Guide to SpringboardCourses.ie

This page contains guidance on what Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 offers and key information you need to know. We also have an FAQ list on both Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 which will be updated with the most frequent questions we get from users.

Note: The term ‘Springboard+ course’ refers to both part-time courses and ICT Skills conversion courses unless otherwise stated


Springboard+ FAQs


What are the residency and nationality requirements that Returners and Employed applicants must meet to be eligible to apply to Springboard+ courses?

Applicants who are normally resident in Ireland should also meet the nationality and EU residency rules. They are:
Nationality
  • Applications for admission to Springboard+ courses (Incl. the ICT Skills Programme) should be accepted from suitably qualified applicants who hold EU/EEA/UK/Swiss nationality in their own right or who are:
  • Persons who have official refugee status in this State. Time spent from date of official lodgement of application papers for refugee status will be included for the purpose of meeting the three-year residency requirement; or
  • Family members of a refugee who are granted permission by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform to enter and reside in the State under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996; or
  • Persons who have permission to remain in the State as a family member of a Union citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council; or
  • Persons who have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999); or
  • Be a person in respect of whom the Minister for Justice and Law Reform has granted permission to remain following a determination not to make a deportation order under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 or;
  • Be a non-EU/non-EEA/non-UK/non-Swiss citizen legally entitled to work full time in Ireland without having to seek an employment permit. These residents may be here as the spouse/civil partner or family member of an Irish or EU citizen and will have Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM on their residence cards from Garda National Immigration Bureau.
Residency
  • Applicants must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.
Note: The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4. Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration.

I successfully completed a Springboard+ course in the past. Can I do another one?

Former participants may do another Springboard+ if they still meet the eligibility requirements. You should also note that priority will be given to those who have not previously undertaken a Springboard+ course. Please see guidelines on application from previous Springboard+ participants Here.

I have successfully completed my Springboard+ course. Can I undertake another one under the same academic year of Springboard+?

No. It is not permitted to undertake a second Springboard+ course in same academic year of Springboard+.

I am interested in a course who do I contact to get more information?

Course providers are responsible for all aspects of running their course and applicants should contact them for details on the course such as start and end dates, classes, and exam timetables.

I have failed to successfully complete more than one Springboard+ programme since 2011. Am I eligible?

No. Springboard+ participants who have been unsuccessful on more than one Springboard+ course are not permitted to undertake another course funded as part of the Springboard+ programme. Individuals in this category may be eligible to apply for a HCI Pillar 1 course and should consult the elgibility criteria for these courses.

I was eligible for a place on a Springboard+ course but my circumstances may change in the coming months. Can I continue my studies on the course if this happens?

Yes. All applicants to a Springboard+ course must be eligible at the time of course commencement but if your circumstances change you may continue to completion.

I am a Returner but I am not in receipt of a DEASP payment. Am I eligible to do a course?

Yes. Courses offered as part of Springboard+ 2020 are open to Returners. Returners must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.

As a Returner, how do I verify my eligibility?

The applicant must show that they have been a Returner for a period of 9 of the previous 12 months to be eligible. Applicants should sign a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status. This form can be downloaded Here .

I recently graduated (in the last 12 months ) from a full-time, Level 8, Honours Degree Course. Am I eligible to do a Level 9 Springboard+ course?

No. Recent Level 8 graduates must wait for a period of one year from graduation before they are eligible to do a Level 9 Springboard course. However, recent graduates may apply to do an ICT Skills Conversion or a HCI Pillar 1 course.

I am an EU citizen living outside Ireland, can I do a course?

No. All course participants must be living in the state at the time of course commencement and also meet the nationality and residency requirements.

Am I liable for any costs associated with participating on a Springboard+ course?

A 10% course fee contribution for Level 7, 8, and 9 courses is applicable for employed participants. This is payable directly to the provider. There are no tuition fees for DEASP customers or Returners but any subsequent costs such as travel and course materials must be borne by the participant. All Level 6 programmes are free to all participants.

How many Springboard+ courses can an applicant apply for?

Applications can be made online for a maximum of ten courses.

Can someone do more than one Springboard+ course at the same time?

No. Participants can only enrol on one Springboard+ course in an academic year.

When do Springboard+ courses start?

