Delivered online with webinars, this QQI Level 5 course in Travel Agency Skills is designed for those who want to work as a travel agent or pursue a career in the travel industry.
Start Date21st September 2020
QualificationQQI Level 5
Course Duration3 months
Are you interested in becoming a travel agent? Portobello Institute’s QQI level 5 Minor award in Travel Agency Skills is a qualification that will allow you to secure employment in a travel agency. During this 3-month course you will acquire not only knowledge but the skills crucial to your future role as a travel agent. The delivery of this programme is by interactive webinar sessions and online learning allowing you the flexibility to study from a location convenient to you. Webinars are recorded allowing you the opportunity to catch up should you miss a session. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Why should I study this course?
The Retail Travel Agent Practice course is designed for those who want to be a travel agent or pursue a career in the travel industry. The Retail Travel Agent Practice course has been successfully meeting the demands of employers of this industry for over 15 years. The sound practical training has produced a high employment rate from this course each year.
With the growth in world-wide travel opportunities, the role of the travel agent has evolved. Where previously, knowledge of the family package holiday in the Mediterranean was the requirement, today’s travel agent is expected to know this and more. Today’s travel agent is expected to provide travel management services to clients undertaking lengthy trips often to the other side of the world. This can include complex air travel involving multiple stop-offs and airlines, short and long stays in hotels, car hire and experience bookings.
Portobello Institute wish to respond to the true needs within the sector by offering a course that will equip you not only with knowledge but with the skills crucial to your future role as a travel agent. We have been training travel agents for over 25 years with a strong network of contacts within the sector.
Travel agents are expected to have a passion for travel, good product knowledge and a strong customer focus with the ability to work under pressure. There are wide and varied employment opportunities available from working with well-known package holiday travel agents to corporate travel specialists and Portobello Institute supports students, through this programme and its network of contacts to avail of those opportunities.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon completion of this programme you will hold the following qualifications;
- Portobello Institute Certificate in Travel Agency Service Skills
- QQI Level 5 Minor Award in Travel Agency Service Skills (5N4970)
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.
What will I study during this Travel Agency Skills course?
The primary focus of this programme is to prepare you for employment as a travel agent. This course equips you with the knowledge, skills and competence to work as a travel agent in a travel agency or corporate travel company. You will gain a strong understanding in how the travel and tourism industry operates and the principles and practice of tourism, and acquire key skills in tourism administration, customer service and travel agency service.
During this course you will complete the following three modules;
During this unit students will understand the components of the travel & tourism industry, they will understand key travel terminology and identify with the use of maps, access points in relation to the tourism industry.
Customer Service and Sales
During this unit students will understand what is customer service and the challenges it brings to the industry. They will understand the importance of customer retention and the measurement of satisfaction. The unit will also focus on how to deliver excellence in customer service.
Retail Travel Operations
During this unit students will study the operations side of the travel agent industry, including cruising, car rental, ferry and railway services. The technology required for working in the industry, the Internet, insurance, finance and handling complaints.
Who will I learn from?
“You can’t start a lifelong journey without investing in a good map of the world!”
“I never tire of hearing people’s stories about where they are from, where they have been and where they want to go to. For me, travel is the most exciting industry in the world and it is a privilege for me to share my knowledge and experience with students who share this passion.”
“At Portobello Institute we strive to open a whole world of possibilities to learners who want to pursue a career in travel, the airlines or the tourism business.”
I have been a tutor in Portobello Institute for 15 years and I am also programme manager for the Travel and Tourism department. I teach Airline Studies, Customer Service, Travel Agency Service Skills, Tourism Principles and Practice and Personal Development. My own journey in the Travel and Tourism industry has been wide-ranging, working in USIT, Failte Ireland and Aer Lingus. I have held positions in customer service, sales, marketing, recruitment and training. It was while working in Aer Lingus Training and Development that I discovered my true passion for teaching and education. My style of teaching is to engage and motivate each individual, encouraging them to become confident in their own skills and abilities. Classes are fun and involve groupwork, presentations and simulations of real-life scenarios. I want to instil a value in the importance of excellent customer service and I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from my students as we share our stories and experiences. My goal for each of them is to have the courage and self-belief to follow their dreams.
