Qualifications required to teach in further education

The Department is responsible for setting the minimum qualification requirements to teach in the further education sector in Northern Ireland

Minimum qualification requirement

The Department’s minimum qualification requirement to teach in the further education sector in Northern Ireland is set out in two circulars:

  • Circular ES 01/12 provides guidance for those wishing to teach Essential Skills
  • Circular FE 01/12 provides guidance for those wishing to teach subjects other than Essential Skills

Further education colleges can specify additional criteria when advertising a further education lecturer post. This may render an individual as ineligible for a particular post. The Department has no authority to intervene in such matters. Vacancies are normally published on college websites. All queries surrounding vacancies should, in the first instance, be directed to the college concerned.

In-service qualification – PGCE (FE)

In the absence of a recognised teaching qualification, individuals who meet the minimum subject and experience requirements, as set out in the relevant circular (FE 01/12 or ES 01/12), may be appointed by a further education college on the proviso that they undertake the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Further Education) (PGCE (FE)) teaching qualification on a part-time basis within the first three years of appointment.

Part-time hourly paid lecturers

Colleges can, on occasion, appoint part-time lecturers on a temporary basis to deliver specialist courses of short duration. There is currently no requirement for lecturers teaching subjects other than Essential Skills for less than eight hours per week to have attained, or be in the process of attaining, the PGCE (FE).

Each college in Northern Ireland holds its own ‘register’ of part-time hourly paid lecturers, which is used by the college to employ the services of a casual lecturer. If an individual wishes to have his / her name added to the college register, they should contact the College directly.

If an individual is interested in employment as a further education lecturer in Northern Ireland, or if he/she requires further information regarding the qualifications required to do this, they should, in the first instance, contact the FE College of their choice for further information.

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