Springboard+ courses start dates vary but the majority begin from September 2020 on. The start date for each Springboard+ courses is included in each course information page on the site..

Are all Springboard+ courses a minimum of one year?

With the exception of the two-year ICT Conversion courses, Springboard+ courses, while varying in duration, are no longer than one calendar year in duration. Many courses run over one academic year. For full details please see the course information page on the site..

Can I do a Springboard+ course in any subject area?

Springboard+ courses are specifically designed to meet current and future skills needs in Ireland. They do not cover all subject areas. Courses are available in the areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT); manufacturing; construction; international financial services; hospitality; entrepreneurship; business start-up as well as in many other areas. For more information check out www.springboardcourses.ie.

I am in receipt of a DEASP payment. What happens if I get a job while participating on a Springboard+ course?

For those in receipt of a DEASP payment, taking up a suitable job offer must take precedence over participation in a Springboard+ course. However, higher education providers have been asked to respond with as much flexibility as possible in instances where participants get a job before their course is complete. Many courses are delivered flexibly online so it may be possible to combine work with continuing the course.

I have a disability and require additional accommodations; will these be available if I take up a Springboard+ course?

It is a contractual requirement of providers that they ensure there is equality of opportunity for all learners in accordance with relevant legislation. The Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 require educational institutions/service providers do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is mentioned in the information on Springboard+. What is this?

The NFQ provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality-assured and recognised at home and abroad. See www.qqi.ie for more information.

Are Springboard+ courses recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)?

All Springboard+ courses are recognised on the NFQ and lead to a higher education award at either Level 6, Level 7, Level 8 or Level 9 on the Framework.

Can I get recognition of my work-based experience and learning on Springboard+ courses?

All Springboard+ providers are required to consider applicants for recognition of prior learning (RPL) or previous experience on the part of people with or without formal qualifications. Full details are provided with course information on www.springboardcourses.ie.

Can I make a Springboard+ application directly to a participating college?

No. All applications must be made online through www.springboardcourses.ie.

I have accepted an offer of a Springboard+ place but now have changed my mind. Can I re-apply?

If a participant has a change-of-mind after accepting a course offer s/he should immediately inform the relevant higher education provider prior to starting the course. If other providers are still receiving applications for Springboard+ courses it may be possible for a participant to re-apply for another Springboard+ place. There is no guarantee that they will be accepted onto this course

If I am accepted on a Springboard+ course, do I receive any additional income support?

Participation in Springboard+ does not confer an entitlement to receive an income support payment or a student grant. In the case of the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses, participants who are in receipt of a jobseekers payment may be eligible for the Back to Education Allowance. Applicants should clarify this with their local Intreo Centre.

Do Springboard+ courses also offer a work placement?

Work placement is a feature of a significant number of courses. All full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses offer work placement. For further details consult individual course pages on the site.

Do Springboard+ courses run during the day?

The majority of Springboard+ programmes are a form of blended learning. Therefore, there could be a mixture of on and off campus, online and/or distance learning courses. Some of the ICT Skills Conversion courses are intensive one-year courses and participants may be required to commit to essentially full-time study for one year. However, there are also two-year, part-time ICT Conversion courses specifically designed to facilitate those who are already in employment. We advise all applicants to contact the course provider with any questions that they may have in relation to a particular course.

Is it possible to do a Springboard+ course online?

Many Springboard+ courses are offered online. Details of how the course is delivered is included in the information on individual courses, available on www.springboardcourses.ie but applicants should contact the course provider for details on the course.

What is a "blended" mode of delivery?

Many Springboard+ courses offer a blended mode of delivery. Blended courses are a combination of online and classroom learning experiences. Course providers can be contacted for more detail on how any one particular blended course is delivered.

What is a special purpose/minor award/ continuing professional development award?

Minor awardsprovide recognition for learners who achieve a range of learning outcomes but not the specific combination of learning outcomes required for a major award. These awards allow learners to build up units of learning at their own pace to meet their own needs.
Special-purpose awards are made for very specific purposes.
A continuing professional development award or supplemental award are for learning which is additional to a previous award. See www.nfq.ie for more information.

I want to apply for a Springboard+ course at masters level, are there any particular requirements?

