European Qualifications Framework

All newly issued certificates in Europe are supposed to bear a reference to one of the eight qualification levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).  This reference is meant to assist learners and employers to position a (foreign) qualification within the own and other European education systems.

Choosing the right qualification based on the EQF reference

In this way the EQF, the corresponding National and Sectoral Qualifications Frameworks and the qualifications description in terms of learning outcomes support learners to choose qualifications for their individual education and training/ career pathways in order to take a next qualification step and/or to find a new position. At the same time employers and education providers can in this way evaluate an applicants record in terms of the abilities and/or qualifications required to start a new programme or to fulfill the requirements of a position.

Learning outcomes based on work processes ... getting closer to the industry

But qualifications differ so widely that it is very difficult to compare them. Therefore the overall EQF system is built on learning outcomes that describe a qualification and decide about its level reference. Since work as such is more or less the same throughout Europe, work and business processes more and more serve as the major point of reference for allocating, structuring and consolidating learning outcomes. This does not only allow for a better comparability of qualifications but also for an increased reference to the industries needs.

EQF in a nutshell

Industry & Employers
Social Partners
Training providers

Video source: NQAI (