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Qualifications Framework

Globally, a framework aims to organise information for coordination perspectives. By setting up a framework, it helps people to make logical decisions and coordinate them from a large perspective.

A Qualifications Framework is the structure into which accredited qualifications are placed. This allows learners, training providers and employers to gain information about the broad equivalence of qualifications.

For example, a Vocational Qualifications Framework (VQF) helps to create parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications[1].

National Qualifications Framework

Requirements to build a National Qualifications Framework

  • Establishment of National Skills Authority
  • Establishment of Sector Education and Training Authorities
  • Establishment of Skills Development Planning Unit
  • Provision of institutional framework to devise and implement National Skills Development Policies & Strategies to develop and improve the skills of the nation workforce
  • Integration of the National Skills Development Policies & Strategies within the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
  • Ensuring the provision of continuing, demand and quality based education and training in and for the workplace
  • Provision of learnerships that lead to recognized Occupational Qualifications
  • Encouraging workers to participate in learner ship and other training programmes
  • Increase the levels of investment in Education and Training & National Skills Development by means of Levy-grant Schemes and a National Skills Fund
  • Provision and regulation of employment services and improvement of employment prospects through training and education [2]

National Qualifications Framework in the United Kingdom

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a credit transfer system developed for qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Framework has nine levels covering all levels of learning in secondary education, further education and vocational higher education. Though academic higher education courses (such as academic degrees) are not covered in the NQF, it is broadly aligned with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/fheq/EWNI/default.asp, allowing levels of achievement to be compared.

Only when a course has been accredited and become part of the NQF is it then eligible for state funding. As such, many courses which are popular internationally and offered by British based organisations, such as the IGCSE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGCSE, are not available to state schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The NQF is the joint responsibility of England's QCA, Wales's DCELLS and Northern Ireland's CCEA.

Scotland has its own education system and its own twelve level system, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

At the opposite of a formal national qualifications framework, the former British colonies used another system to acknowledge qualification. No matter where the person acquired his training, he could go to the national ministry of education, the examination fees and take the CGLI examination which give him a trade certificate which was recognized almost world-wide. The same was true in those days for the Cambridge School Certificate and Higher School Certificate which give people entry in most prestigeous universities [3].

Regional Qualifications Framework

The International Labour Organization has published Guidelines for development of Regional Model Compentency Standards, a useful guide to setting up regional qualifications frameworks.


See also


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