Entry requirements are set by individual colleges and may include recognition of prior experience and learning (APEL). To participate in an NFQ Level 9 (Post-Graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since an applicant completed and graduated from full time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. Applicants should check with individual providers to ascertain what the eligibility criteria of a course are. Individuals in this category may be eligible to apply for a HCI Pillar 1 course and should consult the elgibility criteria for these courses.

I already have a higher education qualification. Am I eligible to apply for a Springboard+ course?

In general, yes. Note: to be eligible for a place on a Level 9 (post-graduate) Springboard+ course a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing and graduating from a full-time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This requirement only applies for Level 9 courses. Individuals in this category may be eligible to apply for a HCI Pillar 1 course and should consult the elgibility criteria for these courses.

I am completing my full-time college education this year and don’t have a history of employment. Can I do a Springboard+ course?

The target groups for Springboard+ part-time courses are people who have lost their jobs and are now unemployed and who need to upskill or reskill to help them to regain employment in the future. Springboard+ part-time courses are not intended for new or recent graduates. However, the target group for the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses are graduates (including recent graduates) with an honours degree in a cognate discipline, as well as the capacity and underlying aptitude to undergo an intensive programme of study and work-experience to acquire industry-relevant ICT and software development skills at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). A range of other education and training options are available for graduates and others who are not in the priority group for Springboard+.

I was a participant under one of the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund initiatives. Am I eligible to take up a Springboard+ course?

As long as you fulfil the eligibility criteria as set out you may apply for an approved course.

I already have a minor award at Level 7. Does that mean that I can enrol for a Springboard+ course at Level 8?

Your previous education qualifications and your work experience will be taken into consideration by each higher education provider when making a course offer. Providers will make a course offer that, in their view, best matches the applicant’s abilities and potential to successfully participate and complete their course of study. Each higher education provider will also offer a range of orientation, study and career preparation supports for Springboard+ participants.

I don’t have a Leaving Certificate. Will I meet the minimum academic requirements for a Springboard+ course?

You may; academic requirements are determined by the higher education provider. Many courses provide for recognition of prior learning or experience on the part of people without formal qualifications. Full details are provided with course information on www.springboardcourses.ie

How long do I need to be in receipt of a DEASP payment to be eligible for a Springboard+ place?

There is no requirement to be in receipt of a payment for a particular period of time prior to the start of a course. However, for ICT Skills Conversion courses, applicants will need to satisfy additional DEASP eligibility criteria that they be in receipt of an eligible DEASP for 9 of the previous 12 months. Applicants who are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment, Farm/Fish Assist, or Qualified Adults of a Working Age are not eligible for a place on two-year Part-time ICT Skills Conversions courses. Applicants must inform their local DEASP Office that they are undertaking a Springboard+ course. PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office.

What DEASP payments allow me to apply for a Springboard+ place in 2020?

Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I used to be self-employed and do not qualify for a DEASP payment. Am I eligible to apply

Yes, formerly self-employed people are eligible to apply for a Springboard+ place. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I am unemployed but I'm not in receipt of any payment, can I apply for a Springboard+ course?

If you have been signing for unemployment credits or you were previously self-employed, you may be eligible to apply for a part-time course place under Springboard+. For ICT Skills conversion courses, you do not need to be unemployed to be eligible to apply, any suitably qualified individual is eligible. However, persons who are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment, including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age, are not eligible for a place on the two-year, part-time ICT Skills Conversions courses. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I am on a Disability payment, do I need to contact anyone in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) about my Springboard+ application?

If you are in receipt of a Disability Allowance you should contact your local social welfare office. The Disability Allowance section in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will confirm if you may retain your payments while on the course. Contact details for the DEASP Disability Allowance section are: Disability Allowance Section, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Locall 1890 927 770

I am claiming a One-Parent Family Payment and meet the eligibility criteria. Do I need to apply for the Part-time Education Option (PTEO) if I enrol on a Springboard+ course?

Eligible Springboard+ applicants who are in receipt of the One-Parent Family Payment are not required to register for the Part-Time Education Option (PTEO). Only those in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance are required to apply for the PTEO.

I am dependent on a partner who receives a Jobseeker's Allowance but I am not in receipt of this payment myself. Am I eligible to apply?

