SIPTU College – Covid-19 update

9th June 2020

Hello and welcome back!

You will have seen our contingency plan below where we advised that all of our classes are currently suspended. We nonetheless arranged, at short notice, to transfer our Trade Union Studies classes online for current students only. We now also offer some online training to workplace committees especially those facing extra difficulties at this time, restructuring/redundancies, etc. If you think your works committee would benefit from this, please speak to your SIPTU Organiser and have them contact us. We hope to provide other online resources for members andas a start, we have issued a video to provide information for members about the Return to Work Safely Protocol. It is just 15 minutes long and you can view it here. We hope to add other material in the coming weeks.

We also need to start taking decisions about Trade Union Studies, a brand new version of which is due to start in September. Watch this space for updates or e-mail and ask to be added to our e-mailing list. That way you will get information about all decisions as we take them.

Stay safe!

Tish Gibbons – Head of College

SIPTU College Covid-19 Contingency Plan
8th May 2020

In line with An Taoiseach’s announcement on the 12th of March, all classes scheduled at or by SIPTU College were suspended with immediate effect on that date. This was notified to all current learners directly by e-mail, and also by way of notices on our website and Facebook page. We undertook at that time to keep in touch with all learners and to investigate ways of conducting some training remotely. The situation however differs on each of our programmes.

Advanced Activist Programme (Level 5 QQI)
All classes on this programme have been suspended until further notice. Those learners who had just attended training were nonetheless encouraged to submit their portfolios on time in the usual fashion. Before all premises were closed, these portfolios were assembled and are now all assessed and internally verified. They were due for external authentication at the end of March in order to meet QQI’s 12th April deadline. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions and other events outside our control, the External Authenticator was unable to attend in time. We are endeavouring to have the authentication process completed in time for the June 12th deadline. We hope in this way to ensure that all learners receive their Certificates as soon as possible after that date.

Classes remain suspended with the exception of some online committee training and introductory/basic classes not for accreditation but which will provide a useful preparation when programme delivery recommences.

Trade Union Studies (Level 6, NCI)
The suspension of classes and closure of premises coincided with the final classes in each module on the TUS programme. Learners were encouraged to submit their assignments on time. As we have an electronic submission and marking system in place for this programme, all assignments are now assembled, and are in the process of being marked and double-marked. Once this and the internal verification process is complete, they will be sent to NCI for external examination.

We engaged extensively with continuing learners, and with their agreement and that of NCI have put in place new arrangements. Classes and tutorials are being conducted via Microsoft Teams and the platform for all modules due to commence in March/April last. Those with one module outstanding may now complete the programme and be eligible for Certificate in Autumn. Those choosing not to complete the module in this way will be accommodated at a later date when classrooms re-open and as numbers and availability of tutors dictate.

Basic English Scheme (Level 4, CDETB)
Prior to class suspension and closure of premises, our QQI ESOL Level 4 English class had made significant progress preparing their folder of work and were preparing for their listening test and recorded interviews.
Following consultation it is agreed that work on folders will be resumed when it is safe to do so. We had hoped to resume classes in May in which case we could have completed the work by the end of June and entered students for certification in August. As this is not now possible, we will aim to resume QQI work in late August and enter candidates for the October certification. Our uncertified English courses are continuing online thereby affording engagement and further learning opportunities before finally completion of the QQI Level 4 course.

Tish Gibbons
Head of College

SIPTU College – Covid-19 Update

18th March 2020

These are challenging times for everybody with each of us facing enormous difficulties trying to adapt to changes by the minute; trying to stay safe and to keep our loved ones safe. Many of you who are registered on our courses, we know, are front-line workers in health, retail, distribution, transport, communications, etc; others are dealing with existing health challenges of their own or others, or the sudden removal of childcare and other supports. Whatever your particular difficulty is, the solidarity and camaraderie of our trade unions and of SIPTU College will be part of what pulls us through.

We have deferred all face-to-face classes and switched exams for written assignments and all staff are being vigilant about social distancing. As a group, those of you registered on Trade Union Studies are our priority right now as you attempt writing assignments with so much upheaval in the background. It was encouraging to see that several actually submitted assignments in the first few days of upheaval. We are here, ready and willing to help you to get that assignment written. We will be flexible and supportive in our efforts to ensure that everybody gets this module finished. We have e-mailed all participants but are conscious that not everybody can access their e-mail at this time. You can contact us instead from a different e-mail address (send a message to or use the contact form here or contact us via our Facebook page.

There is another group of TUS participants who could graduate in October if the next module was completed. This was due to start in early April but we had already deferred it to after Easter. We are looking at ways of delivering this 3rd module remotely. We accept that whatever we produce in such rushed circumstances will not be perfect, indeed will be a long way from it, and ask for your patience. But if there is a willingness to try to complete the programme in this way, then we will do our best to provide it.

For those hoping to do any of our other programmes, hang in there – we are looking at all options and will be in regular communication with you.

Meantime, stay safe!

In solidarity,

Tish Gibbons
Head of College