Special Needs Assisting Combined Programme (QQI Level 5 & 6) – Classroom Based – Aspire Training

Special Needs Assisting Combined Programme (QQI Level 5 & 6) – Classroom Based

Summary of our Special Needs Assisting Combined Programme:

At Aspire Training, we are excited to offer learners the opportunity to complete both the QQI Level 5 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting (QQI Code: 5N1786) and the Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting (QQI Code: 6N1957) together and through direct classroom-based learning. Completing this course can enhance employment opportunities in a variety of places such as mainstream schools, special schools, and areas within general community care or advocacy.

Programme Profile and Timeframe:

This course is designed to enable learners to work effectively as Special Needs Assistants and gain an understanding of the skills required to ensure that the 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.

See the learning outcomes and assessment breakdown for QQI Level 5 here.

See the learning outcomes and assessment breakdown for QQI Level 6 here.

This programme is available in a variety of locations (see the bottom of the page for upcoming locations). Classes are delivered in person, and in comfortable venues across the country. There are 6 classes per module, via one weekly session, for 6 consecutive weeks accumulating to 18 hours in total. Or 36 hours for the combined Level 5 & 6 programme. As this is a QQI accredited course, learners must attend 80% of these hours in order to receive their QQI certificate.

Who Should Complete This Course:

Those who wish to pursue a career as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) in a childcare setting, primary school or secondary school.

Teachers, childcare workers, childcare supervisors, and others who work with children with special needs.

People who wish to gain an accredited qualification and prefer classroom-based training.

Entry Requirements:

Learners must be aged 16 and above.

Fluent English is required and it is recommended that participants will have some relevant work or life experience in working with children with special needs.

Learner Admissions Policy

Click here to view our Learner Admissions Policy

IT Requirements

Although this is a classroom-based course, there are some IT requirements necessary:

– Basic working knowledge of how to use a computer, with access to the internet is required for this course. This includes how to send videos via e-mail to your tutor.

– How to use Microsoft Word/Google Documents. This includes how to type, save, edit and send documents and e-mails.

Work Experience:

There are 20 hours of work experience required per module, so 40 hours in total for the combined Level 5 & 6 SNA Programme. Learners are responsible for securing their own work experience. If any learner is having difficulty securing somewhere to complete their work experience, please let us know and we will try to assist. You will be given more information on work experience by your tutor. Please do not start work experience before you start the course.

Course Materials:

All course materials are provided by Aspire Training and will be sent out via email. You may like to have access to a printer to print your notes for class although bringing a laptop or tablet is encouraged.

Learners may wish to purchase the book: ‘Supporting Special Educational Needs: an SNA handbook’ by Eilis Flood and Deirdre Murphy. Which can be purchased at the link below.



All tutors on this programme are qualified in their specific fields to a minimum level of two above that of which they are teaching. Our tutors also have practical experience in their individual fields along with experience and qualifications in adult training and development.


Learners completing both Level 5 and 6 Special Needs Assisting can avail of a discounted price of €750.00.

Payment is made, direct to our bank account or via card payment, in three installments as follows:

Payment 1: €250.00, Booking deposit, which is payable when booking to secure your place.

Payment 2: €250.00, the second installment is due 3 weeks after your start date.

Payment 3: €250.00, the remaining balance is due 6 weeks after your start date.

For learners who wish to complete individual modules, for example just Level 5 or just Level 6 (having previously completed their Level 5) the cost will be €400.00 per module.

In this case, payment 1 will be €200.00, and payment 2 will be €200.00.

Please note that deposits/fees paid are non-refundable unless the course is cancelled by us.


If you are in receipt of a payment from the Department of Social Protection, on a CE Scheme or participating in activation schemes you may be eligible for some funding. Please contact the office or your local employment office for further advice in relation to this.

More information on funding is available here

Next Steps Following Course Completion

This course leads to a level 5 and level 6 minor award on the National Frameworks of Qualifications. On successful completion of the course, participants will be qualified to work as SNAs in primary, post-primary, and special school settings.

Learners who completed either their SNA level 5, level 6 or both, can also use the credits towards completing their QQI Major Award in Level 5 5M2009 Early Childhood Care & Education and/or Level 6 6M2007 Early Childhood Care & Education.

Learners can also choose to further develop their skills and their understanding of Special Needs Assisting by completing a QQI Level 7 Certificate in Special Educational Needs for Special Needs Assistants. The programme is accredited by NUI, Galway and is a recognised Department of Education and Skills (DES) qualification.

Reasonable Accommodation

It is the responsibility of the learner to inform Aspire Training in sufficient time in order for a Reasonable Accommodation request to be processed, reviewed and for any necessary steps to be put in place. The process for assessing and implementing Reasonable Accommodations for assessment of learners with special requirements requires the learner to:

– Inform Aspire Training, through the registration form, of any special requirement as soon as enrolment has taken place.

– Notify their tutor or administration staff of their need for special requirement(s).

– Complete a special requirements form and return this to Aspire Training with a letter from their doctor or medical professional to confirm their needs in relation to special accommodation(s).

The link for this form is available within the Learner Handbook issued by Aspire Training at the start of a programme. The completed form and the medical evidence will be reviewed by the Academic Committee and the learner will be notified of the outcome.


QQI Level 5 & 6 Special Needs
Combined Programme

Tutor: Felicity Magliocco

Location: Ballinasloe
Level 5 Dates:

Tuesday, November 7th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, November 14th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, November 21st: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, November 28th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, December 5th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, December 12th: 7 pm – 10 pm

Level 6 Dates:

Tuesday, December 19th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Christmas Break: December 20th – 2nd January 2024
Tuesday, January 2nd: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, January 9th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, January 16th: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, January 23rd: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday, January 30th: 7 pm – 10 pm