The spouse/partner of a person in receipt of a Jobseeker's payment is referred to as a Qualified Adult (QA), which is an eligible payment (with the exception of the two-year ICT Conversion courses). Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

If I am accepted on a Springboard+ course, do I receive any additional income support?

Participation in Springboard+ does not confer an entitlement to receive an income support payment, a student grant or the Back to Education Allowance. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I am unemployed. If I am offered a Springboard+ course, do I need to inform my local DEASP office?

Yes. If you are thinking of taking up a Springboard+ course, you should contact your local DEASP office and let them know of your plans, and to check whether you need to go through any further steps with that Departments’ services. For example, if in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance you are required to apply for registration on the Part Time Education Option (PTEO) if taking up a part-time Springboard+ course. The PTEO form entitled ‘PTEO – Springboard+ 2020’ can be downloaded from here. An applicant for the one-year full-time ICT Conversion courses, who is in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance for at least nine of the previous twelve months, will need to apply to their DEASP office to retain their income support under a bespoke version of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office. PUP recipients are eligible for Springboard part-time courses (part-time courses less than one year in duration).

My DEASP payment is due to change shortly from Jobseeker's Benefit to Jobseeker's Allowance. If I take up a Springboard+ course, will this change to my DEASP payment still occur?

Participation on a Springboard+ course does not have any bearing on the duration of a social welfare payment. Participants must continue to satisfy the conditions of their payment. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

Does participation on a Springboard+ course guarantee continuation of my DEASP payment?

Participation on a Springboard+ course does not provide any guarantee of continuation of a DEASP payment. You should contact your local DEASP office in this regard.

If I do not complete a Springboard+ course, will this affect my DEASP payment?

Social Protection entitlements are not connected to the outcome of a Springboard+ course.

Is the Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) the same as Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)?

No, BTEA applies to full-time education. Springboard+ participants on part-time courses are not eligible for the BTEA.

I am an eligible worker under one of the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund initiatives. Am I eligible to take up a Springboard+ course?

As long as a person fulfils the eligibility criteria as set out s/he may take up the offer of a course.

I have a job two days a week, and am in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance - am I eligible to apply for a Springboard+ course?

If you are in receipt of an eligible payment you may apply. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I am in receipt of a DEASP payment and have been accepted onto a Springboard+ course, do I need to tell my local social welfare office?

If you are in receipt of a DEASP payment you must contact your local DEASP office before enrolling in the course. What follows then will depend on whether you are taking up a part-time Springboard+ course or an ICT Skills Conversion course. For part-time Springboard+ course participants on a jobseeker payment, you should make an application to retain your payment under the Part Time Education Option (PTEO). The PTEO form entitled ‘PTEO – Springboard+ 2020’ is available for download and completion here. Under the PTEO you may only retain such payments for the duration of time that an underlying entitlement to a payment exists. For participants on the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses, you may be eligible to retain your payment under the Back to Education Allowance if you have been in receipt of the jobseekers payment for a minimum qualifying period. See the 'Am I eligible' section of this website for further information. PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office. PUP recipients are eligible for Springboard part-time courses (part-time courses less than one year in duration).

I have a technical query, who can I contact?


HCI Pillar One FAQs


What are the residency and nationality requirements that Returners and Employed applicants must meet to be eligible to apply to HCI Pillar one graduate conversion courses?

Applicants who are normally resident in Ireland should also meet the nationality and EU residency rules. They are:
Nationality
  • Applications for admission to HCI graduate conversion courses should be accepted from suitably qualified applicants who hold EU/EEA/UK/Swiss nationality in their own right or who are:
  • Persons who have official refugee status in this State. Time spent from date of official lodgement of application papers for refugee status will be included for the purpose of meeting the three-year residency requirement, or
  • Family members of a refugee who are granted permission by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform to enter and reside in the State under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996; or
  • Persons who have permission to remain in the State as a family member of a Union citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council; or
  • Persons who have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999); or
  • Be a person in respect of whom the Minister for Justice and Law Reform has granted permission to remain following a determination not to make a deportation order under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 or;
  • Be a non-EU/non-EEA/non-UK non-Swiss citizen legally entitled to work full time in Ireland without having to seek an employment permit. These residents may be here as the spouse/civil partner or family member of an Irish or EU citizen and will have Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM on their residence cards from Garda National Immigration Bureau.
  • Applicants must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme
Note: The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4. Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration.

