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Special Needs Assisting Level 5

Awarded by
QQI Level 5
7 Weeks
Tuesdays & Thursdays: 06:30 - 09:30pm
Start/End Date
14/09/21 - 28/10/21 + 1 Saturday
Live Online Classes
€540.00 (Exam Fee Inc.)
A a deposit of €75.00 applies. Combo Special Needs Assisting Courses Level 5 & 6 - Special Rate €940.00 (Save €260.00) Flexible Payment Terms available - see details on page below.

Why take this course?

Do you want a rewarding career as a Special Needs Assistant and make an impact on the children you work with that can be truly life-changing?  

Are you interested in gaining the Special Needs Assisting Qualification with the opportunity to work in Mainstream National Schools or Secondary Schools under the direction of the Teacher?   

Do you want to avail of opportunities to work in a Special Education facility, Social Care, or Childcare Facilities as a Special Needs Assistant? 

Budget 2020 has allocated Funding for the creation of 1,000 new Special Needs Assistant jobs in Ireland  here.

What will I study?

This SNA award will provide you with the knowledge, skill and competence in the practices and principles underpinning the role of a Special Needs Assistant and enable you to work effectively under direction in a special needs assisting capacity.

Programme Modules

Good Practice

Gain the knowledge, skill, and competence to work effectively and follow appropriate health and safety procedures in the workplace.

At the end of this unit learners will be able to: 

  • Summarise key elements of child protection policy. 
  • Work within principles of good practice in e.g. Confidentiality, inclusion, independence, boundaries, etc. 
  • Understand the role of the special needs assistant in relation to promoting health and safety. 
  • Reflect on one’s own values and attitudes in working with children with special needs.
  • Explain the rights of children with special needs in relation to personal autonomy. 
  • Understand the importance of ongoing training, reflection, supervision, and support. 
  • Demonstrate an ability to work effectively with others in promoting and maintaining good practice.

Relating to Children with Special Needs

At the end of this unit learners will be able to: 

  • Outline the impact of a range of special needs on communication styles and needs.
  • Examine the importance of non-verbal communication.
  • Explore practical ways of relating to children with special needs including the use of communication aids.
  • Identify the personal challenges and opportunities associated with creating and maintaining relationships with children with special needs. 
  • Assist children with disabilities in a range of activities, ensuring equality of opportunity through working in a safe and professional manner.

Relating to other Stakeholders

At the end of this unit learners will be able to: 

  • Outline the role and responsibilities of the special needs assistant and how it differs from that of the teacher. 
  • Describe the roles of the multidisciplinary team in the child’s life.
  • Recognise the role of parents/guardians as the child’s primary caregivers. 
  • Relate appropriately to parents, teachers, and other carers. 
  • Contribute insights and experiences to team discussions and meetings as appropriate. 

Special Needs Assisting Skills

At the end of this unit, learners will be able to assist children with special needs with a range of activities in their daily routine under direction including:

  • Boarding and alighting from school buses. 
  • Assisting with communication including assistive technology and writing.
  • Clothing, feeding toileting and general hygiene and out-of-school visits walk, etc. 
  • Accompanying individuals or small groups and other activities as appropriate. 
  • Support the teacher in preparing for activities, resources, and tidying up the classroom work effectively. 

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Learning combines face-to-face instruction with live online learning.   In the context of the coronavirus school re-openings, a hybrid model reduces the number of students in the building, by moving some of the course delivery online.

You will be in a bubble:
Hybrid Learning September 2020

Dorset College continues to adhere to the government’s guidelines on protective measures required to be in place in order to combat the COVID-19.  These protective measures mean that our classes will now be delivered through a Hybrid model as outlined above.

Entry Requirements

The requirements for entry are:

  • QQI/FET Appropriate Level 4/5 Certificate, Junior/Leaving Certificate standard or equivalent.   
  • Relevant life/work experience 
  • Competence in spoken and written English
  • Mandatory:
    Learners must undertake 20 hours of work experience during the course – this is required in order to satisfy the requirements of the programme.
    It is advisable to have the work experience organised prior to the course start date.

Assessment & Awards

Assessment Method
A combination of module-appropriate assessment methods will facilitate the assessment of learning outcomes on the course. These methods will include two skills demonstrations and a Learner Record. 

Learner Record: 40%  Skills Demonstration X 2: 60%


NOTE: A learner will only achieve their award once all components are completed including the 20 hour work experience.

QQI/FET Special Needs Assisting Level 5 Minor Award (Course Code: 5N1786)
Awarded by: QQI Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Credit Value: 15 ECTS

Final Grading
Pass 50%- 64%  /  Merit 65%-79%  /  Distinction 80%-100% 

Flexible Payment Terms

To secure a place on this course a non-refundable  deposit of €75.00 applies and the remainder paid in instalments.  You have the flexibility of using our online payment facility to manage your course payments at any time, from the comfort of your own home.  Pay Online

Combo Special Needs Assisting Courses Level 5 & 6 - Special Rate €940.00 (Save €260.00)

Payment Plan

Deposit: €75.00 Secures your Place on the Course
1st Instalment:  €232.00 31/08/21
2nd Instalment: €233.00 07/10/21


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