What is QQI?

If you are searching for training in Ireland you may notice the above logo appearing beside the words QQI certified or certified by QQI, but who are QQI?

“On 6 November 2012, FETAC completed its amalgamation with HETAC, NQAI and IUQB and a new integrated agency, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), was established. FETAC, HETAC and the NQAI are now dissolved. The new agency will continue to provide continuity of service as it evolves. QQI will bring any changes and updates to your attention over the coming weeks on its website www.qqi.ie” Source: ( http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/awardsinfo/awards.htm )

It’s very important to note whether the course you are taking is certified by this new awarding body and to familiarize yourself with the new QQI logo.

There is also an updated National framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

NFQ_fan (630kb) NFQ_fan (2mb)




5 useful things Google can do (and a couple of useless ones)

Lets face it, Google is helpful. I sometimes ponder about life before Google, about those arguments with friends that used to last days or those pub quizzes where only the geography buff knew the capital of Indonesia. Google is something familiar, a way of life (of sorts) and having great search skills can really open you up to a universe of useful and useless information.

Here are some things you might not have known Google can do.

1. Google is a translator


2. Google is a currency converter


3. Google is a calculator


4. Google is a Weight converter


5. Google is a timer


Did you know there is a hidden game inside Google called “ZERG RUSH”?

Search Zerg rush in Google to start a hidden game, quickly click the incoming 0’s to kill them before they destroy your search results.


Google will also tell you what time sunrise is at!


So there you have it, some things to explore in your next searches. Remember, there is a universe of information out there and your search engine is your vehicle. Learning how to correctly search and developing your search skills will greatly increase your chances of finding the information you want.

Keep on searching

Keith Byrne

Digital media manager

NCU Training


How to share files with Google drive

As we know Google drive is a great place to store your files online for easy access from any location, but what if you wanted to share the files stored in your drive? In this tutorial I will discuss two ways you can share the files stored on your Google drive.

Sharing files is a very useful feature built in to your Google drive, you might ask why? well imagine a job opportunity arises that requires immediate action. But wait! your CV is at home on your computer! not to worry there’s hope, you have a copy of your CV on your Google drive. Logging in on any computer will give you access to your Drive and to your files. You can share your files in two ways that only differ mildly.

  1. Sharing directly from your Drive: This essentially means that the file remains in your Drive and you share access to the file with the recipient. You can share with multiple recipients at once, set permissions (who can edit, who can read etc) and monitor who has downloaded the file.
  2. Attaching files from your drive to an email: In much the same way as you might attach a file from your computer to your email you can attach files from your Drive as an email attachment. (you will be given to option here to either share from your drive or send as attachment)

1. Sharing directly from your Drive

Access your drive from the Google apps symbol (small grid of black squares in the right hand corner) and click Drive. Once in your Drive, tick the little box on the left of the file you want to share (tick multiple boxes to share more than one file at a time)

Then click on the share button top middle left.

share button

once you click this you will then see the share box appear with options for sharing this file. The highlighted blue text is the address directly to the file.

share box

The middle text will show you who has access to the file already. If you click the mouse in to the box under where it says invite people you will see more options appear.

share box option arrow

You can type in the email address or addresses in to the invite people box (for multiple address separate with a comma). You can edit the permissions for the recipient/recipients with the drop down options. You can add a personal message if you want to but not necessary and you also have options to send a copy of the email to yourself or paste the actual file in to an email to send. When you are finished you can click send to send. You can go back in to this box after you have send to edit the permissions etc if needed.

NOTE* If you delete a file from your Drive it will in turn effect your share options and people you’ve shared it with will not be able to get the file after it’s gone.

2. Attaching files from your drive to an email

From the main Google page, click on the apps icon (small grid of black squares in the right hand corner). Click on Gmail icon. When in your Gmail click on compose on the left hand side at the top of the page. A little box will open in the bottom right hand corner of your page. Enter the email you wish to send the file to, the subject and your email message. At the bottom of this email window you will see a small paper clip icon (this is the attachments icon and is used to add attachments directly from your computer) If you hover over this icon you will see the Google Drive icon appear.

insert files drive

Clicking this will bring up your Drive attachment options box

drive window gmailYou have lots of attachment options here and you can go the traditional attachment route by adding it from your computer if you wish but clicking on the Drive option on the left hand side will allow you to add files from your Drive.

files screenYou then select the file or files (holding the CTRL key whilst clicking files will allow you select more than one, this works elsewhere also) then you can click insert. You might get a dialogue box saying you haven’t shared this item on your Drive but you can click add anyway and it will add your files directly to the email. You can now click send and find the nearest person to high five! You are now a Google drive sharing ninja.


What is Google drive and how do I use it?

In short, Google drive is Google’s cloud storage platform. You might have heard the words “cloud storage” before and been confused but these are just marketing buzz words. Cloud storage simply means that instead of your files being stored on your home computer, they are stored in a remote location on one of Google’s computers or servers. There is nothing new here really if you’ve had an email account with Google or any third party (hotmail etc), your emails are already stored outside of your home computer. This is why you can access your emails from anywhere.


