Apply Now

Accreditation Partners

Our Validation and Membership

Dorset College, with the endorsement of a number of validating bodies, offers a wide range of degree and professional courses that meet the needs of students at all stages of their lives and careers. Most of our courses are on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The NFQ provides an understanding of Ireland’s system of qualifications and enables comparison of different qualifications. It enables students to make informed decisions on their choices and progression, while also indicating the qualification requirements associated with job applications in Ireland and abroad. NFQ qualifications are recognised internationally.

Dorset College is recognised and accredited by the following national and international validating bodies.

QQI - Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Established by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is an independent State agency responsible for external quality assurance of further and higher education and training services in Ireland.

QQI validates courses and issues awards for approved providers in the further and higher education and training sectors, including English language provision. QQI-validated courses lead to internationally-recognised qualifications listed in the NFQ..

QQI is also responsible for the maintenance, development and review of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and advises the Government on national policy regarding quality assurance and enhancement in education and training.

ACELS - Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services

The Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services (ACELS) was established in 1969 by the Irish Department of Education & Science to control standards in English Language Teaching schools and organisations through an inspection and recognition scheme. Dorset College is regulated by ACELS and complies with the requirements of the inspection and recognition scheme.

CIPD - The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the body which sets professional standards for Human Resources and people development, as well as driving positive change in the world of work. CIPD has 6,000 Irish members and 160,000 members internationally—working in Human Resources, learning and development, people management, and consulting across private businesses as well as organisations in the public and voluntary sectors. CIPD qualifications provide professional recognition in the fields of Human Resources and people development.

EII - Education in Ireland

Managed by Enterprise Ireland, under the authority of the Minister for Education and Skills, Education in Ireland is responsible for the promotion of Irish Higher Education Institutions overseas. Ireland's longstanding reputation for high-quality education is built on a solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Today, Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world and an internationally-renowned reputation for academic quality.

Higher Education College Association

Dorset College is a long standing member of HECA. HECA's mission is to increase awareness and understanding of the independent colleges higher education sector, in order to influence policy on behalf of our members.

In achieving its Mission, HECA actively facilitates a community of best practice and promotion of high-quality education amongst its members. Our members are located across Ireland, and renowned for excellence in teaching and learning and a unique education experience. All HECA members are state accredited in Ireland, providing Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) validated programmes across a very diverse range of disciplines, between levels 6 and 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. The student body within the HECA network of college providers is over 27,000.

We work with our members to shape and influence higher education policy directly through our engagement with policy makers and other stakeholders. Our relationships with government, private sector business and sectoral representative agencies are a key focus of our work in driving the agenda for higher education into the future.

Our work mainly falls into three main core functions:

1. Advocacy and Representation
2. Member Network
3. General Services

HECA is very proud of its consistent contribution to shaping national policy development within Irish higher education over the course of the last 3 decades.


"Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020."

Springboard+ is an initiative for higher education, offering free and subsidised courses at certificate, degree, and masters levels to Irish residents. The initiative places an emphasis on qualifications in those areas where employment opportunities and skills shortages have been identified.

Springboard+ is designed to support people re-entering employment and improve the skill sets of those already in employment, in order to build a supply of qualified graduates to meet current and future economic needs.

Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESG programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020, and is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Springboard + funded programmes
springboard funders logos 2023
Our Education Partners

As part of our strategic vision, we strive to develop strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with the academic, business and wider communities. We see collaboration with a range of stakeholders as a key aspect of Dorset’s future development. Our collaborative partners bring knowledge, opportunities and industry links to the college and its students, further strengthening Dorset College as an industry-led, quality-driven higher education institution.