I am interested in a course who do I contact to get more information?

Course providers are responsible for all aspects of running their course and applicants should contact them for details on the course such as start and end dates, classes, and exam timetables.

I am eligible for a place on an HCI graduate conversion course, but my circumstances may change in the coming months. Can I continue my studies on the course if this happens?

Yes. All applicants to an HCI Pillar one graduate conversion course must be eligible at the time of course commencement but if your circumstances change you may continue to completion.

I am a Returner, but I am not in receipt of a DEASP payment. Am I eligible to do a course?

Yes. Courses offered as part of HCI Pillar 1 2020 are open to Returners. Returners must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.

As a Returner, how do I verify my eligibility?

The applicant must show that they have been a Returner for a period of 12 months to be eligible. Applicants should sign a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status. This form can be downloaded Here .

I recently graduated (in the last 12 months) from a full-time, Level 8, Honours Degree Course. Am I eligible to do a Level 9 HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course?

Yes, recent graduates with at least level 8 qualification in a relevant subject (2020) are eligible to apply and will be required to pay 10% of the tuition fee. Evidence of date and qualification received will be required as proof of eligibility.

Those in employment are also eligible and will be required to pay 10% of the tuition fees.

I was eligible for a place on a Springboard+ course but my circumstances may change in the coming months. Can I continue my studies on the course if this happens?

Yes. All applicants to a Springboard+ course must be eligible at the time of course commencement but if your circumstances change you may continue to completion.

As a Returner, how do I verify my eligibility?

The applicant must show that they have been a Returner for a period of 9 of the previous 12 months to be eligible. Applicants should sign a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status. This form can be downloaded Here .

I recently graduated (in the last 12 months ) from a full-time, Level 8, Honours Degree Course. Am I eligible to do a Level 9 Springboard+ course?

No. Recent Level 8 graduates must wait for a period of one year from graduation before they are eligible to do a Level 9 Springboard course. However, recent graduates may apply to do an ICT Skills Conversion course.

I am an EU citizen living outside Ireland, can I do a course?

No. All course participants must be living in the state at the time of course commencement and also meet the nationality and residency requirements.

Am I liable for any costs associated with participating on a HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course?

A 10% course fee contribution for graduate conversion courses is applicable for employed participants and recent graduates. The formerly self-employed not in receipt of a DEASP payment must also pay 10%. This is payable directly to the provider. There are no tuition fees for DEASP customers or Returners but any subsequent costs such as travel, and course materials must be borne by the participant.

How many HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses can an applicant apply for

Applications can be made online for a maximum of 10 courses.

When do HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversation courses start?

HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses vary in start date, but the majority begin from September 2020 onwards. The start date for each graduate conversion courses is included in each course information page on the site..

Are all HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversation courses a minimum of one year?

While the majority of courses run over one academic year, a number of courses run over two academic years. For full details please see the course information page on the site..

Can I do an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course in any subject area?

HCI graduate conversion courses are specifically designed to meet current and future skills needs in Ireland. They do not cover all subject areas. 93 courses are available in the following areas: Environmental Science, Engineering and Manufacturing, Construction including Building Information Management and Sustainable Building; other Business Information Systems, Data Analytics, Data Scientist, Financial Analysis, Medical Technology, Biopharmaceutical Sciences/ Technology, Validation, Automation, for graduates to address high skill needs areas. For more information check out www.springboardcourses.ie.

I am in receipt of a DEASP payment. What happens if I get a job while participating on an HCI Pillar one graduate conversion course?

For those in receipt of a DEASP payment, taking up a suitable job offer must take precedence over participation in an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses. However, higher education providers have been asked to respond with as much flexibility as possible in instances where participants get a job before their course is complete. For example, a college may offer participants the option to study during evenings or at weekends.

I have a disability and require additional accommodations; will these be available if I take up an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course?

It is a contractual requirement of providers that they ensure there is equality of opportunity for all learners in accordance with relevant legislation. The Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 require educational institutions/service providers do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is mentioned in the information on HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses. What is this??

