Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Points Calculator for QQI awards

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QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Points Calculator - 2016 Entry

Enter the credit scores and results of your modules to automatically calculate your CAO points score.

 

Note: Max points = 400

Credits Vs Points:

In most Further and Higher Education courses, every module you take has a credit value. Short modules have fewer credits than longer modules. Completing a module means you have achieved all the credits for that module. Typically, QQI modules are 15 credits each – so completing 8 modules = 120 credits. 120 Credits are needed to achieve a QQI Major Award.

However, sometimes a module will have as much as 30 credits, so completing one large module (30 Credits) plus 6 more normal modules (6 × 15 = 90) would achieve the 120 credits needed. Some courses also offer additional modules, in which case you use the scores from your best ones to calculate your points, but this makes figuring out your points trickier.

The Calculator above will work for all combinations once you put in the information required.

 

 

Progression Routes

Finding CAO Courses using QQI Progression Routes.

Your QQI Award can be used as an alternative to the Leaving Cert to access Higher Education (CAO) courses. Hundreds of courses are available to holders of any QQI award, while others will require specific awards.

CAO Search with QQI Award

Note: Places for QQI applicants on CAO courses are limited, and your CAO points calculated from your highest QQI qualification will be used as a criteria for acceptance.

Scoring Scheme

This scoring system for QQI awards for entry through CAO to higher education applies from 2013. This scoring system will apply to all relevant QQI level 5 and 6 awards listed on the CAO and higher education institution websites.

Scoring Scheme