Towards an EQF, European Qualification Framework for LLL By Magda Kirsch & Yves Beernaert Using elements of DG EaC PwP EuropeAid/120164/D/SV/BG
References • Official EU consultation text of EQF (05) • Synthesis of the responses drafted for DG EaC by Pôle Universitaire Européen de Nancy (April 06) • National Qualification frameworks of Ireland and Scotland • European Higher Education Qualification Framework
Principle elements of qualification frameworks • Learning outcomes • Competences • Levels • Qualifications • Credits • Workload • Profile
Learning outcomes • = the set of knowledge or skills and/or competences an individual has acquired and/or is able to demonstrate after completion of a learning process. • = statements of what the learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of the learning period. • = to facilitate transparency, comparibility, credit transfer and recognition.
Competences • Cognitive competenceinvolving the use of theory and concepts as well as informal tacit knowledge gained experientially; (KNOWLEDGE) • Functional competence (skills or know-how); what a person must be able to do in a given area of work, learning or social activity;(SKILLS) • Personal competenceinvolving knowing how to conduct oneself in a specific situation; • Ethical competenceinvolving the possession of certain personal and professional values.(WIDER COMPETENCES
Levels can be understood as: representing a series of sequential steps (adevelopmental continuum), expressed in terms of arange of generic outcomes, against which typicalqualifications can be positioned
Qualifications • A qualification is achieved when a competent body determines that an individual’s learning has reached a specified standard (ST) of knowledge, skills and wider competences. • The ST of learning outcomes is confirmed by means of an assessment process or the succesful completion of a course of study (and/or work placement). • A qualification confers official recognition.
Part I • National Qualfification frameworks
National Qualifications Frameworks: definition The single description at national level….of an education system, which is internationally understood and through which all qualifications and other learning achievements in HE may be described and related to each other in a coherent way and which defines the relationship between HE qualifications.
Exisiting National Qualifications Frameworks • UK: Scotland, England, Wales, Northern-Ireland • Ireland • Denmark • France • Spain • Malta
National Qualifications Frameworks Characteristics • all qualifications are included • systematic description • coherent relationship • internationally understood
Why National Qualifications Frameworks? • Make explicit the purpose and aim of qualifications • Delineate point of integration and overlap • Provide a context for review and development of existing qualifications • Provide a context for the design of new qualifications
Advice in drafting NQF • The development and review process for producing good NQFs are most effective when they involve all relevant stakeholders • A NQF should identify a clear nationally agreed set of purposes • NQF should explicitly link to academic standards and to quality assurance systems (institutional/national)
Part II • The European Qualification Framework EQF
What is the EQF? Translation devicefor comparing qualifications Neutral reference pointbased on learning outcomes
EQF Level 8 Qualification EQF Level 7 Qualification EQF Level 6 Qualification EQF Level 5 Qualification EQF Level 4 Qualification EQF Level 3 Qualification Qualification EQF Level 2 EQF Level 1 Country A Country B
The Eight EQF Levels Knowledge EachEQFReference Level Skills Wider personal and professional competences
Focus on Learning Outcomes EQF LearningOutcomes Non-Formal Learning Informal Learning Formal Learning
The EQF beneficiaries: • Individuals • Sectors, employers and social partners • Education/Training systems, providers
The main elements of the EQF 8 COMMON REFERENCE LEVELS
A basis for co-operation • EQF implementation is voluntary • Entails no legal obligationson Member States or sectors • Fosters changeby supporting and informing reform
What EQF is NOT! • EQFnot about replacingnational/sectoral frameworks • EQFnot about harmonisation • EQFCANNOT define new qualifications
The alternative to EQF: bilateral agreements? Country C Country B Country A …they rapidly become very complex…
Using the EQF ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Table 1: Learning Outcomes Aimed at qualifications authorities, experts: makes translations between systems and frameworks possible SUPPORTING INFORMATION Table 2: Supporting Information Needs to be compiled and completed at national or sectoral level
Credit transfer and accumulation system: ECTS and ECVET ! Goal: to create an integrated credit transfer system at European level, meeting the needs of vocational and academic institutions
Linking qualifications to the EQF: the role of national authorities • Commitments to link national qualifications to EQF • Long term reform process • Learning outcome-based qualifications • National Framework of Qualifications?
Linking qualifications to the EQF: the role of sectoral stakeholders • Invite sectors to link sectoral qualifications to EQF • Facilitate sectoral developments • Facilitate link between national and sectoral qualifications • Decentralisation and self-certification
Consultation Europe-wide consultation process from July to December 2005: • 32 countries in ‘Education and Training 2010’ • Bologna follow-up group • European Social Partner organisations • Industry & sector organisations • Education and training NGOs
Consultation — Results • Input to drafting of Council and EP Recommendation in Spring 2006 • Support from the new Integrated Lifelong Learning Programme