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 is Springboard+?

Springboard+ is a Government initiative that aims to reskill or upskill people in areas where job opportunities are growing in Ireland by providing free or heavily subsidised places on selected higher education courses.

Do I need to pay fees to take a Springboard+ course?

If you meet the criteria for either the Returner or Unemployed category, your fees will be covered in full, regardless of the course’s NFQ level. If you are employed and you are applying for an NFQ level 6 course, your fees are fully funded, but for levels 7 to 9 you or your employer would need to pay 10% of the fee. If you are in receipt of the Working Family Payment (WFP) on course commencement, the 10% course fee contribution is not applicable.

What is the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)?

The NFQ provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality-assured and recognised both in Ireland and abroad. There are 10 levels on the NFQ, Springboard+ courses can be anywhere from level 6 to level 9. You can read more about the NFQ at https://nfq.qqi.ie/

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

All Springboard+ courses are either recognised on the NFQ or are aligned to the framework.

When do Springboard+ courses start?

Springboard+ courses have different start dates but the majority begin from September onwards. The start date for each Springboard+ course is included on the individual course information page. Further information is available from the course provider.

Are all Springboard+ courses one year long?

Courses vary in duration but the majority last a maximum of one year. The exception to this is part-time ICT Skills Conversion courses, which last 2 years. For full details please see the course information page.

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

Springboard+ courses are specifically designed to meet current and future skills needs in Ireland, so they do not cover all subject areas. Courses are usually available in the areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT); manufacturing; construction; international financial services; hospitality; entrepreneurship; business start-up, as well as others. For a full overview, see the course search page.

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

No. All applications must be made online through the Springboard website.

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.

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 course pages but applicants should contact the course provider for additional information on the course.

What is a "blended" mode of delivery?

Blended courses are a combination of online and classroom learning experiences. Many Springboard+ courses offer a blended mode of delivery. You can contact the course provider directly for more details on how any one particular blended course is delivered.

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

Minor awards provide 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 am interested in a particular course. Who do I contact to get more information?

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

I have a complaint about a Springboard+ course I took/am taking, who can I contact?

If you are/were unhappy with the course you are/were enrolled on, you should first raise the issue informally with the course provider. If you are unhappy with the outcome of this, you should raise a formal complaint with the provider. Each provider will have its own formal complaints procedure outlined on their website.

I have completed a Springboard+ course in previous academic years. Can I do another one?

Yes, but there are some restrictions:

  • You can take a maximum of three Springboard+ courses in any five-year period. After that, you will need to wait 2 years before enrolling on another Springboard+ course.
  • If you have failed to successfully complete two Springboard+ courses in the past, you are ineligible to apply again for a period of 2 years.
  • If you have taken two courses in the past but were unsuccessful in the second, you are ineligible to apply again for a period of 2 years.

In order for the above to be assessed, you will need to have fully completed any Springboard+ course you enrolled on in the past - i.e. have completed all assignments, received a final grade, and had your status updated to “Complete” by the course provider. Until then you will not be able to apply for another Springboard+ course.
You should also note that priority will be given to applicants who are long-term unemployed and to those who have not taken a Springboard+ course before.

I failed to complete a Springboard+ course in the past due to extenuating circumstances. Can this be taken into consideration?

If you failed to successfully complete a course in the past due to extenuating circumstances, a course provider can choose to waive the above restrictions and offer you a place on their course. This would be at their own discretion and they may ask for documentary evidence as proof of your extenuating circumstances.

I completed a Springboard+ course in the last academic year, but my status has not yet been updated to “Complete”. What should I do?

The course provider is responsible for updating your status, as they will first need to verify your final grade. If you believe they should have already updated your status, you should contact them directly for assistance. The HEA does not have access to your grades and is therefore unable to update your status on behalf of a course provider.

Can I take a second Springboard+ course in the same academic year?

No, you cannot take a second Springboard+ course in the same academic year.

What is an academic year?

An academic year begins in Autumn, usually September, and ends in late Spring.

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. You need to be eligible on the date the course starts but if your circumstances change after that, you can continue on the course. You will not be asked to repay any fees paid on your behalf.

I am a Returner but I am in receipt of a welfare payment. Does that make me ineligible?

Yes, Returners cannot be in-receipt of a payment from the Department of Social Protection in order to qualify for a Springboard+ course

How do I prove I am a Returner?

You should download a declaration form and sign it before a Commissioner for Oaths / Peace Commissioner.

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

No. You need to be living in the Republic of Ireland at the time of course commencement, as well as meet the nationality and residency requirements.

I am living outside of the Republic of Ireland working in service to the State / I am living outside of the Republic of Ireland, accompanying my spouse who is working in service to the State (e.g. a diplomat). Am I eligible?

No. You need to be living in the Republic of Ireland at the time of course commencement, as well as meet the nationality and residency requirements.

I am a returning Irish emigrant, do I need to meet the residency requirements?

Yes, you will need to have lived in the EU/EEA/UK/Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years. If you are a returning Irish emigrant who does not meet this requirement, you are ineligible for Springboard+ funding.

How many Springboard+ courses can I apply for at the same time?

You can apply for a maximum of 10 courses at the same time.

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

No, you can only take one Springboard+ course in an academic year.

If I accept an offer of a place on a course, can I still be offered places on other Springboard+ courses I have applied to?

No. Once you accept an offer of a place, your other applications will be automatically cancelled, so you should consider your course choices carefully before making a final decision.

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

If you change your mind after accepting a course offer you should immediately contact the course provider before the start of the course. If other providers are still receiving applications for Springboard+ courses it may be possible for you to re-apply for another Springboard+ place. There is no guarantee that you will be accepted onto another course.

If I meet the eligibility requirements, am I guaranteed a place on a course?

