Open College Network NI, an educational charity and an Awarding Body that advances education by developing nationally recognised qualifications for adults and young people throughout NI, is to stage its first Learner Awards ceremony at Stormont Buildings (Long Gallery) on 5thMarch 2019.

The Recognising Learning Endeavour Awards 2019 will cover a range of categories including schools, further education and voluntary sector learner of the year, an inspiring tutor/teacher award, health & wellbeing learner award and an educational provider award.  All applications are welcome but special consideration will be given to candidates who have overcome significant social, economic or educational barriers that were preventing them from realising their full potential.

Martin Flynn, CEO of Open College Network NI (OCNI) said: “At OCN NI, we are continually inspired by the hard work, perseverance and accomplishments of our learners and approved centres. The Awards will recognise the achievements of learners who seek to achieve their goals in life and work and their tutors/teachers and educational providers who help enable them to succeed.”

Martin Flynn added: “Hosting the Awards is an important milestone in the ongoing development of OCN NI and I am especially proud of the fact that we have chosen the hashtag #nooneleftbehind for the event which underscores our commitment to ensuring that as many people as possible, irrespective of their background get an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in their chosen field of endeavour.  Although the awards will be a signature event in the Belfast Festival of Learning they are open to all OCN NI learners and providers across Northern Ireland.”

Chief Executive of Action Mental Health, David Babington added: “AMH have been a longstanding provider of OCN qualifications, which have acted as a catalyst for participants to engage in other service programmes with the ultimate goal of improving their well-being and quality of life. We’re delighted with these inaugural awards and look forward to celebrating the achievements of our learners.  Supporting this event helps us contribute to realising our vision – a society which actively values and supports people on their journey to positive mental health.”

For a more information on the Awards and access to free nomination forms, visit  Closing date for entries to the Awards is 12 noon on Friday 23rdNovember 2018.



About Open College Network (NI)

The Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI) is an Awarding Body that advances education by developing nationally recognised qualifications and recognising the achievements of adults and young people. We are an educational charity and an Awarding Body working with centres such as Further Education Colleges, Private Training Organisations, Voluntary & Community Organisations, Schools, SME’s and Public Sector bodies to provide learners with opportunities to progress into further learning and/or employment. We are a not for profit organisation and reinvest all of our resources back into the development of new qualifications and educational resources. As an Awarding Body OCN NI develops high quality qualifications from Entry Level to Level 5 which help to meet the needs of learners and employers.  To date the educational charity has registered over 360,000 learners and has worked with over 400 organisations in the public, private and not for profit sectors. 

For further information please contact Lawrence Duffy of Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast (028) 9073 0880.