In the diagram we have three devices in different locations all able to access the same files because they are stored on the Google server.

Having your files stored externally has many benefits.

  • You can access your files from any computer / smartphone / Tablet
  • You can recover your files easily (if your computer is stolen or gets broken)
  • You can free up space on your home computer (every Google account comes with 15GB cloud storage but you can add more if you need it for a small fee)

Google drive sounds great, but how do I use it?

To start with Google drive is part of Google’s apps so you are going to need a Google account. To sign up for a Google account go to www.google.ie and look in the right hand corner. Click Sign in.


Once you’ve clicked sign in you will be taken to a sign in page, below this it will say create an account


You can then fill out the form to create an account. Once you have this done you will have access to Google services. Go back to Google homepage and click on the small grid of black squares.


this will open Google’s app panel and you can click on the Google drive icon.


Once inside Google drive there are a number of things you can do.


If your internet browser is Google chrome you can upload whole folders of files otherwise you will have to upload on a file by file basis. Documents created inside of Google drive will auto-save which is a very handy feature if your doing a CV, college work etc as you will never lose work again. You can also export the file to Microsoft word for some more intense editing if needed.

This should get you started with Google drive. In the next Blog post I will cover sharing files from your drive and also how to attach files from your drive to an email and send.




Digital skills tips for job seekers.

We can often get caught up in making sure our CV’s and cover letters are looking great. We live in a digital world and employers are using the internet and internet technologies to research potential employees. This could be anything from viewing a Twitter feed for red flags, a Facebook page (if public), LinkedIn, YouTube, the list goes on. Here are a few things to consider.

Start by searching your name in Google: This is where your potential employer will probably start so pre-empting this with a couple of search combinations would be a good idea. It might be an idea to do this from another computer as you probably have pages stored in your history that will influence your searches. Search your name and see what comes up, see if you can get to your Facebook page from a search (like “your name Facebook” or “your name Dublin Facebook”) try different combinations and note the ways you got to your personal pages and what is visible on them. This will then help you to determine what is public and what is private on your social pages.

Set up an email specifically for your job seeking: You might not think it is important but the email address you send your CV from is very important. When a potential employer receives an email, try not to send it from that email address you set up when you were 16. Setting up an email specifically for your job seeking will not only gather all your job-seeking activities under one heading but will look much better and more professional.

Less of johnerliverpoolfan@gmail.com more of john.doe@gmail.com

If you choose Google as your email provider you will have access to 15 GB of free storage via Google drive. This can work well as a cloud storage location for all your cover letters and CV’s and give you access to them from any computer. This makes it easier should an opportunity arise that needs a speedy response.

Keep your social media pages as private as possible:  When you set up a Facebook page it’s important to remember to set your privacy settings (the default is public for new pages). A potential employer could quite easily decide to research your social media activities and the last thing you want is your new boss seeing the aftermath of that bottle of vodka you drank on Saturday night. Be as careful as possible when posting anything that might go against a company’s view or might be used as a negative against an application.

For instance: posting about a Shell oil spillage that killed 1000’s of sea birds whilst having an open job application with Topaz (Shell re-branded as Topaz in Ireland in 2008)

Research the company you are applying for: The internet is an amazing resource for research. If you apply for a job with a company, find the company on Facebook and twitter. See the kinds of things they post about and inform yourself about the company through their website. Gather as much information as possible about them so that if you do get called for interview you are prepared for the “why do you want to work for…” or “What do you know about our business…” questions.

For a list of the toughest interview questions click here

Keep up to date: Try to stay as up to date as possible with changes to existing technologies and new technologies. Be informed and maintain your digital skills because they are a great asset to you. Be aware of the free services available to you (like Google drive etc) and use them to your advantage because others are.

The verge is a great place to keep up on new technologies and news.

Forbes technology section is also good for tech news.


Good luck out there.

Keith Byrne

NCU Training


Pathways to work events

We have two events in the coming weeks that NCU will be attending and giving information out about our courses and answering any questions you might have. The events are held by Department of social protection under their pathways to work initiative , an employment, training and guidance scheme.

The first event will be on Tuesday the 27th of May in the Bracken court hotel, Balbriggan from 10:30am to 15:45pm

The second is being held on Thursday the 5th of June in the Ashbourne Community centre, Ashbourne Co. Meath from 10:00am to 4.00pm.

So if you are looking at one of our courses and are attending one of these events, we will be available to answer any questions. We look for ward to meeting you.


Get online week

Get online week is an annual digital empowerment campaign that promotes the use of digital technologies and learning digital skills. Having even basic digital skills will afford you a world of opportunity and the ability to become self sufficient in your learning. With so many great resources online, it is important to be aware of technologies that exist and how to access them.