No, places are limited and many courses receive more applications than there are places to offer. Eligible applicants who are in receipt of a qualifying Social Welfare payment take priority over eligible applicants.

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 a 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.

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 eligibility criteria for these courses.

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, for the majority of courses you need to wait for one year from your graduation date before you are eligible to do a Level 9 Springboard course.

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; those in employment looking to update their skills and those who wish to re-enter the workforce after a period away and require new skills to do so. 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 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. If there is a course you are interested in you should contact the provider directly and they will advise on the course requirements.

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

All Springboard+ 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 on RPL for individual courses are provided with course information.

I have been asked to complete “First Registration” / “Re-Registration”, what does this mean?

First Registration: A substantial amount of time may have passed between when you applied for your course and when it actually started. Because of this, we ask Springboard+ participants to re-confirm their eligibility before we make a fee payment on their behalf. As part of this process, you will need to confirm that you met the eligibility criteria on the date the course started and, if appropriate, provide updated documentation as proof. This is done through your account on the www.springboardcourses.ie website. It is important that you complete this step ASAP when you are asked to do so. Failure to do so will mean losing your place on the course. Re-Registration: For courses that take place over two semesters, we ask applicants to complete Re-Registration. You do not need to provide any additional documentation during this step, you simply need to confirm for us that you are still actively participating on your course. This is to avoid us paying a second fee instalment for any students who may have since dropped out of the course. Again, it is important that you complete this step ASAP when you are asked to do so. Failure to do so will mean losing your place on the course.

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

Taking up a suitable job offer should always take priority over your Springboard+ course. However, course 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.

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.

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

For part-time Springboard+ courses, 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 1 year ICT Skills Conversion courses, applicants will need to satisfy additional DSP eligibility criteria that they have been in receipt of an eligible DSP for at least 9 of the previous 12 months. For those who have transferred to another payment from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), time spent on PUP will satisfy this condition. 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 DSP Office that they are undertaking a Springboard+ course.

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

Yes, formerly self-employed people are eligible to apply for a Springboard+ place, you do not need to be in receipt of a DSP payment.

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

No, but ff 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+.

I am on the Community Employment Scheme; the Rural Social Scheme; Tús or in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. Can I apply for a Springboard+ course?

Yes, you can apply for Springboard+ but if offered a place, you will need the approval of a Department of Social Protection Case Officer before you accept. If approved, your course fees will be covered in full.

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

If you are in receipt of a Disability Allowance you should contact your local Department of Social Protection office to discuss your situation. The Disability Allowance section in the Department of Social Protection will confirm if you may retain your payments while on the course. Contact details for the DSP 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?

Yes. 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).

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.

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

Yes. If you are thinking of taking up a Springboard+ course, you should contact your local DSP 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+ 2022 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 DSP office to retain their income support under a bespoke version of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).

My DSP 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 DSP payment still occur?

Participation on a Springboard+ course does not have any influence on the duration of a social welfare payment. Participants must continue to satisfy the conditions of their payment.

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

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

If I do not complete a Springboard+ course, will this affect my DSP 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 have a job two days a week, and am in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance - am I eligible to apply for a Springboard+ course?

Yes, as long as you are in receipt of an eligible payment, you can apply. For the purposes of your Springboard+ application, please apply under the category of Unemployed on your application form.

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

Yes, if you are in receipt of a DSP payment you should contact your local DSP 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+ 2022 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.

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:
To be considered eligible for a place on a HCI Pillar 1 course, you will need to
  1. be living fulltime in the Republic of Ireland
  2. have your own, valid PPS Number
  3. meet the nationality/visa requirement
    • You are an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss national or
    • You have Stamp 4/Stamp 4 EU FAM, Stamp 5, or Stamp 6 on your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card. This includes those resident here on Stamp 4 on the basis of:
      • having permission to remain in Ireland as a family member of an EU citizen or;
      • having official Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland /being here on the basis of refugee family reunification or;
      • having been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999) or;
      • having permission to remain following the Minister’s decision not to make a deportation order
  4. have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK, Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
    • Any period the Department of Justice can count towards Citizenship can count towards residency (except stamp 2 & 2 a).
    • If you have Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland, residency is counted from the date you applied for International Protection.

    Note: The process for determining eligibility is undertaken by the third level institution to which the student is attending.

  5. International Protection Act
    • The eligibility for Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 will be expanded for the 2022/2023 academic year to also include qualified persons. The term “qualified person” refers to someone who has been granted protection in Ireland under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015 in accordance with the EU Temporary Protection Directive 2001/55/EC. In applying under the International Protection Act only the letter that the Dept. of Justice issue to those granted Temporary Protection in Ireland will provide documentary proof.
    • In line with the European Council Decision of 4 March, the Irish Government is applying the rights afforded under the International Protection Act, 2015 to the following qualified persons in Ireland:
      • (a)Ukrainian nationals residing in the Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
      • (b)Third Country Nationals who were granted permanent residency rights in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
      • Stateless persons, and nationals of third countries other than the Ukraine, who benefited from international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February, 2022; and,
      • Family members of the persons referred to in (a) and (b)

    Note: The process for determining eligibility is undertaken by the third level institution to which the student is attending.

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 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 (2021 or 2022) 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.

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. There are no tuition fees for DSP 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 conversion courses start?

HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion courses vary in start date, but the majority begin from September 2022 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 conversion 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. 89 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 DSP 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 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.

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 Social Protection (DSP) must be in receipt of this payment for 9 of the previous 12 months. Applicants must inform their local DSP Office that they are undertaking an HCI Pillar 1 graduate conversion course.

What social protection payments allow me to apply for a course in 2022?

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 (DSP) 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 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.

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)

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?