/97]

[1213] Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Teastas, the Irish national certification authority, was established as an interim authority on 18 September 1995.

Teastas reported on an interim basis in January 1997, and, in its consultative phase, is continuing to work closely with the partners in the education and training sectors to ensure that the framework which it is developing will facilitate access and progression through a structured system of graded education-training qualifications.

The next step is to bring to a conclusion the consultative process. Teastas aims to complete its consultations within the next few weeks.

It is also my intention to consult with the major partners concerned. Following these consultations, it is my intention to publish an appropriate legislative underpinning for a national qualifications framework as early as possible next year. The facilitation of progression pathways for students within the education and training systems will be a key aim of the qualifications framework.