European Qualifications Framework (EQF)

To the EfVET members from Ms. Pia Deveneijns

The proposed European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a meta-framework, that can be used on a voluntary base. The aim is to be able to compare qualifications on the European labour market.
In the last months of, many European countries organised a consultation process on the EQF. The results of the different national consultations were sent to the European Commission.

Results of the national consultation processes
During the Budapest conference of 27 an 28 February 2006, the results of the national consultation processes have been presented and discussed.
Some general remarks:
· the commission consulted 32 countries
· the commission received replies from app. 120 organisations from 31 countries
· 74% is in favour of an EQF ‘meta-framework’ (three countries opposed this idea)

In general it can be said that the EQF is seen as a constructive instrument that can have a positive contribution to transparency, transferability and recognition of qualifications on the European labour market. From the consultations it seems there is broad consensus on the following aspects:
· The need and relevance of the EQF
· The voluntary base of implementation and use
· EQF is a meta-framework, to be used as a ‘translation instrument’ on European level
· EQF has to be based on ‘learning outcomes’
· The proposed 8 levels are broadly accepted
· EQF should be assured from quality assurance principles
· A working EQF needs the commitment of national stakeholders. In most countries this will result in a National Qualifications Framework (in which the different national qualifications systems can be clustered).

Future of EQF
Respondents feel the EQF is not finished yet. A lot of work still needs to be done in the field of explaining (of the descriptors and definitions), simplifying (the frame work as a whole) and testing the framework. Responds also feel the link to the Bologna-agreements is not clear yet, as is the relation to the national qualifications systems and the role of the different sectors. The message is: “Keep if flexible, keep it simple”.

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