"Juggling study, work and family life brings its rewards" - learners receive QQI Certificates in 'Information, Advice and Advocacy'

November 2016

The Croi Centre at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown was the venue for the award presentation of 61 QQI Certificates to adult learners this month. Fiona Coyne, Senior Manager, CIB noted that these were the last graduates of the Information Advice and Advocacy Programme (IAAP), which is being replaced by the Information Provision and Advocacy Practice (IPAP) Programme.

“I hope that the new programme will be as successful and well-respected as the IAAP. In a time of constant change, on-going training is vitally important and the public who will receive the service provided by today’s graduates can be assured of the highest quality information, advice and advocacy provision”, she said. She congratulated the learners on their achievement in completing the programme and recognised their hard work and dedication noting that many of them had not been involved in formal education since their school days.

Speaking at the event Liz Harper, who externally authenticated the Year 2 results on behalf of QQI, complimented the learners on the standards achieved whilst explaining that she had worked with CIB in devising them. She recounted her own experience of returning to education and congratulated the learners on their commitment to this Programme noting the dedication required to juggle study, work and family life from her own personal experience. She encouraged the learners to continue with their studies even if this seemed a daunting prospect at first.

Assumpta Harvey, the Manager of the Learning and Innovation Centre (LINC) at IT Blanchardstown, welcomed the guest speakers, the learners and all those who had supported them throughout their studies including managers, mentors, training staff and family members. She acknowledged that there were representatives from over 33 Citizen Information Services representing 20 counties in attendance plus learners from 4 different community organisations.

57 of the Information Providers received the QQI Advanced Certificate in 'Information, Advice and Advocacy' recognised at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications having completed the two-year Programme. A couple of these learners undertook the Recognition of Prior Learning format. Three learners from Kerry received individual QQI Component Certificates for advocacy modules studied during Year 2 of the Programme whilst another learner received a QQI Component Certificate for completing the four Year 1 components. Learners during the IAAP attended three tutorials at centres located in Athlone, Cork and Dublin and participated in a number of webinars.

Learners representing the three different centres addressed their colleagues during the ceremony: Tara O’Connor, Cavan CIS (Athlone); Declan Kennedy, Thurles CIC (Cork); and Margo Moran, Kilkenny CIS (Dublin). They gave personal accounts of their experience of the IAAP, highlighting the confidence and competence it had given them and the benefits accruing for their everyday work.

Modules studied in Year 1 were: Social and Civil Information; Information, Advice and Advocacy Practice; Government Social and Public Administration; Work Practice. In Year 2 learners studied: Communications; Social Policy Practice; Welfare and Health Advocacy; Employment Rights Advocacy. The weekly lessons were accessed on ITB’s Learning site using the Moodle platform.

The personal contributions from the three learner representatives were the highlight of the Awards Ceremony which concluded with refreshments.

Speaking at the event was Ms. Liz Harper, who externally authenticated the IAAP learner results on behalf of QQI with from left; Dara Woods and Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins and Assumpta Harvey (ITB).

Speaking at the event was Ms. Liz Harper, who externally authenticated the IAAP learner results on behalf of QQI with from left; Dara Woods and Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins and Assumpta Harvey (ITB).

Pictured from left the learner representatives who addressed the gathering; Declan Kennedy, Thurles CIC on behalf of the Cork Centre based learners; Margo Moran, Kilkenny CIS on behalf of the Dublin Centre based learners; and Tara O’Connor, Cavan CIS on behalf of the Athlone Centre based learners.

Pictured from left the learner representatives who addressed the gathering; Declan Kennedy, Thurles CIC on behalf of the Cork Centre based learners; Margo Moran, Kilkenny CIS on behalf of the Dublin Centre based learners; and Tara O’Connor, Cavan CIS on behalf of the Athlone Centre based learners.

Limerick learners Gerard Furey and Nan Li (Limerick CIS) pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Marion Browne (centre) Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Limerick learners Gerard Furey and Nan Li (Limerick CIS) pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Marion Browne (centre) Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Fingal CIS learners Anita Micule, Cathy Gannon and Martina McDonnell pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager Andrew McCann, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Fingal CIS learners Anita Micule, Cathy Gannon and Martina McDonnell pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager Andrew McCann, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Meath CIS learners Thomas Murray, Teresa White and Stephen Kennedy pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Lorraine Walsh, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Meath CIS learners Thomas Murray, Teresa White and Stephen Kennedy pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Lorraine Walsh, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Sligo CIS learners Tracy Walsh and Mary Keane pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Orla Barry, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Sligo CIS learners Tracy Walsh and Mary Keane pictured at the Awards Ceremony with their Development Manager, Orla Barry, Fiona Coyne (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Learners who achieved the QQI Advanced Certificate in ‘Information, Advice and Advocacy’ are pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB with staff members from CIB and ITB.

Learners who achieved the QQI Advanced Certificate in ‘Information, Advice and Advocacy’ are pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB with staff members from CIB and ITB.

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Cork Centre with Joanie Cousins (ITB), Ian Coulter (CIB) and Liz Harper (External Authenticator for QQI).

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Cork Centre with Joanie Cousins (ITB), Ian Coulter (CIB) and Liz Harper (External Authenticator for QQI).

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Athlone Centre with Liz Harper (External Authenticator for QQI), Josephine Glennon (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Athlone Centre with Liz Harper (External Authenticator for QQI), Josephine Glennon (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Dublin Centre with Renee Hayes and Bernie Acton (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony in the ITB are learners who attended the IAAP Dublin Centre with Renee Hayes and Bernie Acton (CIB) and Joanie Cousins (ITB).