At this stage we are all receiving COVID-19 updates from different sources, we are all hoping for a rapid and safe return to normal. We are seeing figures coming from the HAS that are indicating that normal is not yet within our grasp. I would like to take this opportunity to appraise you of how the Institute is dealing with the pandemic.
1 Fitzwilliam Place is still closed, we are working on plans to re-open the office in a manner that is safe to all, in the mean time we are all working remotely and responding to emails, please keep in contact via email.
We cancelled the June Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence examination, we will now conduct one examination in December, we are at an advanced stage of planning regarding the conduct of this examination in a manner that is safe to all. We have re-commenced ADR examination, we have had to scale back the number of candidates that we can examine in a day, having said that we are increasing the frequency of examinations and we are keeping up with demand.
We took a decision in March to convert the Higher Certificate to an online only offering for the remainder of the term, this we did in conjunction with our educational partner IT Carlow. I am glad to report that this was a successful transformation. We intend to commence the Higher Certificate delivery for 2020/2021 in Sept, we hope it will be a face to face delivery, if not it will be either a full online or a blended approach. I am delighted to report that we have had considerable traction thus far with our Higher Certificate. At this time in 2019 we had applications from 12 learners for the program, by 14 September (our registration date) we had 57 first year learners register. Today, we have 64 applications for the first year of our program, it is anticipated that this will continue to rise as we get closer to Sept. This vote of confidence in the Institute in spite of COVID-19 is heartening to see.
We are currently working on additional educational offerings that will best serve our sector, more on this to follow at a later date.
Skillnet has been a resounding success, we moved all training online for the duration of the pandemic. We have been oversubscribed in some of our courses, our Skillnet offerings will continue to go from strength to strength.