Hibernia College Quality Framework Glossary

The Hibernia College Quality Framework Glossary is a list of terms and their standard definitions for policies, procedures and guidelines. Unless separately defined or the context of the policy requires otherwise then the following definitions apply to each policy.

 It is expected that the glossary will be built up over time and documents will gradually be converted to incorporate standard definitions as part of the normal review process.

Click on a letter from A to Z below to view Glossary items that begin with the selected letter, or use the scroll bar located on the right hand side of this page to browse the entire list.

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  • Academic good practice

    This refers to the process of completing academic work independently, honestly and in an appropriate academic style using good referencing and acknowledging all sources.

  • Academic Misconduct

    Academic Misconduct is any form of cheating or other attempt to seek an unfair reward for the amount of genuine effort put into an assessment task or an advantage over other students.

  • Acceptable use

    Acceptable use refers to the rules and guidelines outlined by the College to set out acceptable use of College ICT resources.

  • Alumnus

    A Hibernia College graduate who is also a member of the Alumni Association.

  • Appeal

    An appeal is where a learner formally requests that the decision or judgement of a lower authority is referred to a higher authority (i.e., the Appeals Committee) for the reconsideration of the decision or judgement in the light of concerns expressed by the appellant under one or more of the three grounds of appeal.

  • Applicant

    An applicant is a person who has submitted an application to undertake a programme of study with the College.

  • Articulation Arrangement

    A process whereby students who satisfy academic criteria on one programme are automatically entitled (on academic grounds) to be admitted to an advanced stage of a different programme of study leading to an award

  • Assessment

    The assessment of a student’s learning means inference (for example, judgement or estimation or evaluation) of a student’s knowledge, skill or competence by comparison with a standard and based on appropriate evidence. This includes self-assessment.

  • Award

    The overall achievement/qualification that a student receives on completion of a programme

  • Award Standards

    An award standard is a threshold award standard as constructed by the 2012 Act. ‘They describe standards of knowledge, skill or competence to be acquired, and where appropriate, demonstrated, by a learner before an award may be made.’ (Quality and Qualifications Ireland, 2014)

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  • Blended Learning

    QQI adopted a Garrison and Kanuka (2004) definition of blended learning, which defines it as ‘the integration of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences’. Hibernia College complements this broad definition by an understanding that blended learning should be characterised as falling along a continuum as proposed by Jones (2006). Such a conception can accommodate a range of blended learning approaches.

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  • Collaborative Provision

    This refers to two or more providers being involved by formal agreement in the provision of a programme of higher education and training.

  • Criminal Offence Data

    Criminal Offence Data is a type of data in its own right that can only be processed by an organisation that has legal authority to do so. This is information about criminal allegations, proceedings or convictions as outlined under Article 10 of the GDPR.

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy

    An article of Michael Young’s in 2014 discussed the concepts of curriculum and pedagogy. This extract has been used to present a way of thinking about curriculum and pedagogy when designing a programme: ‘…in designing curricula…an analytical distinction between the two concepts… [curriculum/pedagogy dichotomy] may be useful. …[T]he concept “curriculum” refers to the knowledge that it is hoped [learners] will acquire by the end of a course. In contrast, pedagogy refers to the activities that teachers devise for their [learners] to enable them to acquire the knowledge specified by the curriculum.’ (Michael Young (2014) What is a curriculum and what can it do?, The Curriculum Journal, 25(1), pp.7-13. DOI: 10.1080/09585176.2014.902526?)

  • Cyclical Review

    Cyclical review is an element of the broader quality frameworks for higher education. It provides a model whereby a college self-reflects on its activities and their effectiveness, in particular, looking at the effectiveness of its quality assurance policies and procedures. The self-reflection or self-evaluation is documented, and this forms the basis of an external review by QQI or any other relevant external evaluating body.

