Vacancy – Executive Director

Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA)

Executive Director


HECA is a nationally and internationally recognised professional association of independent colleges offering accredited, quality assured Higher Education programmes in Ireland, underpinned by international best practice in pedagogy. With a student body of over 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, HECA members pride themselves on making a significant contribution to Higher Education in Ireland.

Over the past 20 years, HECA has become the recognised voice of independent higher level education in Ireland. It has made numerous submissions to QQI, HETAC, NQAI and HEA among others and has had a significant input into the development of independent third level education in Ireland.

HECA is now looking to recruit an Executive Director to act as administrative support to the Board as well as supporting HECA it in its lobbying and advocacy activities. This is an initial 12 month fixed term, part-time contract requiring approximately three days’ work per week on a flexible/floating working hours arrangement.

Enquiries and Applications should be submitted by email to

Closing date for submission of applications is Friday 16th March 2018

HECA is an equal opportunities employer


Reporting To:                    Chair, Board of HECA

Job Purpose:

Promotion of HECA and independent Higher Education sector to

  • Public
  • Government Agencies
  • Semi state bodies, QQI, HEA, etc.

Support the Board in lobbying and advocacy activities with various bodies and/or politicians on behalf of HECA issues.

Support the development of relationships with similar bodies nationally and internationally

Ensure HECA members are aware of key issues relating to/impacting on the HECA membership.

Act as focus point for interested parties to communicate with HECA members.

Working with the Board on the strategic development of HECA

Key Responsibilities

  • Co-ordinate HECA responses to QQI Green Papers, proposed legislation, public statements etc.
  • Collation of data from members for use in discussions with Government Departments, Quality bodies, public discussions, etc.
  • Collect annual fees from members and ensure that all appropriate renewal documentation also submitted
  • Protection for Enrolled Learners (PEL) – ensure all documentation is kept up to date (Grid, Auditors Certificates, Annual payments).
  • Liaise with QQI in connection with PEL
  • Coordination of submissions to various bodies as requested by Board (e.g. Oireachtas committees)
  • Liaison with professional advisers as required (e.g., solicitors, tax advisers, etc.)
  • Maintenance of Website
    • Liaise with members to ensure content is relevant and up to date
    • Liaise with web developers and designers, as required
  • Preparation of annual budget and quarterly and annual accounts for presentation to the Board
  • Secretarial:
  • In conjunction with Chair, prepare agenda for monthly Board Meetings
  • Attendance and minute taking at Board Meetings
  • Timely production and distribution of minutes
  • Follow up with members to ensure that action points completed
  • Ensure Officers are appointed at correct times

Person Specification

Educated to Degree level:                             Essential

Masters or PhD or Professional:                Preferred



Experience of management in a Higher Education environment: Very Desirable

Experience of working for a Board: Desirable

Lobbying to government/politicians: Desirable

Good working knowledge of Word and Excel: Desirable

Excellent communication skills: Essential


Personal Attributes

Excellent Organisational and time management skills

Ability to work independently/self-starter

Willingness to take on multiple tasks

Self-motivated and enthusiastic

Attention to detail

Excellent presentational skills


Download HECA Exec Dir Advertisement as PDF file

HECA Conference 2017

Heca coference 2017 logo
Date: Thursday 27th of April 2017
Location: Griffith College Dublin
Theme: Demographic Trends: The Urgent Agenda of HE Access.
Keynote Speaker: Peter Cassells

“The aim of the conference is to present and discuss possible solutions on how to practically address the access challenges identified in the Cassells report. We are delighted to announce that Peter Cassells is keynote speaker on the day and he will set the context for subsequent short presentations and full panel discussion.”

HECA Conference 2016

Our recent Heca Conference was held on Friday 15th April 2016. Below is the information about the conference and some speeches and presentations.

THEME:   “Funding of Higher Education – Challenges and Solutions”

DATE:   Friday 15th April 2016

VENUE:  Saint Nicholas Montessori College Ireland



Opening Address by Prof. Andrew Deeks

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Presentation by Dermot J Douglas

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Meeting the Digital Capacity Challenge – Dara Cassidy

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QQI Contribution by Mary Sheridan, QQI

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This report is an output of the research funding provided by the National Forum to support the CEEN and HECA joint project ‘Enterprise Engagement in Education (EEE) Pathways and Supports Project’ for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.
Sincerest thanks are offered to all CEEN and HECA members who have supported this work. The vision, commitment and support of academics across all partner institutes to participate and help develop and deliver effective entrepreneurship education are also commended.

DOWNLOAD full report

HECA/EDIN publish final report on Identifying the Professional Development Needs of Part-Time Academic Staff

HECA is pleased to announce the publishing of the final report “Identifying the professional development needs of part-time academic staff in higher education institutions in Ireland”.

This is the culmination of a collaborative project between HECA and EDIN, the Educational Developers in Ireland network, and funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, with the aim of delivering a research-informed analysis of professional development needs for the target group to inform continuing professional development programmes for these staff in the future. The executive summary and full report are available from the project website.

Recent Appointments

Donal Quill, Finance and Operations Director, Dublin Business School, and Diarmuid Hegarty, President, Griffith College, have been appointed to the Departments of Justice & Equality and Education & Skills Regulatory Reform Stakeholders Group.

Ian McKenna, Director, St. Nicholas Montessori College Ireland, has been appointed to the Management Body of the Roadmap for Employment-Academic Partnership (REAP) Project.

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning – Teaching Hero Awards

The National Forum held an event in Dublin Castle on September 30th, addressed by former President of Ireland Professor Mary McAleese (patron to the National Forum), and Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. Led by Professor Sarah Moore, and Dr. Terry McGuire, this event celebrated our nation’s third-level Teaching Heroes, two from each higher education institution in Ireland. The Teaching Heroes were selected by students within all institutions.

QQI White Papers

Quality & Qualifications Ireland recently published five new White Papers for public consultation, the deadline of which is November 14th 2014. The White Papers are as follows:

  • Draft Code of Practice for Providers of Programmes of Education and Training to International Learners
  • Policy on Quality Assurance Guidelines
  • Policy on Monitoring
  • Policy and Criteria for Making Awards
  • Policy for Determining Awards Standards


HECA Conference 2015

CCT was proud to host the annual Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) annual conference on March 24, 2015. The programme can be accessed here, and below are photos, information and videos (coming soon) of various sessions throughout the day.

Welcome, Neil Gallagher, Director, CCT



Welcome, Donal Quill, Chair of HECA



Opening Address, Mary Doyle, Deputy Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills



Keynote Address, Paul Sweetman, Director ICT Ireland – IBEC



Senator Seán Barrett, Ph.D., FTCD



Public Perception Survey: Conor Crean, Sponge IT

Commentary: Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College and Dr Marcella Finnerty, Chief Executive IICP/VCS




Session B: Teaching & Learning Committee

Dr Martin Fitzgerald, Chair of EDIN – HECA/EDIN research project: CPD for Part-time Educators


Dr Eileen Buckley-Dhoot – HECA & CEEN Enterprise Engagement in Entrrepreneurship Education (EEE) Pathways and Supports Project



Dr Terry Maguire, Director, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning –

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education: Current Priorities and Future Directions



Keynote Address: Peter Williams, Chair of British Accreditation Council – Perspectives on Private Higher Education – the UK Experience



Graduate Panel Discussion: Brian Mooney, Conference Chair and HECA Alumni





Closing Address: Mary Sheridan, Head of Provider Relations, Quality and Qualifications Ireland –

Issues and Opportunities for Private Higher Education



Closing Remarks: Donal Quill, Chair of HECA



More photos from the day:



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