Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Course (QQI Level 5)

329.00 or 165.00 / month for 2 months

  • Our online QQI Level 5 Special Needs Assistant (SNA) module is designed to enable learners to work effectively as Special Needs Assistants and gain an understanding of the skills required to ensure children they are working with become independent learners.
  • How is it delivered? Online Learning with flexible part-time study from your own home. No classes to attend.
  • What QQI award do I receive? On successful completion of this 8 week module you will gain a QQI Level 5 component Certificate in Special Needs Assistant (5N1786).
  • How long is the SNA Course? Students are given ample time (8 weeks) to complete the course and can start it at any time of the year.
  • What does it cost? The full course fee is €329 and includes all documentation, lecturing, assessments, learner registration and QQI certification fees. No other hidden accreditation or certification fees to pay!
  • There is also an Easy Payment option of – €165 per month over 2 months with our unrivaled Easy Payment Plans.
  • Garda Vetting is also provided at no extra cost.
  • Live Online tutor-led support sessions (weekly).


Choose your Payment Option:

Course Description


Our eLearning QQI Level 5 Special Needs Assistant (SNA) module is designed to enable learners to work effectively as Special Needs Assistants and gain an understanding of the skills required to ensure children they are working with become independent learners.

The primary role of an SNA is to provide support and guidance for students with additional learning needs and disabilities. They assist teachers and ensure children with additional needs gain access to all areas of the curriculum.

A typical daily role of the SNA could include but not limited to:

  • Assisting the teacher prepare classroom materials
  • Assisting children and provide support as needed
  • Ensuring the physical, social, and emotional needs of the children are met
  • Working with the children inside or outside the classroom
  • Assisting children with the hygiene needs such as toileting, clothing, feeding, and general hygiene.

Course documentation for this SNA Level 5 course is detailed, comprehensive and easy to read. This online learning QQI accredited course means that students can study flexibly at home, or at work, while gaining an Internationally Recognised Qualification.


Course Details


Topics covered include:

  • Unit 1: Context of Special Needs

  • Unit 2: Good Practice

  • Unit 3: Relating to people with Special Needs

  • Unit 4: Relating to other Stakeholders

  • Unit 5: Special Needs Assisting Skills.


Who should complete this course?

  • People who wish to pursue a career in Childcare or as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA).
  • People looking to gain a QQI Level 5 or Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education.


Entry Requirements / Prerequisites:

  • Leaving certificate, Level 4 certificate or equivalent in a relevant subject area (Special Needs/Childcare/Healthcare) and/or relevant practical experience (3 years minimum) – Please ask about our requirements surrounding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for entry.

  • Mature students (over 23 years) may be exempt from the above prerequisites.

  • As part of this module, Learners will be required to undertake a practical supervised work placement (20 hours). This must be in a recognised educational environment (e.g. primary school). You must be either working or have access to a suitable setting where you can complete these 20 hours (this can be on a voluntary basis).
  • English Language Requirement: Students entering programmes leading to awards at Level 5 are expected to be able to: be proficient at reading, drafting, preparing and understanding information across a broad range of topics, including quantitative information.

  • Learners undertaking this programme must have basic IT skills and access to the necessary equipment to enable them to undertake an online programme: computer, broadband, email, Microsoft, recording equipment necessary for some skills demonstration tasks, and where applicable any other specialised software/equipment. 

  • As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative.

  • For more details on participation suitability of this course click here».


Progression to further Studies:

  • This course leads to a level 5 award on the National Framework of Qualifications.
    Students who successfully complete this programme may use this Level 5 credit towards completing a QQI Major awards such as:



Early Childhood Care & Education


6.1.8 ChildCare



Early Childhood Care & Education


6.1.8 ChildCare



This course is assessed through a number of assignments which students must complete to demonstrate their understanding of various topics. Learners must complete the following two tasks:


  • Skills Demonstration 60%

This Skills Demonstration is divided into two sections:

Section (1) – the learner will be required to demonstrate their knowledge with regard to working with those who have a special need.

Section (2) – the learner will be assessed on the practical elements of working with those who have special needs.


  • Learner Record 40%

Learners are required to compile a learner record which must be drawn from experiences. It must include reflections on their experiences and challenges, an examination of the values associated with working in the special needs environment and identify their personal learning and development.



  • Following successful completion you will receive a QQI Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (5N1786) at Level 5.
  • QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland) is the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland. The Open College is registered with QQI to offer programmes leading to QQI awards in the National Framework of Qualifications in Ireland. Click here for details of the National Framework of Qualifications.
  • Click here for more detailed Accreditation information.
  • All Registration & Certification Fees are included in the course price.

QQI Distance Learning Courses


Delivery Format


This QQI Special Needs Assistant (5N1786) course is completed through Online Learning and there are no lectures to attend.

Students can complete this course within 8 weeks which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient. If students need to extend this period for any reason during or near the end of the course they can request an extension through the college.

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