Your experience as a Programme Manager.
As programme manager it is so important to me that each learner is fully supported throughout their time in Portobello. Class sizes are small so each tutor can offer individual support with assignments and assessments. We place huge value on getting to know each student individually and we are acutely aware that from time to time they will have personal challenges in their lives. Part of my role as program manager is to support and encourage each student to stay on their learning journey. There are always options available so learners can be assured that the teaching team and I will work through finding a solution to each and every issue.
At Portobello we want to help students to achieve their goal of a career in the Travel and Tourism industry – we pride ourselves on creating new experiences for them by visiting tourist attractions such as EPIC, Viking Splash, Vaults.ie or The Guinness Storehouse. This also includes trips to Industry Expos, Airports, aircraft simulators and we have informative onsite and offsite guest lectures from industry professionals such as DAA, Aer Lingus, Tour Operators and Tourism organisations. Our tutors are a passionate team of industry professionals who constantly keep us up to date on industry developments. We have established links with many organisations, many of whom employ graduates of Portobello Institute. It is through these links that we have successfully placed students on work experience, internships and in full time-positions. It is always a great joy and personal pleasure to meet a past pupil whether it’s touring around Ireland, checking in at the airport or onboard a fight. We have graduates working with Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Emirates, Sky Handling, TUI, Club Travel, Fáilte Ireland, The Travel Department, Guinness Storehouse and the OPW.
- Train the Trainer QQI
- Higher Certificate in Travel and Tourism DIT
- Advanced Diploma IATA/UFTA
Research / Industry Participation:
- Involved in Programme validation projects in Portobello
- Worked on several customer experience projects in Aer Lingus
Personal Academic Tutor
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
This course has been specifically re-designed for delivery by online learning with live interactive webinar sessions. It is very suited to you if you have a busy work and home life and want to fit study around this. During the induction, you will be given your log-in details to the online portal, “ePortobello”. Here you will find course notes, reading lists, articles of interest and assessment guidelines. The content is structured in an easy to “find and follow” format. You will need basic computer skills such as searching the internet and typing a word document. The webinars are scheduled every week on the same evening to give structure to your learning journey and encourage you to continue to progress through the programme.
There is one to one tutor support available to you during your learning journey. Online learning allows you to study at your time with support available when you need it.
This is an online course with webinars. The webinars are delivered one evening a week over 12 weeks. Webinars take place Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 9pm.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class. The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you. The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access webinars of the group you are assigned to.
Portobello Institute recognises that every student learns in a different way and for each and every student to excel, they need support and extra guidance at different stages throughout their learning journey. You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced in the travel industry as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
How will I be assessed?
A variety of assessment methods are used to support students with different learning styles. These vary from written reports to practical case studies to examinations. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these assessment methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your everyday practice.
Over the past 25 years, Portobello Institute has developed a strong network of travel and tourism contacts which have helped many students to gain employment within the sector. A significant number of our graduates are currently working for companies including to name but a Cassidy Travel, Corporate Travel Services, Sunway Travel, Aer Lingus and Ryanair.
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to other programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
I’m George. I am very passionate about fitness, aesthetics and looking after the body and mind. I love helping people and having this job allows me to guide people in the right direction so they can follow the career they want.
How long are you working in Portobello?
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
Getting to work with like minded people that push to give students and potential students a better education and helping them progress in their professional careers.
What inspires you about working in education?
Being able to help someone improve and progress to a career they are passionate about.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
A student that did not get the leaving cert points to get into Physiotherapy, so he thought there were no other options for him. He found our BSc Sports Therapy course and when I interviewed him he was a very intelligent young man and he was very passionate about following his dream job to be a Physiotherapist. When I gave him the news that he was accepted to study here he almost cried and it was lovely to see and to be able to help him follow his dreams.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
One of the best feelings for me is helping a student choose the right course. Most students are unsure which career they want. Being able to explain to them what exactly the roles involve and helping them make the right choice is amazing. Some people will work in a job for 10 years before they realise it is not their dream, Being able to talk to students at an early stage and helping them get a job in the role they want is very rewardin
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.