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Admissions Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction


(1) The evaluation of applicants and the enrolment of prospective students as registered students from the first stage of the Hibernia College student life cycle including recruitment, application, and entry criteria. The policy sets out the overarching principles adopted by Hibernia College and underpins all procedures relevant to the admissions process.


To whom does the policy apply?

(2) This policy applies to applicants to all Hibernia College programmes leading to awards on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

(3) This policy can be applied, as required and as appropriate, to other programmes at Hibernia College.

Who is responsible for implementing the policy?

(4) The Registrar is ultimately responsible for the decision to offer a place to an applicant and to register a student.

(5) This policy and related procedures are the responsibility of the Registrar, who consults with the relevant Head of School/Programme Director, or nominee, as required.

(6) Any third party nominated to conduct any part of the Admission Offers Procedure (i.e. occupational health screening) reports to the Registrar or nominee. Where a third party is nominated to conduct any part of the procedure, a contract or memorandum of association exists describing the relationship.


(7) Prospective Student

(8) Applicant

(9) Registered Student

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Section 2 - Context

Legal or Regulatory Context

Quality Assurance Guidelines

(10) This policy is designed with regard to both the European Standards and Guidelines and QQI’s Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines requirement for the College to have and to implement a policy for all stages of the student journey.

Access, Transfer and Progression

(11) This policy should be read in conjunction with the College’s Access, Transfer and Progression Policy as it forms part of the College’s response to the QQI Policy Restatement: Policy and Criteria for Access, Transfer and Progression in Relation to Learners for Providers of Further and Higher Education and Training.

Protection of Enrolled Learners (PEL)

(12) This policy, in respect of provision of information to prospective students, is designed with regard to QQI’s Protection of Enrolled Learners (PEL): Protocols for the Implementation of Part 6 of the 2012 Act Guidelines for Providers.

Professional Regulation

(13) Where a programme is designed to lead to registration as a member of a regulated profession, the relevant admissions procedure is built to meet the specific entry criteria set out by the professional regulator. However, admission to a programme of study cannot guarantee registration as a member of a regulated profession and applicants are solely responsible for ensuring they meet all relevant requirements.

Garda Vetting

(14) This policy is designed with regard to the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, which make it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable persons to be vetted by An Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau (NVB).

(15) The Act also creates offences and penalties for persons who fail to comply with its provisions.

(16) The Act stipulates that a relevant organisation shall not permit any person to undertake relevant work or activities on behalf of the organisation, unless the organisation receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person.

Effective Practice Recommendations

Teaching Council

(17) The College has adapted the Teaching Council’s Procedures – Fit and Proper Assessments and Guidelines – Fit and Proper Person Assessments to inform our approach to the conduct of Garda Vetting Committee meetings (see Part D – Garda Vetting).

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Section 3 - Policy Statements

Part A - Principles for Student Recruitment

Accurate Public Information 

(18) Clear, up-to-date and accurate information is communicated in line with the Public Information, Promotion and the Recruitment of Students Policy and resources published about:

  1. Programmes: details of the curriculum, including assessment and an indicative programme schedule
  2. Application procedures: deadlines, indicative start dates, application forms and supporting documentation
  3. Entry criteria and procedures for all programmes
  4. Programme accreditation details, including any academic and professional regulatory approval and requirements for students
  5. Award details: the awarding body, NFQ level (if any) and award title
  6. Details of the arrangements for the Protection of Enrolled Learners
  7. Fees associated with the programme, including supplemental fees for services other than tuition

Impartial Advice

(19) Responses to enquiries from prospective students and members of the public are:

  1. Honest, factual and up to date
  2. An aid to inform decision-making
  3. Timely

Part B - Principles for Application and Admissions

(20) Applications and admission to our programmes are based on:

  1. Clear entry criteria
    1. Academic entry requirements are kept up to date and at a minimum benchmarked against national and relevant international standards for the disciplinary area. The programme’s entry requirements incorporate the requirements for professional registration where a programme leads to professional registration.
  2. Fair entry procedures
    1. Entry procedures are fair and are only based on the entry criteria for the programme.
  3. Equality of opportunity
    1. All applicants have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their suitability to enrol on their desired programme.
    2. Applicants are assessed on the attainment of the entry criteria only and do not discriminate on any other grounds.
  4. Reasonable expectation of success
    1. Applicants are offered places where, based on the outcome of the application procedures, there is a reasonable expectation that they may successfully complete the programme.
  5. Applicant responsibility
    1. The applicant is responsible for informing themselves about:
      1. The programme
      2. Hibernia College
      3. The entry criteria
      4. The workload and commitment required to complete the programme 
      5. Fees and associated terms and conditions
    2. The applicant is responsible for providing verifiable evidence that they meet all the entry criteria.
    3. The applicant is responsible for making themselves available to be contacted by the College in relation to their application.
  6. Repeat applications
    1. We normally accept one application per intake, per programme.
    2. If an applicant has previously exhausted their attempts on the programme to which they are applying, their application will be refused.

Part C - Entry Criteria

(21) Programmes have specific entry criteria set out in the relevant approved programme document. In addition, there are general entry criteria that apply to all our programmes. Applicants must provide verifiable evidence that they:

  1. Meet all entry criteria
    1. As set out in the relevant programme document and these regulations
  2. Meet personal specification requirements
    1. As part of the entry procedures, applicants must (through their application and/or interview) demonstrate that they meet the following specifications:
      1. Familiarity with the prospective field of study: applicants have researched the subject matter relevant to the programme and are familiar with the academic content and demands of the programme
      2. Familiarity with and motivation to join a profession: where professional registration is a goal of a programme, applicants have researched current issues and developments in the relevant profession. They are motivated to become a member of the profession
      3. Other competencies: applicants may have to demonstrate competencies specified in the entry criteria and invitation to interview details
  3. Good standing
    1. Applicants must commit to staying in good standing with the College, which means ongoing compliance with the policies and procedures that apply to students.

Part D - Garda Vetting

Public Trust and Confidence

(22) Hibernia College offers a number of educational and other programmes that require students to undertake placements, with external agencies, which will bring them into contact with children and vulnerable adults and in which they will assume positions of trust.

(23) To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust and confidence, Hibernia College is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes.


(24) All offers for programmes which require students to undertake placements, bringing them into contact with children and/ or vulnerable adults will be conditional on the successful completion of the Garda Vetting process.

(25) Accordingly, Hibernia College requires students to be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau of An Garda Síochána before their registration on the applicable programme is deemed complete.

(26) The College reserves the right to suspend and/or withdraw a student from the programme in accordance with the terms of this policy and the Garda Vetting Procedure.

Vetting Disclosures

(27) Vetting disclosure may contain the following types of information:

  1. Statement of specified information (if any) relating to that person which is information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person
  2. Particulars of a criminal record (if any) or prosecution pending
  3. Statement that there is no criminal record or specified information

The College Garda Vetting Committee

(28) The College Garda Vetting Committee is responsible for considering cases where criminal convictions are returned on the Garda Vetting disclosure and making a decision on the suitability of the applicant for the programme.

(29) The Garda Vetting Committee consists of the Registrar, or nominee, and two of their nominees.

Work placement

(30) Hibernia College will not permit any person to undertake relevant work placement or activities on behalf of the College unless the College receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person.