NSETS Endorsement

What is NSETS endorsement?

It is important to distinguish between professional endorsement, as dealt with in this context, and academic validation. “Endorsement” in this context signifies that specific education programmes have met the minimum standards and prescribed criteria as set out by the youth work sector through NSETS.This is not the same as academic validation which is carried out by the appropriate higher education institutions and authorities.

The process of professional endorsement within individual professional sectors, including youth work, is separate from, but complementary to, academic validation frameworks. In conferring its endorsement on programmes of professional formation the NSETS seeks to promote the highest standards of professional education and training. The NSETS expects that graduate practitioners will be equipped with the essential philosophy, skills, knowledge and attitudes that are necessary in the contemporary world of youth work.

The Process of Endorsement

(a) Institutions submit an application for professional endorsement to NSETS based on set criteria and a panel of sectoral experts considers its content.
(b) The panel visits the institution and conducts a series of interviews with the management, programme developers, tutors, students, practice teachers and other stakeholders to determine if the programme and infrastructure supporting it meet the NSETS standards for professional formation. Additional documentary and observational data may also be collected.
(c) Endorsement may be conditional on specified improvements or amendments to programmes. Endorsed programmes are subject to annual monitoring and to a full re-endorsement exercise every five years.

Stage 1

The institution engages in initial consultation and formal registration of interest for NSETS approval.

Stage 2

The institution is responsible for preparation of a submission that fulfils the NSETS requirements. There is an examination of the final submission by the Endorsement Panel of the NSETS committee before and throughout the panel visit to the institution.

Endorsed Youth Work Programmes


Course Title

Panel Date

Endorsed From

Endorsed To

Period of Endorsement

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) BA (Hons) Youth Work (FT) June 2015 November 2015 November 2021 5 years + 1 year extension
Maynooth University (MU) BA (Hons) Community and Youth Work March 2019 June 2019 June 2024 5 years
MA Community and Youth Work March 2019 June 2019 June 2024 5 years
University of Ulster (UU) BSc (Hons) Community Youth Work (FT/PT) April 2018 September 2018/2019 June 2023/2024 5 Years
Postgraduate Diploma Community Youth Work (PT) April 2018 September 2018/2019 June 2023/2024 5 Years
University College Cork (UCC) Postgraduate Diploma in Youth Work April 2019 June 2019 June 2024 5 years
BSocSc Youth & Community Work April 2019 June 2019 June 2024 5 years
TU Dublin Blanchardstown BA (Hons) in Community Development and Youth Work March 2020 September 2015 September 2025 5 years
Centre for Youth Ministry Ireland (CYMI) and Youth Link BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work and Practical Theology March 2015 September 2015 September 2020 5 years

Annual Monitoring Process

The NSETS monitors programmes in order to retain a view on whether they continue to operate in accordance with the requirements for professional endorsement. The statistical data collected provides a clear indication of the status of a number of key matters and when analysed with data from other programmes, can alert the NSETS Committee to overall patterns and trends in professional formation programmes. This process encourages and supports quality assurance processes’.


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