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Certificate in Applied Management (Human Services) – Level 6

Next commencement: Autumn 2021. Please note 2 Fasttrack modules available sooner: Managing Service Quality & Safeguarding, and Key Management Skills.

The Certificate in Applied Management (Human Services) is a one-year professional development programme created for people working in the human services, community and non-profit sector. It will:

  • Develop your understanding of the specific management skills required to deliver quality services in the sector
  • Provide you with the tools needed to supervise, lead and manage a team
  • Help you understand the statutory and regulatory environment in which you operate
  • Satisfy the management qualification requirements set out in the HIQA Standards

What Will I Learn in Applied Management?

After successfully completing the course you should:

  • Understand the principles of First Line Management and how they relate to your area of responsibility
  • Recognise the professional development and ethical issues that are driving contemporary Person Centred Human Services
  • Have started to develop key management skills around Communications, Effective Teamwork, Leadership, Risk Management, Motivation and Conflict Management
  • Be familiar with the legislative and regulatory environment in which your organization operates and how this impacts on the role of the manager
  • Have an understanding of the financial and economic context in which the human services, community and non-profit sectors operate and recognize the management decision making challenges this presents
  • Understand the management issues that need to be considered to ensure that the best possible service quality is delivered

Certificate in Applied Management Course Content

The course is made up of 6 modules. See them outlined below.


1. Managing for Regulation & Inspection       (10 Credits)

  • The regulatory environment
  • The application of regulations
  • Preparing for the regulatory inspection process
  • Engaging with the regulatory inspection visit


2. Management, Professional Development & Ethics (10 credits)

  • Introduction to management theory
  • You and your role as a manager
  • Skills for personal effectiveness
  • Ethical considerations in management


3. Key Management Skills: Teamwork, Leadership & Communications (10 credits)

  • The people you manage
  • Groups, leadership and teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Managing conflict

4. Essential Employment Law (15 credits)

Contracts, disciplinary & grievances procedures

  • Unfair Dismissals Act (1977 – 2007)
  • Equality, health & safety
  • Recruitment and selection
  • An introduction to employment law


5. Budget Management (5 credits)

  • Concept of budgeting
  • Income & expenditure, getting the balance right
  • Planning, implementing and monitoring the budget


6. Managing Service Quality & Safeguarding (10 credits)

  • Selecting a quality system
  • Total Quality Management
  • Quality for human service organisations
  • Managing the process of safeguarding


How Will I Be Assessed?

The course is assessed through a combination of assignments, online activities, written examinations and in-class assessment.

It is an applied course so you must be working at least 10 hours per week in an appropriate work environment.

Promoting best practice in services is integral to the College’s mission. As part of this, we place particular importance on encouraging students to apply what they are learning – as they are learning – in their professional environment. Therefore, our learning materials, workshops and assessments are practical in nature. A significant proportion of assessment marks, for example, are allocated to applying what you learn in real-world settings.

What is it Like to Study with Us?

We Are All Part of a Learning Community

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach. Each module combines online learning, tutorials (telephone, online, virtual) and face to face workshops. Learning materials are explicitly designed to accommodate the pressures that come with trying to balance work, life and learning. They make it possible to build study time around your work schedule.

Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study. Each one-day seminar focuses on how the module topic is impacting the sector, will deepen your understanding of the subject matter and help you apply it in your working practice.

Underpinning all of this is our learning community. This is made up of tutors who have extensive first-line experience, learning support staff who understand the human challenges people can face when attending college and our students who are defined by their commitment to supporting each other. We believe this creates a learning experience that is unique to the Open Training College, one that meets the specific requirements of people working in our sector and improves the quality of service our users receive.

This is known as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

Meet Mr. Brendan Collins – Course Director

Brendan Collins

What’s the biggest challenge a student faces starting the course and how do you try and help them with this?

Allocating and managing the time required to complete the course is definitely the biggest challenge. First and foremost, I try to be as approachable and flexible as possible. I make sure that they have their course calendar at the start and check in with them on a regular basis to offer support, advice and guidance on the course and assignments in general.

What changes do you see in people as the course progresses?

I think students grow in confidence both personally and professionally. As they learn new skills and knowledge they become confident in applying them to their area of work.

What long-term benefits does the course bring to students and service users?

Students learn front line specific management skills and as a result become more effective advocates for the people their agency supports. Learning how to effectively manage a front line team helps them appreciate that the more effective their team is, the better the quality of service they deliver to the end user.

More generally, what motivated you to become a tutor in the first place?

I became a tutor because I like to help people to learn. It is rewarding to watch someone grow and develop the skills needed not only to gain a qualification but to improve the quality of service people who use their services receive.

Meet the Student - Venerina Legname, Prosper Fingal, Graduate

How did you find the course?

I heard about the Certificate in Applied Management through my colleagues at work who had already experienced the course and were very positive about it. I gained a lot of new skills by doing the course which I am able to apply to my job. It actually encouraged me to apply for a new role within the quality and standards department and I now work ‘behind the scenes’ supporting staff and service users get a better quality of service.

What has your experience of the College been like?

It has been pleasantly surprising in how much I have embraced learning and, right from the beginning, I’ve found it useful in my day to day work.

The tutors are extremely knowledgeable and they also have direct experience within the field. Their practical examples are excellent teaching tools. Not only has it had a positive impact on my practice, but I have also been able to share knowledge with colleagues, directly benefiting the people we support.

I would definitely recommend the college’s social care programmes to anyone who is considering furthering their education.

Venerina - new site

How Will The Applied Management Course Enhance My Career Prospects?

Successful completion of this course will allow you to progress onto the Higher Certificate in Applied Management (Human Services).

The skills acquired have been used by graduates to support their promotion within their organisations and to seek management opportunities within and beyond where they work.

Testimonial from Shannon, a recent past student:

Last year I completed the level 6 management course with the Open Training College and it has benefited me greatly. I am a social care worker in the disability sector with no management experience until I enrolled in this course. It has taught me so much and landed me my first ever management position!!

I only finished the course in September and interviewed for the first time in December and the rest is history. Can’t thank the lecturers and course co-ordinator enough for their support especially since the course was taught during our current pandemic. If you’re thinking of applying, go for it!! I now have the confidence and skill set to becoming a successful manager.

Shannon F, Person In Charge, 2021


Successful completion of this Award will lead to a Certificate in Applied Management. This is a QQI higher education and training (HET) Award (6H15631) at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Click here if you need to understand what this means and why it matters.

How Do I Apply?

Applications for this course are accepted through our Online Application Centre. To apply for the degree, you will need to:

  • Satisfy the entry requirements for the programme
  • Provide a range of documents to support your application
  • Submit a personal statement explaining why you want to apply

What are the Course Entry Requirements?

To apply you must:

  • Be either 23 years of age when you apply, or
  • Have successfully completed a Leaving Certificate/QQI/FETAC Level 5 Certificate.
  • All applicants must be currently working in the human services, community or not for profit environment for at least 10 hours a week and need to be able to apply their learning to an appropriate work setting.

International applicants must provide appropriate documentary evidence of proficiency in English (i.e. IELTS 6.0).

What Supporting Documents Will I Need?

You will need to provide us with a range of documents as part of your application. These are:

  • Proof of identity. Common examples included scanned copies of a driving license or passport (for international applicants).
  • Employment Validation: Formal confirmation that you are working for more than 10 hours a week in a qualifying service is required. Please use the employer validation form we have provided for download below.
  • Volunteer Form: You will need to complete a Volunteer Form if you are currently working as a volunteer. This is available for download below.
  • Educational Transcripts: These are copies of previous educational achievements that confirm you satisfy the course entry requirements. They could, for example, include a copy of your leaving certificate or a scan of a level 5 certificate. It is particularly important that applicants wishing to transfer from another course, or be considered for Advanced Entry, provide transcripts confirming they have completed a Level 6/7 course worth at least 60 credits (NFQ) or more in Social Care or Social Studies within the last 10 years.
  • Personal Statement: This document essentially explains why you want to take the course and how you see it helping you achieve your professional and personal goals. You can learn more about it below and download a simple document that will help you write it.
  • International Applicants: International applicants are required to provide documentary evidence of proficiency in English and eligibility to study in Ireland before beginning an accredited course. A document explaining why it is necessary and what documents are required for a successful application can be found below

What is a Personal Statement and Why is it Important?

A personal statement briefly describes:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What you hope to achieve in your career on both a personal and professional level
  • How you think the course will help you achieve your goals

Personal statements are particularly important for us when assessing individual applications. We believe in selecting students not just based on their previous academic achievements but on how a particular educational programme can help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Personal statements help us understand why you want to take the course and if it is the right one for you.


PLEASE NOTE: We’ve also provided a checklist to help with your application. We generally recommend you gather together all the documents you will require to support your application before you begin but our online application system will allow you add documents as and when you have them once you’ve begun submitting your application. You can learn more by visiting the Online Application Centre.

At a Glance


Persons in Charge (PICs), Managers, Supervisors & those interested in developing first line management capabilities




Certificate in Applied Management (Human Services)







Online during Covid-19 restrictions


















Applicants must be 23 years at time of application OR have successfully completed the Leaving Certificate/QQI/FETAC Level 5 Certificate. Applicants are expected to be currently working in the human services, community or not for profit sector and need to be able to apply their learning to an appropriate work setting.

Please note that the OTC is not registered with the Department of Justice on the ILEP (Interim List of Eligible Providers) and therefore cannot accommodate any international applicants seeking an education visa.


International applicants must provide appropriate documentary evidence of proficiency in English (i.e. IELTS 6.0).

Start Making Your Application

All applications are processed through our application centre where you can:

  • Submit your application
  • Learn about what happens after you’ve made your application
  • Monitor the progress of your application

Visit the Online Application Centre.

A Special Note About Protecting Enrolled Users

The Open Training College (OTC) has approval to offer students learner protection insurance in respect of Protection of Enrolled Learners (PEL) for this course. Find out more about PEL here.

How Can We Help?

Contact us if you want to know more about the course.

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Call: (+353 1) 298 8544
Mail: Click Here

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