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Call for Applications to Serve as Quality Assurance Experts in relation to the SOLAS overarching Quality Assurance Expert Panel


SOLAS is seeking applications from suitable qualified individuals seeking to serve as Quality Assurance Experts in relation to the SOLAS overarching Quality Assurance Expert Panel. The experts are required to be in place by June 2018 to assist in the first instance with the development of a refreshed SOLAS overarching Quality Assurance Strategy for Apprenticeship. Each expert will be required to be available for this first task of the panel as detailed below for approximately 5 working days over the period June to July 2018.

Background and Initial Activity

SOLAS as the statutory authority for Apprenticeship in Ireland and the Further Education and Training Authority, is committed to ensuring all aspects of quality assurance across the breadth of Apprenticeship responsibilities is met, in parallel with all statutory obligations and in line with good practice guidelines. As apprenticeship provision has evolved in recent years, a refreshed SOLAS overarching quality assurance strategy for Apprenticeship is a strategic priority.

The duties/requirements of the expert panel will be as follows:

  • Document and collate a digital inventory of all existing quality assurance processes and systems in place within the key quality assurance requirements (pillars) of the organisation.

  • Map this inventory into a framework of quality assurance principles and standards, in line with appropriate QA, including QQI guidelines for Apprenticeship, statutory and legal obligations and corporate/good practice requirements.

  • Complete relevant focused internal and external consultation/research to gain understanding of key risks and opportunities for quality assurance. Document good practice models, implementation tools, gap analysis practice, protocols and lessons learned methodologies and templates.

  • Assist with the initial SOLAS Apprenticeship Quality Assurance Strategy with a defined overarching quality statement, embedded principles and action plan for immediate implementation, including suitable review mechanisms. To ensure a definition is included of the infrastructure required to deliver on the strategy e.g. quality committee, quality oversight development action group etc.

The Requirement

SOLAS is seeking to recruit individuals to serve as quality assurance experts on this expert panel. An overall panel of 2-3 members is targeted. Prospective candidates will be assessed on the basis of their ability to bring at least two of the following attributes, and a balance across these attributes will be sought when selecting the overall panel:
  • Successful track record at senior management level in developing and implementing complex quality assurance models and frameworks at a national level, in compliance with both corporate and validation/qualification requirements

  • Experience of senior complex internal and external consultation, working to specific deadlines to deliver on detailed high level frameworks

  • Experience and knowledge of educational standards and frameworks within local, regional and international contexts with underpinning quality assurance strategic processes and requirements

  • Desirable - Experience and knowledge of QQI guidelines for apprenticeships

To avoid potential conflicts of interest, quality assurance experts should not be currently employed by, or be serving as a member of the Board of, either SOLAS or an ETB. This call for an expert panel will be advertised publicly.


A daily fee of €600 (and reasonable expenses) will be available for this work. Confirmation of appointment will be subject to agreement to SOLAS terms and conditions.

Application and Assessment Process

Any interested candidates should submit their CV and any relevant supplementary information to by 5pm on 27 June 2018. Applications will be assessed by awarding a score out of:

75 marks on the degree to which expertise is demonstrated with regard to at least two of the attributes: as highlighted above

25 marks on the level of experience demonstrated within relevant roles in an education and training setting

The marks will be added to give a total score for each candidate, with the candidates then ranked in order of score, and the quality assurance experts for the panel selected on this basis.

Successful candidates will be notified by 29th June 2018.