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Organisational Structures


Org 2 main chapter


The NCGE Adult Guidance Handbook is a web based resource funded by the Department of Education and Skills.  It was developed by NCGE in collaboration with the Adult Educational Guidance Services in 2010.  In September 2014, the NCGE Adult Guidance Handbook incorporated new additional materials and was re-launched for the adult guidance community. 



Organisational Structures looks at the various stakeholders who play key roles in the support and delivery of adult guidance nationally.  In relation to the Adult Educational Guidance Services, the Department of Education and Skills/Adult Educational Guidance Initiative Operational Guidelines clearly defines the roles of the relevant stakeholders.  Since the establishment of SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards, the Operational Guidelines are now applicable within these new structures. 

Please click on the AEGI Operational Guidelines link below. NCGE's role is specified within these Guidelines.                                                                

SOLAS (An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna) is a new Further Education and Training Authority operating under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills. It co-ordinates and funds the wide range of training and further education programmes around the country. SOLAS has been established to integrate the Further Education and Training Sector in Ireland and give strategic direction to that sector. It is the Further Education and Training Authority with responsibility for co-ordinating and funding the wide range of training and further education programmes in Ireland. The delivery of Further Education and Training is the responsibility of 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs).

ETBs provide, amongst other things, further education and training to over 200,000 adults annually.  Many of these education and training programmes target disadvantage.  In particular, those with low basic skills and those seeking 'second chance' of education and training may find a range of educational opportunities through programmes offered by their ETB locally.  ETBs and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) are the managing agents of the adult educational guidance services.  They are the employers of the guidance staff, who deliver a quality guidance service.

For more information on ETBs, please see Education and Training Boards Ireland:

This section explores the design and operational structures of adult guidance at a national and local level.  By 2000, when the White Paper on Adult Education Learning for Life was published, over 210,000 adults were availing of programmes in adult literacy, the Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme (VTOS) and other adult and community education programmes, including the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI).

The White Paper identified the need for a national adult guidance counselling service. As a result the Adult Education Guidance Initiative was launched in 2000 by the Department of Education and Skills as a pilot project. Adult Educational Guidance Services currently provide impartial educational guidance and information to adults returning to education nationally.  Managing agencies receive funding from SOLAS to manage and operate a service in their local areas, according to Department of Education and Skills Guidelines.  

There are a number of supporting structures to adult guidance including co-ordination and support by the National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE), which is involved in the development of guidance practice in all areas of education. Models of good practice, quality assurance, educational guidance film work, building evidence based practice (including a case study approach), continuing professional development for the practitioner and the ongoing development of adult guidance all form part of the support provided by NCGE.





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