Professional Accreditation of Programmes

Professional accreditation for any profession is a judgement as to whether a programme prepares one for entry into that profession. It is distinct from academic accreditation which is based on the suitability of a programme for the award of a degree/diploma.

All teacher education programmes in Ireland that led to registration must have professional accreditation.

The Teaching Council is the statutory body charged with setting the standards for entry to the teaching profession in Ireland and ensuring that these standards are upheld. The Council’s professional accreditation offers an opportunity for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) operating in a variety of contexts to demonstrate that they are providing quality programmes of teacher education which are designed and delivered in line with the Council’s standards for professional accreditation.

The first cycle of review and accreditation began in 2011. It reviewed programmes of ITE by sector: primary, post-primary, and further education. 

In preparation for the next cycle of the review and accreditation process, the Council reviewed its policy on standards for programmes of ITE, which was informed by an extensive consultation process with all key stakeholders and commissioned research on school placement.

On 11 November 2020, the Teaching Council launched the revised standards for programmes of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education and the revised Teaching Council Curricular Subject Registration Requirements (Post-primary). 

All new primary and post-primary programmes submitted to the Council for accreditation must now be in alignment with Céim. Existing programmes of ITE shall be realigned in accordance with Céim for commencement in September 2022 for first year student teachers.

If you would like to submit a new programme for accreditation, or if your HEI is due for review and accreditation under Cycle 2, please contact us at ite@teachingcouncil.ie for information.

Further Education

In accordance with Route Three of the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations, 2016 and the Teaching Council [Registration] (Amendment) Regulations 2016, with effect from 25 July 2016, applicants for registration for the further education sector, must attain a Council approved further education teacher education qualification.

The Teaching Council has also published Further Education: General and Programme Requirements for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Qualifications. These are used by the Council when assessing and accrediting further education teacher education programmes being offered by HEIs. A pro forma is used by HEIs in submitting further education programmes for accreditation.

The first cycle of review and accreditation has now been completed for all programmes, and reports have been issued to the HEIs.