From education to employment

UK soon to adapt EQF as the new framework for referencing qualifications

Agreed upon by the European institutions in 2008, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) has been put in practice across Europe and would soon be introduced in the UK.

The implementation of EQF has been organised across the country to correspond to the existence of the range of the Qualifications and Credit frameworks (QCF).

Three National Coordination Point’s (NCP) have already been established in the UK. These include The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP), The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and the Ofqual (England) and CCEA (Northern Ireland) as the joint NCP for England and Northern Ireland.

The main aim of EQF is to relate different countries’ national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework. Where both individuals and employers are able to better understand and compare the qualification levels of different countries, different education and training systems.

“EQF acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers’ and learners’ mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning.”

How it works?

EQF uses eight different levels based on the knowledge, skills and competence required to achieve the qualification.

These eight levels describe and are based on what a learner knows, understands and is able to do. They cover the entire span of qualifications from a basic Level 1- school leaving certificate to an advanced Level 8 – doctorates.

“The focus is on learning outcomes, what a person holding a particular qualification actually knows and is able to do rather than on inputs such as the length of the study.”

Future benefits

The EQF system would apply to all types of education, training and qualifications, from school education to academic, professional and vocational trainings.

The aim of the framework is to benefit learners and workers to move between countries, from job to job or from one educational institution to another and not having to repeat their learning.

EQF will also make it easier for the employers and educational institutions to compare the level of qualifications from different national systems.

NCP for England and Northern Ireland in consultation with key bodies representing education and training interests are hoping to complete the final part of referencing process by 2012.

And all new qualifications certificates, diplomas and ‘Europass’ documents would contain a clear reference, by way of national qualifications systems, to the appropriate EQF level by 2012.

Aastha Gill

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