Accommodation for people in the international protection process is operated by IPAS, a division of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. IPAS provides accommodation, meals and access to support services to people who have applied for international protection (asylum seekers) in Ireland. This system was formerly known as ‘direct provision’.
HIQA has assumed responsibility for monitoring the quality of International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) centres.
HIQA will monitor compliance of permanent accommodation centres provided to people in the international protection process with the 2019 National Standards for Accommodation Offered to People in the Protection Process.
HIQA inspectors will visit IPAS centres to promote the delivery of safe, quality services. Inspectors will speak with the people who live there, members of staff and centre managers to get an insight into how the service is run. Inspectors will also look at documentation and other relevant records held by the IPAS centre. Some inspections will be announced, while others will be unannounced.
After the inspection, HIQA inspectors will prepare a report on what it is like to live in the IPAS centre and whether consistently good, safe, quality services and support is provided. Inspection reports will be published on www.hiqa.ie under the inspection reports section.
If improvements are required in IPAS centres, the service provider will be expected to submit a plan on how and when these improvements will be made. The implementation of these plans will be closely monitored by HIQA.
The legislation that provides HIQA with the authority to monitor and inspect international accommodation service centres is the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 which were amended by way of the European Communities (Reception Conditions) (Amendement) Regulations 2023 (S.I.) No. 649 of 2023.