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  • Data Controller

    A data controller is a person or body who determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. In this regard, the College is the Data Controller. However, this responsibility extends to all persons using and processing personal data in relation to their work or studies with the College, where those persons determine the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

  • Data Processor

    A data processor is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

  • Data Subject

    A data subject is an identifiable natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, from a dataset. As a data controller, the College and members of the College community are responsible for ensuring any processing of that personal data occurs in line with the principles at set out in this policy.

  • Decision-Making Authority

    Deliberative decision-making bodies are required to consider evidence and make formal judgements according to specified criteria. 

    Certain formal committees of the College have formal deliberative, decision-making powers delegated to them by the Academic Board. These bodies include but are not limited to:

    • Board of Examiners
    • Discipline Committee
    • Complaints Committee

    Certain officers of the College have formal decision-making powers arising from their functions. These officers include, but are not limited to, the:

    • Academic Dean
    • Registrar
    • Academic Lead

    In some instances, specific members of staff or faculty are empowered to make decisions about students’ academic performance (such as assessors). These individuals are considered to have assessment decision-making authority under this policy.

    It shall be at the sole discretion of the College, normally represented by the Academic Dean, to determine whether any committees, officers or individuals not mentioned in this section have decision-making authority.

  • Deferral

    A deferral is a temporary suspension of studies granted to a registered student following consideration of a request by the student. It may only be granted to a student after the end of the cooling-off period.

  • Disability or Long-Term Illness

    Hibernia College adopts the definition of disability as set out in the Equal Status Act 2000, which can be summarised as:

    i. The total or partial absence of a student’s bodily or mental functions, including the absence, malformation, or disfigurement of a part of the student’s body

    ii. A diagnosed chronic or potentially chronic disease

    iii. A condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction, or a condition which affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour

  • Due Diligence

    Undertaking enquiries about a proposed programme’s regulatory context and viability, particularly in the context of a prospective collaborative and/or transnational arrangement to inform a decision whether to proceed or not

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  • Erasmus+

    Erasmus+ is the EU programme for mobility in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014−2020 and all successor programmes.

    (Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing 'Erasmus+': the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC)

  • Extenuating Circumstances

    Extenuating Circumstances are unexpected factors or emergencies arising close to or during a summative assessment event (normally up to three days in advance) having a material effect on the student’s preparation for or performance in that summative assessment task, where the student can provide evidence for them.

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  • Fitness to practise

    Hibernia College defines fitness to practise as having the competence, character and health required to safely and effectively undertake and complete a programme that includes professional practice or placement.

  • Franchising

    The process by which a degree-awarding institution agrees to authorise another organisation to deliver (and sometimes assess) part or all of one or more of its own approved programmes

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  • GDPR definition

    General Data Protection Regulation

    In relation to the use of data, primarily under the GDPR, Hibernia College adopts the definitions outlined in Article 4 of the GDPR, as appropriate.

  • Good Financial Standing

    This is where a student has paid in full all fees and monies owed to the College at a particular moment in time.

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  • ICT resources

    Hibernia College provides resources to students, staff and external parties to assist them in their studies and in performing their duties. These resources are used for educational, research and administrative purposes. These ICT resources can include, but are not limited to email, Internet, Virtual Learning Environment(s), video-conferencing, social media, on-premise and cloud file storage as well as all hardware and/or software provided to Hibernia College staff.

  • Identifiable Natural Person

    An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, from a source of data.

  • Informal learning

    Learning acquired through day-to-day activities which may be unplanned and unintentional

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  • Mobility

    Mobility, in the current context of Erasmus+ at Hibernia College, is the ability for staff to travel freely to other participating higher education institutes for the purposes of professional development and collaboration.

  • Module

    A programme of education and training of small volume. It is designed to be capable of being integrated with other modules into larger programmes. A module can be shared by different programmes. Some modules are designed to lead to minor or special-purpose awards. In describing the educational formation provided by an independent module, it is sufficient to specify

    1. the learning outcome and
    2. (the assumed (i.e. minimum) prior learning (prerequisite learning). Assumed prior learning is sometimes specified by listing prerequisite modules.

