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Guide to SpringboardCourses.ie

This page contains guidance on what Springboard offers and key information you need to know. We also have a F.A.Q which will be updated with the most popular questions we get from users.

SpringboardCourses.ie F.A.Q

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1 - How many Springboard courses can an applicant apply for?

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


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

Participants can only study on one Springboard course as it is a condition of eligibility that they must continue to remain available for and be actively seeking full- time employment.


3 - I was previously enrolled on a Springboard course but I left before completing it. Will this prevent me from applying for another Springboard course?

A person who withdraws from a Springboard course before completion is, in general, not eligible to take up a place through Springboard 2013. However your application will be considered if your withdrawal from the course you were on was for a valid personal or medical reason. The decision to offer you a place is made by the college you are applying to and is subject to the college’s admissions policy and entry requirements. Where there is a high demand for courses priority will be given to those who have not previously benefited from a Springboard course.

The Guideline for providers regarding former Springboard participants who wish to take up a Springboard 2013 place can be found here: Guidelines.pdf


4 - I was on a MOMENTUM course previously, am I eligible to apply for a springboard course?

You are eligible if you fulfil the eligibility requirements and have successfully completed your MOMENTUM course including any required work placement elements.


5 - When do Springboard courses start?

Springboard courses vary in start date but the majority begin from September 2013 on. The start date for each Springboard courses is included in each course information page on www.springboardcourses.ie.


6 - Are all Springboard courses a minimum of one year?

Springboard courses vary in duration, however all 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 www.springboardcourses.ie.


7 - 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. Over 200 courses are available in the areas of information and communications technology (ICT); manufacturing; international financial services; internationally traded services, cross-enterprise skills; and entrepreneurship and business start-up. For more information check out www.springboardcourses.ie.


8 - What kind of jobs are Springboard courses designed for?

Springboard upskills and cross-skills participants in sectors in which there are job opportunities.


9 - What happens if I get a job while participating on a Springboard course?

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. For example, a college may offer participants the option to study during evenings or at weekends.


10 - 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 2000-2008 require educational institutions/service providers do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability.


11 - 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.nfq.ie for more information.


12 - 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.


13 - 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.


14 - I am unemployed and would like to go back to education and training, perhaps full-time. What options are available to me besides Springboard?

There are a range of other education and training options available to people who wish to upskill or reskill.
Information on further and higher education courses is available at www.qualifax.ie, with more detailed information on individual college websites and in their prospectus. For specific information on financial support for further and higher education, please visitwww.studentfinance.ie .
Other options include Momentum, which provides job-focused up-skilling at Level 5-6 on the national framework of qualifications. For information on other further education and training opportunities please visit the website of your local VEC for details of further education opportunities in your area or county. Each VEC administers the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) for unemployed people. There is also the Back To Education Initiative (BTEI) for people with less than upper secondary education. The Department of Social Protection has announced a National Internship Scheme, JobBridge, to help unemployed people, including new graduates, to get experience in the workplace. Further information is available at www.jobbridge.ie . The Department of Social Protection work placement scheme offers similar programmes to similarly qualified applicants and details of this can be found at www.welfare.ie.


15 - Can I make a Springboard application directly to a participating college?

All applications must be made online through www.springboardcourses.ie .


16 - 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.


17 - 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.


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

There are no tuition fees for eligible Springboard applicants.


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1 - I am unsure whether a Springboard course is for me. Where can I get advice or guidance?

Contact the Springboard guidance line on 1800 303523. For each course on www.springboardcourses.ie there is a contact name and details where you can get further, course-specific information. General advice is also available from a range of sources, including the Adult Guidance Service (www.aegai.ie), the Local Employment Service (LES) network (www.localemploymentservices.ie), and your local Social Protection facilitator (www.welfare.ie).


2 - Do Springboard courses also offer a work placement?

Work placement is a feature of many courses, but not all. See information on individual courses on www.springboardcourses.ie


3 - Do Springboard courses run during the day?

Some Springboard courses have contact hours during the day. However all are designed to enable participants to continue to be available for and seek work.


4 - Is it possible to do a Springboard course through distance learning?

Distance learning is a feature of many Springboard courses. Details of how the course is delivered is included in the information on individual courses, available on www.springboardcourses.ie


5 - 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 2000-2008 require educational institutions/service providers do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability.


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

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


7 - 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.


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

Apart from entry requirements which are set by individual colleges, and may include recognition of prior experience and learning (APEL), to participate in a NFQ Level 9 (Post Graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since an applicant completed a full time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.


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

You are. The target groups for Springboard include people formerly in employment with a higher education qualification who need to upskill or reskill. Important supplementary note: To be eligible for a place on a Level 9 (post-graduate) a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing 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.


10 - 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 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 is not intended for new or recent graduates. A range of other education and training options are available for graduates and others who are not in the priority group for Springboard. For more information contact Springboard Freephone 1800 303523.


11 - I am 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.


12 - 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.


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

You may; academic requirements as 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.


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1 - How long do I need to be in receipt of a social protection 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.


2 - What social protection payments allow me to apply for a Springboard place in 2013?

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


3 - 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 a Springboard place. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.


4 - I am unemployed but I 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 are entitled to apply for a Springboard place. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.


5 - I am on a Disability payment, do I need to contact anyone in the Department of Social Protection 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 Social Protection (D/SP) 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


6 - 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) of the Department of Social Protection 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.


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


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

Participation in Springboard does not 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.


9 - If I am offered a Springboard course, do I need to inform my local Social Protection office?

If you thinking of taking up a Springboard course, you are advised to let your local social welfare office 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). The PTEO form entitled ‘PTEO – Springboard 2013’ can be downloaded from here.


10 - My Social Protection 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 Social Protection 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.


11 - Does participation on a Springboard course guarantee continuation of my social protection payment?

Participation on a Springboard course does not provide any guarantee of continuation of a Social Protection payment.


12 - If I do not complete a Springboard course, will this affect my Social Protection payment?

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


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

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


14 - 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.


15 - 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.


16 - 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.


17 - Can I make a Springboard application if I have already participated in another government-funded training programme, such as the ICT skills programme or a FÁS scheme?

Applicants who have completed a government-funded training programme, such as a ICT Skills Programme or FÁS course, are eligible for Springboard as long as they meet the Springboard eligibility criteria.. Please see ‘Am I eligible’ information on www.springboardcourses.ie for full information on participant eligibility.


18 - I am in receipt of a Jobseeker 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 Jobseekers payment you must contact your local social welfare office to make an application to retain your payment under the Part Time Education Option (PTEO). The PTEO form entitled ‘PTEO – Springboard 2013’ 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.


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1 - I have a technical query, who can I contact?

All technical queries can be directed to support@springboardcourses.ie