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 online via distance learning. Completing this online SNA 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 online SNA course 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.

This programme is currently run online. Learners will be allocated a tutor and will have the opportunity to complete the course at a pace that suits the individual. The learner can choose from 2 options:

Option 1 is by 1:1 learning. This is where each learner is allocated a tutor, who will work 1:1 with the learner, initially by emailing, then guiding the learner through the course material on Google classroom, and arranging 1:1 calls/zooms on a needs basis at a time that suits the learner. The benefits of completing the course this way are that you can start any time, work at your own pace and finish on your own schedule. 

Option 2 is through group zoom classes. These are facilitated exactly the same way as physical classes, where a group of learners will attend a tutor-led online class once a week, on Monday evenings. The next group course is starting on August 23rd and will run for 12 weeks.

SNA Special Needs Assisting training level 5 and level 6 module

Entry Requirements:

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.

IT Requirements

Basic working knowledge of how to use a computer with access to the internet is required for this course.

How to use Zoom

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

Computer must have sound and microphone working

Work Experience:

Work experience is not a mandatory requirement to pass this programme. We do, however, encourage our learners to complete some voluntary work experience once possible again (further to COVID-19 restrictions). Learners who wish to complete voluntary work can be issued with a letter from Aspire Training confirming they are enrolled on /have completed the course.

Course Materials:

All course materials are provided by Aspire Training and will be available through various online platforms.


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 €575.00.

Payment is made, direct to our bank account, in two instalments as follows:

Payment 1: €287.50, a 50% Booking deposit, this is payable when booking to secure your place.

Payment 2: €287.50, the remaining balance 3 weeks post to 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 €315.00 per module.

In this case, payment 1 will be €157.50 and payment 2 will be €157.50.

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 award on the National Frameworks of Qualifications and, on successful completion, participants will be qualified to work as SNAs in primary, post-primary, and special school settings.

Moreover, if you have only completed the level 5 qualification, then you can go straight into starting your level 6 studies.

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.

** Although some of our courses are indeed self-paced, we do still expect learners to complete their coursework within a 6 month time period. If you feel like you will need longer than this, please contact the office.