Summary of online SNA course:

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 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.

This programme is currently run online. 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 the tutor emails, before guiding the learner through the course material on Google classroom. 1:1 calls/zooms will then be arranged on a needs basis at a time that suits the learner and tutor. 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 1 is most suited to learners who have previously/recently completed QQI courses and assessments and are used to studying independently. Learners will have 6 months to complete their assessments unless arranged otherwise with the Aspire Training and Administration Team.

Option 2 is through group zoom classes. These are facilitated in exactly the same way as physical classes, where a group of learners will attend a tutor-led online class once a week, in the evening time. The next group class will start on Monday, January 10th, 2022 from 7 pm to 10 pm, and run for 12 weeks (the first 6 weeks dedicated to Level 5, and six weeks for Level 6)

We are still taking places for our LEVEL 6 ONLY module, which commences on Tuesday, November 16th 2021.

SNA Special Needs Assisting training level 5 and level 6 module

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 wish to study at their own pace, and in their own time*.

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

As this is currently an online SNA 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.

– How to use Zoom

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

– Learners must have access to a computer with sound and a working microphone

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. Learners who wish to complete voluntary work are issued with a letter from Aspire Training confirming they are enrolled on or have completed the course.

Course Materials:

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

We do highly recommend the book ‘Assisting Children with Special Needs – An Irish Perspective 2nd Edition’ which has recently been taken out of print. Its replacement is not due to be published until late 2022, so we recommend seeking this book second hand.


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 €615.00.

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

Payment 1: €307.50, a 50% Booking deposit, this is payable when booking to secure your place.

Payment 2: €307.50, the remaining balance is due 3 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 €350.00 per module.

In this case, payment 1 will be €175.00, and payment 2 will be €175.00.

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.

Protection for Learners

In compliance with Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 Part 6, where Midlands School of Childcare (t/a Aspire Training) offers training programmes of 3 months duration or more, arrangements have been made with similar alternate providers to allow learners to complete programmes on which they are enrolled, in the event of Midlands School of Childcare ceasing to trade.

Reasonable Accommodation

To reinforce inclusion for all our learners we offer customised learning support for individual applicants who require accommodations. Aspire Training provide a range of supports for learners to ensure that our programmes and services are accessible to all.

Upon registration for a course or programme with Aspire Training, learners will be asked to state any additional requirements needed so that the appropriate supports for teaching, learning and assessment can be considered. It is important that you discuss your needs with us as early as possible. If you would like to discuss this prior to registration, please contact info@aspiretraining.ie

* Although this course is 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.

qqi accredited course