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  • Netiquette

    ‘Netiquette’ is the ‘etiquette’ of the Internet. Etiquette can be defined as 'the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.’ Therefore, netiquette is the code of behaviour that underpins our participation in any type of online communication.

  • Non-Engagement

    Students who cease to attend and/or engage with their programme of studies for a period of four weeks may be deemed to have withdrawn from the programme, i.e. they have passively withdrawn through non-engagement.

  • Non-Formal Learning

    Learning which is acquired through planned activities but does not result in formal certification

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  • Online communication

    Online communication in this context refers to any type of communication that occurs using Hibernia College Information and Communications Technology (ICT) resources. These resources can include, but are not limited to, the virtual learning environment (including discussion forums), video-conferencing, mobile applications and email.

  • Online Learning

    ‘Online learning’ is where a whole programme is provided online. Notwithstanding the shared view of Chew, Jones and Turner (2008) that the Jones’ Continuum cannot be expressed in percentage terms, Hibernia College has adopted the concept deriving from the 2015 joint UNESCO publication Distance Education in European Higher Education – the Potential, Report 3 (of 3) of the IDEAL (Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning) project that an online programme shall be deemed to notionally mean where greater than 80% is taught online. Notwithstanding the conceptual challenges in this definition, it shall be used pragmatically by the College in the context of developing programmes which are intended to be validated to lead to a QQI award.

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  • Personal Data

    Personal data is information relating to an identifiable natural person who can be identified directly or indirectly from factors, such as name, contact details or any attributes distinguishing a person.

  • Policy

    Policies are principled statements adopted by the College at a high level to enable decisions about actions and desired outcomes to which the College is committed. They clearly articulate the formal position of the College on specific issues in order to guide internal decision-making. Policies set out ‘what to do’ on a given issue. They have a medium- to long-term review cycle.

  • Postponement

    A postponement is a temporary delay of commencement of a programme granted to a successful applicant following consideration of a request by the applicant either before they become a registered student or during the designated 'cooling-off' (change-of-mind) period. (SI No 484 of 2013 European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013)

  • Prior Formal Learning

    Learning which has already attracted formal certification within an education system, including the NFQ

  • Prior Learning

    Prior learning can be:

    i. Prior formal learning — learning which has already attracted formal certification within an education system, including the NFQ

    ii. Informal — learning acquired through day-to-day activities which may be unplanned and unintentional

    iii. Non-formal learning — learning which is acquired through planned activities but does not result in formal certification

  • Procedure

    Procedures are the broad actions that must be carried out to implement a policy. They set out ‘how to do’ what the policy specifies must be done.

  • Professional Standards

    Some programmes may also lead to a ‘professional standard’ which can be defined as an ‘ethical or legal duty of a professional to exercise [a] level of care, [competence], diligence, and skill prescribed in the code of practice of his or her profession, or as other professionals in the same discipline would in the same or similar circumstances’. 

  • Programme
    • A programme of education and training refers to any process by which learners may acquire knowledge, skill or competence.
    • It includes courses of study or instruction, apprenticeships, training and employment. A programme offers learners the learning opportunities by which they may attain educational goals (expressed as the intended programme learning outcome) by learning activities in a learning environment. A programme is normally comprised of modules.
    • A programme leading to a major award will normally require a ‘cohesion generating’ process which integrates constituent modules so that the minimum intended programme learning outcomes are supported. The cohesion generating process should establish the epistemological and cultural identity of the programme. It should also coordinate alignment of activities with the minimum intended programme learning outcomes and introduce learners to the broader community of practice to which they aspire. (QQI (2013) Assessment and Standards Revised)
  • Programme Board

    A dedicated committee established with overall responsibility for that programme, including the programme assessment strategy

  • Prospective Student

    A prospective student is any person who has interacted with the College with a view to becoming a student. Prospective students have no formal legal relationship with the College and the College defines them for the purposes of guiding action in the areas of recruitment and marketing.