The NFQ provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality-assured and recognised at home and abroad. See www.qqi.ie for more information.

Are HCI pillar 1 graduate conversion courses recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)?

All HCI pillar 1 graduate conversion courses are recognised on the NFQ and lead to a higher education award at either Level 8 or Level 9 on the Framework.

Can I get recognition of my work-based experience and learning on HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses?

All HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course providers are required to consider applicants for recognition of prior learning (RPL) or previous experience on the part of people with or without formal qualifications. Full details are provided with course information on www.springboardcourses.ie.

Can I make an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course application directly to a participating college?

No. All applications must be made online through www.springboardcourses.ie.

I have accepted an offer of an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion place but now have changed my mind. Can I re-apply

If a participant has a change-of-mind after accepting a course offer s/he should immediately inform the relevant higher education provider prior to starting the course. If other providers are still receiving applications for HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses, it may be possible for a participant to re-apply for another HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion

If I am accepted on an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course, do I receive any additional income ?

Participation in HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course does not confer an entitlement to receive an income support payment or a student grant.

Do HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses also offer a work placement?

Work placement is a feature of a significant number of courses. For further details consult individual course pages on the site.

Do HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses run during the day?

The majority of HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses are a form of blended learning. Therefore, there could be a mixture of on and off campus, online and/or distance learning courses. We advise all applicants to contact the course provider with any questions that they may have in relation to a particular course.

I already have a higher education qualification. Am I eligible to apply for an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course?

In general, yes. Note: to be eligible for a place on a Level 8 or 9 HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course you must have a major award at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications or Recognised Prior Learning equivalent to Level 8 (consult with the course provider).

How long do I need to be in receipt of a social protection payment to be eligible for an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course place?

Those in receipt of an eligible payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) must be in receipt of this payment for 9 of the previous 12 months. Applicants must inform their local DEASP Office that they are undertaking an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course. PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office. PUP recipients are eligible for Springboard part-time courses (part-time courses less than one year in duration).

What social protection payments allow me to apply for a in 2020?

Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I used to be self-employed and do not qualify for a social protection payment. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, formerly self-employed people are eligible to apply for an HCI graduate conversion course place. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I am on a Disability payment, do I need to contact anyone in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) about my HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion application?

If you are in receipt of a Disability Allowance you should contact your local social welfare office. The Disability Allowance section in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will confirm if you may retain your payments while on the course. Contact details for the Department of Social Protection Disability Allowance section are: Disability Allowance Section, Social Welfare Services Office, Ballinalee Road, Longford LoCall no. 1890927770

If I am accepted on an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course, do I receive any additional income support?

Participation in HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses does not confer an entitlement to receive an income support payment, a student grant, or the Back to Education Allowance. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility. PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office. PUP recipients are eligible for Springboard part-time courses (part-time courses less than one year in duration).

I am unemployed. If I am offered an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course, do I need to inform my local Social Welfare office?

Yes. If you are thinking of taking up a HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course you should contact your local social welfare office before enrolling on the course to let them know of your plans, and to check whether you need to go through any further steps with that Departments’ services.

An applicant for a full-time HCI Conversion course, who is receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance for at least nine of the previous twelve months, will need to apply to their Social Protection office to retain their income support under a bespoke version of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) PUP recipients may be eligible for the BTEA when applying to the one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses and should discuss this with their INTREO office. PUP recipients are eligible for Springboard part-time courses (part-time courses less than one year in duration).

My Social welfare payment is due to change shortly from Jobseeker's Benefit to Jobseeker's Allowance. If I take up an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course, will this change to my Social Protection payment still occur?

Participation on an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course does not have any bearing on the duration of a social welfare payment. Participants must continue to satisfy the conditions of their payment. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

Does participation on an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course guarantee continuation of my social protection payment?

Participation on an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course does not provide any guarantee of continuation of a Social Protection payment.

If I do not complete an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course will this affect my Social Protection payment?

Social Protection entitlements are not connected to the outcome of an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course.

I have a job two days a week, and am in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance - am I eligible to apply for a HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course?

If you are in receipt of an eligible payment you may apply. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.

I have a technical query, who can I contact?