Irish Travel Agents Association
The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has enjoyed a long established relationship with the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Through this link the ITAA were invited to join the DIT Corporate Partnership Network which would provide the opportunity for both organisations to develop the strong relationship in a more structured manner.
The strengthening of the relationship between the ITAA and DIT has resulted in increased engagement, most recently in the area of accredited training.
Students and Academic Staff at the conferring ceremony for the ITAA Travel
Professional Higher Certificate
The ITAA wished to establish opportunities for its members to receive accredited training from an Irish institution – beginning with the establishment of a short CPD programme with a view to expanding the relationship up to Degree level in short to middle term future.
The establishment of CPD opportunities supported by Skillnets funding was seen by the ITAA as being particularly important and relevant for its members who are largely comprised of Owner-managed SMEs distributed throughout Ireland. It was noted by the Association that its membership required upskilling and training due to increasing pressures on the sector in light of technological changes and the recent economic global and national downturn.
Working with the DIT, the ITAA was officially recognised as an accredited provider of DIT programmes, having followed the official accreditation process defined by the Quality Assurance procedures of the Institute.
Having achieved formal recognition, the ITAA as a provider of DIT accredited training, in association with the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, developed a 12 week programme / module which brought together a number of short one day seminars / courses which the Association previously had provided as un-accredited on-the-job training for its membership. The programme was entitled the ITAA Travel Professional Higher Certificate and was delivered through a blended teaching format.
Flexibility in course design, delivery mechanisms and assessment within the DIT quality assurance and accreditation process was an important factor in facilitating the development of the training relationship. The system of modular accumulation of credits which has been operated in the DIT for a number of years has an emphasis on achievement of learning outcomes. This facilitates the development of flexible / novel approaches to teaching and learning which are a unique feature of both the present programme and future relationship partnerships between DIT and the ITAA.