Walter Balfe is a graduate of University College Dublin. He has worked in education and training for all of his career, as an educator in various sectors of further and higher education and latterly in a variety of quality assurance roles. Between 2002 and 2012, he worked for the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), the Irish state agency responsible for awards and quality assurance in VET programmes. In 2012 FETAC was amalgamated with the other state qualifications and quality assurance agencies to form QQI, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (www.qqi.ie), which has responsibility in respect of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) as well as quality assurance in further and higher education and training. His current role is Manager of Awards and Certification unit, with responsibility for the issuing of NFQ awards to learners who have successfully completed programmes.