Qualifications frameworks

This webpage summarizes recent developments in national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) that aim to contribute to policy and practice as part of UNESCO’s commitment to promoting lifelong learning for all. Since the 1990s, national qualifications frameworks have become a major international trend in reforming national education and training systems.

National qualifications framework developments in education and training

An important part of the work of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) on national qualifications framework developments in education and training is the Global Inventory of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks. This is a joint venture between UIL, the Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters, and two European Union (EU) agencies: the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). UIL is currently conducting research into national qualifications framework developments in education and training worldwide, particularly in developing countries and in those countries that do not fall under the respective mandates of Cedefop and ETF. UIL contributed thirty-three country cases to the 2013 edition of the Global Inventory of National Qualifications Frameworks.

Global Inventory of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks

The 2015 edition, entitled Global Inventory of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks, comprises two volumes. Volume One contains thematic chapters, while Volume Two consists of national and regional cases of qualifications frameworks. The contributing agencies collaborated on the drafting of both the thematic chapters and the regional and the country cases. Cedefop contributed country chapters on the EU Member States, the ETF provided country chapters on EU partner countries and UIL provided chapters on countries in the rest of the world. The Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters provided descriptions of seven regional qualifications frameworks.

Projects for the development of national qualifications frameworks in education and training

  • Supporting the Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME)
  • Developing links between NQFs and the validation of non-formal and informal learning
  • Developing national qualifications frameworks in technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
  • Promoting NQFs in the development of education and training in Africa
  • National qualifications frameworks for lifelong learning
  • Strengthening alternative progression pathways for youth in transition