Every nine jobs out of ten today presumes digital skills of one standard or another” – Pat Rabbitte

At NCU Training, we know the importance of Digital skills. Over the past few years we have been offering free Digital skills training so people can get online and start using technology to their advantage. We are all about digital empowerment and we have helped over 2100 people get online and start gaining Digital skills in the past two years alone.

If you are interested in taking a free Digital skills course with us you can call 01-8479463 to book a place.

Some of the course topics include:

  • Google services (Search, Email, Maps, Drive, YouTube, translate etc..)
  • Banking online
  • Government services online (motor tax, personal tax, local services etc..)

If you are interested in finding out more about Get Online Week you will find all the details on their website here

More websites worth looking at:

Grand Coalition for Digital jobs

Our free Digital skills course

Vice-President Neelie Kroes says digital literacy and e-skills are the new literacy


Universal Job competencies

In my travels around the internet I came upon a very interesting list of six core competencies that Microsoft look for in prospective employees. These are general competencies that could really be applied to any prospective position. As a Jobseeker It is useful to get a little insight in to the competencies that companies look for when searching for new employees, and this can help you prepare better for interviews.


Adaptability – Demonstrates curiosity and actively explores options. Responds efficiently to changing demands and circumstances. Functions effectively in ambiguous situations. Maintains a constructive attitude in times of stress.

Collaboration – Drives alignment and teamwork within a team, department, or across organizational boundaries. Combines resources and joins efforts to achieve company-wide goals.

Drive for Results – Tenaciously pursues positive outcomes by using effective approaches to solve problems. Delivers on commitments and seeks increasingly challenging work. Takes responsibility and holds others accountable for actions, decisions, and goals.

Influencing for Impact – Communicates and networks effectively. Successfully persuades and influences others.

Judgment – Effectively scopes problems. Builds and applies a job-relevant knowledge base. Makes decisions with conviction.

Customer Focus – Anticipates customer needs, and proactively meets and exceeds customer expectations. Recognizes the issues that customers want to resolve, and creates, or facilitates the creation of, products and services to address customer needs.



5 tips for safer food preparation at home.

As a food hygiene tutor I am passionate about creating awareness for safer food preparation both at home and in the workplace. With some simple do’s and don’ts you can avoid a trip to the hospital and learn how to create a safer environment for you to make your food.

Today my 5 tips are aimed toward using the microwave.


Over 90% of food poising cases occur at home, one of the contributing factors to this is improper use of the microwave. The heating of food in the microwave is a cause of major concern in Ireland.


Read the instructions on the packet. This is the first and most important step. We need to know whether the food needs to be cooked completely or just reheated, whether it can be cooked in a microwave or needs a conventional oven, cooking time and wattage. (generally your wattage is displayed on your microwave, if not consult the manual.)


To make best use of the microwave and to heat the food properly and evenly, heat your food in short bursts. For instance if the packet says 4 mins, put in for 2.


Make sure to take the product out and stir it thouroughly.

4.Continue heating

Put the product back in for the rest of the time needed.

5.Let it stand

Once the product is thouroughly heated through, leave it stand for 1 minute before consuming.

NCU Training is now an ICPA bonded member


We are Delighted to announce that we are now bonded members of the ICPA. We are one of only seven bonded training centres in the country and are very proud to be included. We are however more exited about what the bond means for our students. Anyone wishing to come on a course with us can be safe in the knowledge that their fees are protected.

What it means for the learner.

In the past few years six private colleges have dramatically collapsed, abandoning thousands of students and leaving them with no prospect of recovering their fees – estimated to have run into millions and affecting Irish and international students.

It is difficult to explain and therefore hard to help students, particularly international students, understand that when they part with their money to take a course of study with a private college that has been officially registered and approved by the Irish government that the fees they paid are always at risk and that the Irish state takes no responsibility for these fees.

The ICPA Bond scheme addresses this situation in an extremely effective way and eliminates the dreadful consequences that can arise when a college suddenly fails. It is relevant for both international and Irish students.

The ICPA mutual Bond scheme is the first scheme of its kind to have been developed in any country in the developed world.

This fact was attested by the top accountancy firms who were invited in 2011 to tender for the development of a mutual Bond scheme and who could not identify a similar scheme in any other country.

Over 60 private colleges made enquiries about the ICPA scheme and below are the first tranche of approved colleges:

The Open College

Pulse College,

NCU Training,

The Learning Institute,

English Language Academy,

Martha McGinn Training,

Montessori Education Centre.

These colleges are now fully bonded when offering courses longer than 12 weeks duration awarded by the Qualifications Authority of Ireland (QQI) and are authorised to use the official ICPA Bonded logo:

Reference: www.icpa.ie

For more details about the Bond scheme or the ICPA please contact: Richard Whelan                                                                              Harry Walsh Independent Chairman                                                                     CEO Tel: 087 7411711                                                                         086 8034989