The EQF stands for the European Qualifications Framework and is an important tool for comparing education and thus increasing the mobility of people within the EU. Thanks to EQF, it is easier for employers to understand the skills of employees. The EQF translates the training and competence level of different countries into a common European reference framework with different levels. Thanks to this system, the training and qualification systems of different countries can be linked to a single one.
For 20 years, the EU has been pursuing by a slow process of coordinating education and making knowledge and skills comparable across national borders. The training and education should follow 8 steps. Maintenance are using EQF 4 to 7.
Qualifications are level-placed in the qualifications reference framework. The level placement of the qualifications of the public education system in the frame of reference is determined by the Government. Other qualifications in the EQF are placed on application by the qualification issuer following a decision by the country’s authority. An organization may request the placement of its professional qualification.
At each level of EQF there are qualifications that show the results of learning, such as diplomas, degrees, certificates, and diplomas. The same person may have several different qualifications. Information on knowledge and skills for each EQF level shall bioavailable.
One authority per country is designated by the government as the national coordination point for the EQF. This authority is the European Commission’s contact point in the country and that it coordinates nationally issues relating to the EQF. The mission also includes bringing the reference framework closer to individuals and organizations. It is primarily about getting the system’s stakeholders and end users to understand the purpose, objectives, and their own benefits of EQF. Stakeholders include, for example, the social partners, trade associations, training providers and other qualifications providers.
National Council for Frame of Reference
For example, the Council in Sweden consists of 13 members from various interest groups and governmental authorities. Members are appointed over a three-year period and meet approximately four times a year depending on the number of applications received.
EQF consists of eight different levels, of which 1 is the lowest and 8 is the highest. These levels are based on skills, knowledge, and competences. The different levels aim to focus on the actual knowledge and competence that the person possesses instead of the education the person has. This means that non-formal education, such as work experience and language skills, can also be translated into this translation tool. Of course, formal education such as upper secondary and university education can also be translated into EQF. The main advantages of EQF are that it is easy to understand, mobility increases, and learning is seen as a lifelong process.
The Bologna Process is a qualification framework for higher education. It divides training into cycles. When the process was initiated, there were two cycles, undergraduate and graduate. The first would be at least three years and the second could only begin after the first was completed. The Bologna process has since been extended by a third cycle of research education. Bologna scale 1, 2 and 3 correspond to EQF scales 6, 7 and 8.