The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) aims to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of people’s qualifications.
The EQF was set up in 2008 as a common reference framework of qualifications, expressed as learning outcomes at increasing levels of proficiency.
The framework serves as a translation device between different qualifications systems and their levels. It is intended to benefit learners, workers, job-seekers, employers, trade unions, education and training providers, qualification recognition bodies and government authorities (including international organisations).
Why are qualifications important?
Qualifications serve a variety of purposes. They signal to employers what their holders are expected to know, do and understand (‘learning outcomes’). They may be needed to access certain professions. They help education and training authorities and providers to determine the level and content of learning acquired by an individual. They are also important for an individual as an expression of personal achievement. Qualifications play an important role in raising employability, easing mobility and improving access to further education.
Qualifications usually take the form of certificates and diplomas awarded following education, training, learning and (sometimes) work. The content and the level of qualifications that are part of a quality assured framework are trusted sources of information. They act as a form of currency that individuals can use for employment or further learning purposes.
What is a qualifications framework?
A qualifications framework classifies qualifications according to a set of criteria for specified levels of learning achieved. It aims to integrate and coordinate qualifications, as well as improve the transparency, accessibility and quality of qualifications in relation to the labour market, the education and training system, and civil society.
Qualifications frameworks support lifelong learning (i.e. all learning activity undertaken throughout life), with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective. This definition covers the full range of formal, non-formal and informal learning.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Publications catalogue – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission