Friday, 28 July, 2017

Una Buckley appointed to the Board of Quality and Qualifications Ireland as adult learner representative

6 Nov 2012 10:47 AM

On November 6th 2012 the Quality and Qualifications Board was officially established.  The new agency is being created by an amalgamation of four agencies that have both awarding and quality assurance responsibilities: the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) and the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). The new Authority will assume all the functions of these four bodies while also having responsibility for new or newly-statutory responsibilities in particular areas.

AONTAS is delighted at the appointment of Una to the Board of the QQI.  Earlier this year the Minister expanded the membership of the Board to include a student representative from USI and a learner from the adult and further education sector. 

Una returned to education at the age of fifty, having spent most of her life working and raising a family.  Her initial experience of adult education was a Certificate in Adult and Community Education under an Outreach Programme delivered by NUI Maynooth.

Since then she has pursued her education completing a number of unaccredited courses, along with a Level 1 City and Guilds Certificate in IT use.   She is also taking a Certificate in Adult Literacy Studies at Waterford IT (Level 7).   Her experience of education as an adult spans community education, further education and third level through outreach.

Since joining AONTAS as an individual adult learner in 2007 Una has been a strong advocate for the benefits of adult learning and for greater representation of adult learners across a range of stakeholders.  She has served two years on the AONTAS Executive and is a member of the Adult Learners Forum of Ireland (ALFI) steering group.   At International level she has been involved in the development of the International Adult Learners Charter (see ) and has represented adult learners at a number of conferences.   These include Confintea VI (the sixth International Conference on Adult Education) in Brazil in 2009, and the ICAE (International Council of Adult Education) World Assembly in Sweden, June 2011.

Reacting to the appointment, Berni Brady Director of AONTAS said ‘ We are delighted to see Una appointed to the Board of the QQI.  We look forward to working closely with Una in her role as Board member, in meeting the overall objective of the QQI to ensure greater opportunities for learners to participate in high quality education and training in Ireland.’

For more information about the QQI visit