39 European countries are currently developing 43 national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) which have reached different stages of implementation. Some countries have been or are revising their frameworks.
Comprehensive frameworks gaining ground
European countries tend to use their frameworks to create comprehensive maps of qualifications in all sectors (VET, higher education, general education, adult learning). Many frameworks are being opened up to include qualifications awarded outside formal education and to help validate non-formally and informally acquired skills and competences. This is considered crucial to policies fostering lifelong learning and progression through different pathways, an underlying principle of most European NQFs. 36 out of 39 countries are working towards (ideally) comprehensive frameworks, while two countries, the Czech Republic and Switzerland, operate separate frameworks for vocational/professional and HE qualifications (10).
Austria illustrates how a framework can be developed taking a step-by-step approach. Initially, higher education and VET qualifications at levels 4 and 5 were to be included, starting with school-based and apprenticeship qualifications. In 2018 examples of master craftsperson qualifications were added and mapped to EQF level 6. The new legal acts regulating VET qualifications such as Meister or Ingenieur refer to the NQF, the latter actually being directly inspired by it.
Italy passed a law in 2013 establishing a national system for the certi cation of competences, compris- ing a repository of national and regional quali cations described in learning outcomes. The comprehensive Italian NQF was adopted in January 2018. It comprises 8 levels and covers general, HE and VET quali cations awarded at national or regional level. Meanwhile, Italy has already mapped more than 4 000 regional quali ca- tions to be included in the national framework.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Briefing note – Qualfications frameworks in Europe | Cedefop