Certificate in Supported Employment

This Certificate in Supported Employment Level 7 course is a professional qualification targeted specifically at the needs of people working as job coaches and employment facilitators. It will provide:

  • A detailed understanding of the social and legislative context in which the employment of marginalised groups takes place
  • A formal grounding in the principles, processes and best practices of Supported Employment
  • The skills and tools required to work effectively as a jobs facilitator for the good of service users

Successful completion of the 12-week course will provide you with the tools required to facilitate job seekers into work experience/job sampling and/or supported employment opportunities. You will also receive a Certificate in Supported Employment which is a QQI Level 7 Special Purpose Award.

At a Glance

  • Audience Job coaches & employment facilitators
  • FormatBlended
  • Workshops Location Marino Conference Centre, Dublin 9
  • Duration12 weeks
  • AwardCertificate in Supported Employment (7S15637)
  • Award Type QQI HET Special Purpose
  • Level on NFQ 7 (20 Credits)
  • Apply bySept, 13th, 2019
  • Online Elearning ModuleSept 16th, 2019
  • Start DateSept 23rd, 2019
  • Duration 12 Weeks
  • Fees€995
  • Workshop 1 Dates2 Days: Sept. 23rd & 24th 2019
  • Workshop 2 Dates2 Days: Oct. 14th & 15th, 2019
  • Assignment SubmissionJan. 6th, 2020

Continue to Application Centre

Who Is This Course For?

This course is suitable for newly promoted and/or experienced job coaches and employment facilitators who are looking for an accredited qualification specifically devoted to Supported Employment.

Certificate in Supported Employment graduate
Certificate in Supported Employment graduate
Certificate in Supported Employment graduate

Course Details

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing the course you should be able to:

  • Explain the role of work in people’s lives and explore the traditional strategies for supporting people into or back to work
  • Describe the structures and legislation that governs the employment of marginalised groups
  • Explain what Supported Employment is, how it has evolved and what its core values and underlying principles are
  • Describe the role and position of the service user in the evolution of Supported Employment and summarise possible future development paths
  • Determine how your service compares to current best practices in supported employment
  • Understand what a customer-driven person centred approach means and how this relates to the practice of Supported Employment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core values and underlying principles of supported employment such as normalisation, social role valorisation and integration and inclusion.
  • Describe the role of an employment facilitator
  • Identify the key skills required by an effective employment facilitator
  • Develop a Vocational Profile and Career Plan for a job seeker
  • Identify the essential components of action plans and support plans
  • Gather information for the completion of a Work-site analysis and identify examples of Natural Supports
  • Develop a marketing strategy to achieve success in helping a person gain and maintain employment
  • Use the principles of Systematic Instruction to train people for their roles
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and address learning needs within supported employment/vocational services at personal and interpersonal level
  • Explore through practice, the role of the employment facilitator in supporting an individual as they seek, gain and maintain employment

Certificate in Supported Employment graduate


This course is made up of two modules and two workshops. The modules will be predominantly online. The workshops will be 2-day events that will help you place what you have learnt in the context of your own practice. Discussion and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged.

Unit 1: Supported Employment: An Overview

  • Define employment
  • The history of services for people with disability in Ireland
  • Work and employment for people with disability
  • The importance of being employed
  • Working when you have a disability
  • Previous work options for people with disability
  • Sheltered workshops
  • Factors that influence the emergence of supported employment

Unit 2: The Context of Supported Employment in Ireland

  • Employment Legislation In Northern Ireland
  • The Context of Supported Employment in the South of Ireland
  • The Commission on the Status of People with Disability
  • The NACTE Report: Challenges for The Millennium

Unit 3: Development of Supported Employment

  • Supported Employment: The Beginning
  • The Evolution of the Model of Supported Employment
  • Individual Placement Models
  • Supported Employment in the Present
  • Trends for the Future Development of Supported Employment

Unit 4: Core Values & Underlying Principles of Supported Employment

  • The ideological cornerstones of Supported Employment
  • Underlying principles of Supported Employment

Unit 5: Essential Employment Facilitator Skills

  • The role of the employment facilitator
  • Skills for effective communication
  • Person centred planning
  • The role of person centred planning in Supported Employment
  • Career planning
  • Marketing
  • Job analysis
  • Analysis the work site culture & the environment
  • Preparation for the first days at work
  • Guidelines for facilitating decisions about support strategies
  • Systematic Instruction
  • Evaluating outcomes & supports


You will need to undertake a project to complete the course. This will involve working with someone seeking work and supporting them through the first phases of supported employment. By doing this you will have the opportunity to perform your role in a highly supported environment where you have access to experts and fellow practitioners facing the exact same challenges/opportunities as you.

Taking the Course

Certificate in Supported Employment

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach which combines online learning, virtual tutorials and face to face workshops. Our online 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. These are accessible through our learning centre which provides a platform for you to study, collaborate and communicate with your fellow learners. Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study. Each workshop focuses on extending your understanding of the subject matter and helping you apply it in your working practice. The one-day session will be led by a subject matter expert who also has extensive experience in providing coaching/training to people working in the human services and non-profit sector.

Discussion, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged in order for the workshop to achieve one of its primary goals:

  • Facilitating the application of knowledge and skills acquired during the course to address real world challenges in a practical and effective manner.

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 learners 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 know as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

The Learning Experience

The Tutor’s View – Claire Hopkins

Tell us a little bit about the course?

It’s a fully accredited course that provides participants with a professional qualification in best practice delivery of a Supported Employment service. The course is designed specifically for the needs of working professionals. For example the course materials we create are meant to be used as both a learning tool and a job aid in work. We firmly believe, as a college, as front line professionals ourselves that they provide a set of tools that will help you help job seekers gain paid employment! That is the real test of the effectiveness of a Supported Employment service and I believe it passes.

Certificate in Supported Employment Claire Hopkins

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

I love the job! Devising and delivering programmes to committed professionals who make a real change is extremely satisfying.

The Student View – Colette Reynolds, graduated 2009, Employability Galway

Enjoyed the course immensely – have no hesitation in recommending the course and College to colleagues. Lots of student supports when you need them. The module system is ideal for mature students.

Watch a video where some Job Coaches explain their experience and benefits of the QQI-accredited Level 7 Certificate in Supported Employment course with the OTC:


The course is certified by the QQI as a Level 7 Special Purpose Award (20 credits). Successful participants will receive a Certificate in Supported Employment.

Next Steps


The next course will start in September 2019 commencing with the first of two 2-day workshops:

  • Application deadline: Sept. 13th, 2019
  • Online eLearning Module: w/c Sept. 16th, 2019
  • Workshop 1 Dates: Monday & Tuesday, Sept. 23rd and 24th
  • Workshop 2 Dates: Monday & Tuesday, October 14th and 15th, 2019
  • Assignment Submission: Friday, January 6th, 2020


The course runs for 12 weeks.


Online with workshops held at Marino Conference Centre, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9.


The course costs €995 to attend.

Booking a Place

Apply via our Online Application Centre – by clicking on the link below:

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