The Education Awards Ireland

Axia Digital and ATU accepting Irish Education Award

Last night (April 27th, 2023), the prestigious Irish National Education Awards in Dublin recognised Axia Digital’s collaborative work with the Department of Nursing at Atlantic Technological University in Donegal. These awards recognise excellence in the third level education sector in Ireland, from both State and privately-funded institutions.

The Department of Nursing ATU Donegal, HSE, and Axia Digital (Ireland) received the Best Industry/Business-Academic Collaboration Award for implementing the first digital version of the National Competency Assessment Document for Nurses.

The panel described the entry for the award as “An excellent example of collaboration between academia and industry, taking innovative approach to a practical problem facing many students in placements, whether it be clinical or other. The collaboration has resulted in an innovative and efficient response.”


Collaborative Development of The MyCAD E-portfolio

Irish Education Award

This collaboration has brought together academic and industry partners to develop a cutting-edge nursing education programme. It has leveraged the strengths of each partner to create a web-based version of the assessment document. The site is accessed by students, practice-based Preceptors who assess students’ work, and the Community Practice Co-ordinators who support nurses when they are on placement. Additionally, tutors and other University staff responsible for quality assurance within the assessment process can access it remotely.

Challenges Faced

While it is generally accepted that the digital path is the way forward, the practicalities, both real and perceived, posed challenges that had hindered its adoption until now. The project began at a time when the cyber-attack at the HSE had left health professionals doubting the safety and reliability of digital systems. On top of that, the Covid-19 pandemic was still causing significant pressures for Hospitals and community health teams. The location of the project area was also unhelpful. The site was not accessed from major cities like Dublin, but rather from smaller hospitals and community settings across Donegal.

Final Thoughts

The project was lead by Chris Peat, chair of Axia Digital (Ireland), and Max Jordan, the company’s Senior Developer with Specialism in Assessment Systems.

Dr Louise McBride, Head of Nursing and Healthcare at ATU, commented:

“The MyCAD E-portfolio project collaboration brings together academic, industry and our HSE clinical nursing partners to develop a cutting-edge online access dashboard for nursing students and staff for a competence assessment e-portfolio in our nursing education programmes. We’re delighted to see our efforts being acknowledged and these nominations are a testament of collaboration, commitment and success of ATU with HSE North West Nursing and Axia Digital.”

Chris Peat added:

“Our technology platform has been developed over 20 years and it enables us to transform paper based assessment processes into digital ones. This transformation brings many benefits and crucially enables health professionals to focus on what matters, which is the practice development and assessment of nurses by streamlining the administration of the process. We’re delighted to have collaborated with ATU Donegal so that it has become the first University in Ireland where nurses are using an assessment document that they can access from their mobile phone.”


Announcement of The Award

Please see the video below which captures the announcement, as well as representatives of The Department of Nursing ATU Donegal, HSE, and Axia Digital receiving the award.