  • Protection of Enrolled Learners

    Protection of Enrolled Learners is a feature of the Qualifications (Education and Training) 2012 Act. This legal requirement ensures that learners enrolled on a programme, of longer than three months duration and where fees have been paid, are not disadvantaged in the event of the programme ceasing prior to completion.

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  • Reasonable Accommodation

    ‘A Reasonable Accommodation is any action that helps to alleviate a substantial disadvantage due to an impairment or medical condition.’ (AHEAD).

    In the context of supporting higher education students, a reasonable accommodation is any provision made for a particular student to allow them to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes of a piece of learning without any disadvantage which may arise on the basis of their having a disability or long-term illness.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is defined as a process whereby prior learning is given a value (European Commission, 2008; NQAI, 2005; OECD, 2004). RPL can operate to provide recognition for advanced entry and non-standard admissions to educational pathways and is also used to award credit for elements within programmes.

  • Registered Student

    A registered student is a person who has successfully completed the admissions procedure, complies with all terms, conditions and regulations for the relevant programme and has paid all fees due to the College at the time of commencement of the programme.

  • Resources

    The HCQF includes other supporting documented resources. These comprise a set of practical, detailed, up-to-date resources to assist staff, faculty and students in implementing or complying with policies and procedures. These are developed as required by any unit or department of the College. They can be public-facing or internal-facing and may or may not be publicly available on the website.

  • Review

    A review is an appeal where a learner formally requests the maker of a formal decision, or a person acting on their behalf, to review that decision, i.e. to reconsider the formal decision in light of concerns expressed by the appellant under one or more of the three grounds of appeal. 

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  • Sectoral Convention 5

    Sectoral Convention 5 on Post-award Achievement required for an additional major award at the same level.

    Subject to the following conditions, a graduate holding a higher education and training award may present for and, if successful, achieve a further major award at the same level within the same generic area of study. This must involve the attainment of new learning outcomes (i.e. post-award achievement).

  • Special Category Data

    Special Category Data is information relating to an identifiable natural person which requires a higher level of protection than personal data and includes personal data relating to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

  • Strategy

    Strategies are time-bound, specific statements of objectives the College sets to meet high-level goals. They are specific action plans to achieve key goals. There is always an overarching College strategy in place. It can be complemented with diverse topic-specific strategies, such as a strategy for teaching, learning and assessment. Strategies are established for no more than a five-year period.

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  • Transfer

    A transfer is where the student moves from one live cohort to another live cohort following recommendation by the College and where, in transferring, all academic and financial history remain associated with the student. There is no intent to pause or suspend studies when a transfer occurs. However, due to the flow of a programme’s structure, a student may need to wait to undertake the next element of the programme for which they are eligible. This occurs where no other means of a student successfully completing the programme exists.

  • Transnational Provision

    The provision or partial provision of a programme of education in one country by a provider that is based in another country (In the absence of State policy relating to the provision of blended learning and online learning, Hibernia College also applies the term transnational provision to accessing from one country a programme of education offered by a provider based in another country.)

  • Two Types of Appeal

    Learners may choose from one of the two following options when seeking to challenge a decision specified in the ‘Right to challenge a decision’ section of the Appeals Policy:

    i. A review: A review is an appeal where a learner formally requests the maker of a formal decision, or a person acting on their behalf, to review that decision, i.e. to reconsider the formal decision in light of concerns expressed by the appellant under one or more of the three grounds of appeal.

    ii. An appeal: An appeal is where a learner formally requests that the decision or judgement of a lower authority is referred to a higher authority (i.e. the Appeals Committee) for the reconsideration of the decision or judgement in the light of concerns expressed by the appellant under one or more of the three grounds of appeal.

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  • Validation

    The process by which it is confirmed that a programme of higher education will enable a registered learner who completes that programme to acquire and where appropriate be able to demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skill or competence to justify the award being made in respect of that programme in line with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.

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  • Withdrawal

    This is where a student ceases study on a programme after the end of the ‘cooling-off’ (change-of-mind) period and before completion of the programme.