June 2012: International Conference argues for mutual trust

Munich, 29 June 2012 – The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a common European reference frameworkwhich links countries’ qualifications systems together to make qualificationsmore readable and understandable across differentcountries and systems in Europe.On 25 and 26 June 2012 notable international experts discussedat the Broadcasting Centre of the Bavarian Broadcasting in Munichdifferent measures for a successful implementation of national and European Qualifications Frameworks.

The two-day conference with the title “Qualification Frameworks – a contribution to the development of a European labour market?” concerned the status quo of the development process and which challenges has to overcome.The first day concentrated on the situation in Germany, the different instruments to use and how to assure qualifications frameworks. The lectures and discussions focused amongst others on the benefit for curricula.In the vocational education a paradigm change has been carried out from an input- to an outcome-orientation. This competence-orientated perception is also in the interest of the German Qualifications Framework. The following panel discussion unsheathed basic problems in the implementation of the EQF: For example in German the word „Kompetenz“ has not the same meaning as the English „competence“. So some terms in the usage of the EQFare not explicit and could be interpreted differently.

On the second day of the conference the implementation of different national qualifications frameworks were discussed by experts from all over Europe: The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Norway, Ireland and Spain.The speakers were top-class: For example the Chief Executive of the Malta Qualifications Council of the Ministry of EducationJames J. Calleja reported about the successful implementation of the national qualifications frameworks in his country.He emphasized that national and European qualifications frameworks were not a volunteer project but compulsory. They are of high importance and bore directly on everybody’s life.

To sum it up: One ofthe greatest challenges forthe implementation ofthe national and the European Qualfications Frameworks is the assignment of qualification profiles to the individual levels according to comparable principles. This should be envisaged in a way to safeguard comparability and transparency of differently structured qualification profiles.The participants were agreed that for a successful realization of the project it needed transparency andcross-national trust.The insistence on national interests would destroy all efforts. The whole European Union stood for more than just economic interests.

The conference was implemented in cooperation between the European projects „Matching Frames“ and „NQF-SQF“. Both projects address the topic of referencing qualifications frameworks to the European Qualifications Framework. They are coordinated by Institute Technology and Education of the University of Bremen and DEKRA Akademie GmbH. The conference was implemented in the framework of a media partnership with the Bavarian Broadcasting. Further information such as on the project and the conference are available at www.project-nqf-sqf.eu.


February 2011, Expert workshop in Malta

Experts emphasize the importance of the right basis

Germany/Malta, February 18, 2011 – On February 18th 2011 the first NQF-SQF expert workshop (National Qualifications Frameworks - Sectoral Qualifications Frameworks) took place in Sliema, Malta. Experts across the EU discussed about “Methodological reflections on referencing to the EQF (European Qualification Framework)”. They particularly concentrated on debating one subject: The right basis of referencing NQF-SQF to EQF.

The development of the EQF commenced in 2004 to increase the transparency of qualifications in the EU. The EQF aims to relate different countries' national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework. Most member states are now developing their own National Qualification Framework.

The overall aim of the project NQF-SQF is to create common grounds for referencing NQF and SQF to the EQF. Qualifications can be compared on the basis of learning outcomes defined in terms of abilities.

The first NQF-SQF workshop was an important step for the development of the whole project. Notable speakers from Europe played a part in the workshop, amongst others:

  • Professor Georg Spöttl (Professor and Director of the Institute Technology and Education – ITB – of the University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Dr James Calleja (Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family, Malta)
  • Mr. Terry Hook (Managing Director of Clock-IT-Skills Ltd, and e-Skills UK)
  • Dr Vidmantas Tutlys (Manager of the Centre for Vocational Education and Research of the Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania)
  • Mr. Tormod Skjerve (Federation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises)
  • Dr Anne Murphy (RPL Policy Officer, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
  • Professor Claudio Demartini (Vice Rector of the Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
  • Mr. Gerald Thiel (DEKRA Akademie GmbH, Germany)

All experts agreed that it was essential to find out which work process oriented criteria can be determined. The criteria had to be flexible enough to match continuously changing work process requirements. But at the same time it covered the need of stable and transparent rules of referencing. Furthermore it was very important to create conditions for a continuous debate on enhancing referencing approaches and ideas for further procedure. The challenge will be how to gain relevant stakeholders to participate continuously in such a debate and to fulfil the technical, financial and organisational requirements for this purpose.

For more information on NQF-SQF, please follow this link www.project-nqf-sqf.eu or contact the project coordinator at EU-project.akademie(at)dekra(dot)com.


About NQF-SQF (additional)

The NQF-SQF project was initiated and is implemented by a consortium composed of eleven partners representing different parts of the education systems and public institutions from nine European countries. It is promoted and coordinated by the Institute of Technology and Education (Germany). The project has been funded with support from the European Commissions Lifelong Learning Programme. The implementation period for the NQF-SQF project started on March 1st 2010 and will be finished on February 28th 2012.