How qualifications in England and Northern Ireland relate to those of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)


Referencing the Qualifications Frameworks of England and Northern Ireland to the European Qualifications Framework

Ref: Ofqual/19/6554PDF, 3.3MB, 192 pages


The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a common reference framework, the purpose of which is to help people understand qualifications across different countries and systems within and beyond Europe. This report will promote better understanding of the education and training system in England and Northern Ireland.

The report was produced as a collaborative effort working with CCEA Regulation and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), under the guidance of a steering group including representatives from all education sectors including:

  • higher education
  • vocational education and training
  • the school and college sector
  • awarding organisations
  • the voluntary and community sector
  • learners
  • employers
  • a range of government and regulatory bodies including agencies with responsibilities for:
    • education
    • funding
    • inspection
    • quality assurance

Similar work has been carried out in Wales with regard to the Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) and in Scotland with regard to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Comparison between the qualifications frameworks of the UK and Ireland is supported by the leaflet ‘Qualifications Can Cross Boundaries’.

The report is also posted on the EQF website alongside the referencing reports from other European countries, and is accessible around the world to provide an overview of how the education, training and qualifications system operates in England and Northern Ireland.

The EQF website hosts a tool that allows comparisons of qualification levels between countries that have referenced their framework to the EQF.


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