Course Description

Special Needs Assisting (QQI Level 5) SNA

The Open College

This SNA Level 5 module is designed to enable learners to work effectively as Special Needs Assistants and gain an understanding of the skills required to ensure children they are working with become independent learners. They will learn to work under the direction of the teacher and work as part of the multidisciplinary team. Through work experience the learner will gain invaluable hands on experience through which they will be able to apply theory to everyday tasks.

Topics covered include:

  • Unit 1: Context of Special Needs
  • Unit 2: Good Practice
  • Unit 3: Relating to people with Special Needs
  • Unit 4: Relating to other Stakeholders
  • Unit 5: Special Needs Assisting Skills


Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland
Course Code 5N1786
College Name The Open College
Course Category Education, Special Needs Assistant Training
Course Type Distance Learning
Course Qualification Level 5 Certificate
Course Location Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 18
Course Fee 314
Course Duration 8 weeks
Course Times This QQI Special Needs Assisting (5N1786) course is completed through Distance Learning Course and there are no lectures to attend. Students can complete this course within 8 weeks which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient. If students need to extend this period for any reason during or near the end of the course they can request an extension through the college.
Title of Awarding QQI Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (5N1786) at Level 5
Entry Requirements Leaving certificate, Level 4 certificate or equivalent in a relevant subject area (Special Needs/Childcare/Healthcare) and/or relevant practical experience (3 years minimum) – Please ask about our requirements surrounding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for entry. Mature students (over 23 years) may be exempt from the above prerequisites. Learners will be required to undertake a practical supervised work placement (30 hours minimum over the duration of the programme – approx. 4 – 6 hours per week) within the relevant vocational area – i.e. Primary Schools or Childcare Facilities for Children with Additional Needs. English Language Requirement: Students entering programmes leading to awards at Level 5 are expected to be able to: be proficient at reading, drafting, preparing and understanding information across a broad range of topics, including quantitative information. Garda Vetting is required for all SNA placements and students can apply for this through The Open College. Please ask for details. Certain assessments require completion of work, which must be observed and evaluated by a Supervisor, Teacher or Line manager. Learners undertaking this programme must have basic IT skills and access to the necessary equipment to enable them to undertake an online programme: computer, broadband, email, Microsoft, recording equipment necessary for some skills demonstration tasks, and where applicable any other specialised software/equipment. As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative.
Career Path Who should complete this course? - People who wish to pursue a career in Childcare or as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA). - People looking to gain a QQI Level 5 or Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education.
For information about The Open College, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

The Open College

Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,, Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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The Open College
Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,
Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Dublin
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