A Qualifications Framework (QF) is a valid tool for the description of all or part of the qualifications referring to a national system or, more generally, to various systems between themselves, as well as being a useful tool to understand the whole set-up of an education system. The descriptive methodology used in a QF is based on the classification of the qualifications in different levels, which are differentiated one from another according to other descriptors called learning outcomes, which describe the results – in terms of capability, knowledge and ability – which the holders of the qualifications positioned at a given level will have acquired with the issuance of an academic qualification or of a professional certification. In all cases of foreign qualification evaluation, the existence of a national qualifications framework is certainly supportive and of help with regard to the understanding of the education system referred to.
In 2005, the Ministers of Higher Education of the Bologna Process signatory countries decided to develop the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area - QF for the EHEA. The Framework comprises the three main cycles of Higher Education, as defined by the Bologna Process, and offers an overview of all qualifications awarded at the end of each cycle, with reference to the number of ECTS credits collected and to the learning outcomes according to the Dublin Descriptors. The Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area is aimed at facilitating the correct understanding and comparability of qualifications in the higher education systems of each country. A further aim of the framework is to offer a comprehensive overview of the European teaching and learning offer, targeted at students coming from all over the world. Each country committed to putting together a National Qualifications Framework – NQF which is compatible with the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area.
In 2005, the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) started working on the Italian Qualifications Framework, in compliance with the procedures established at European level. CIMEA was tasked with producing the first prototype model of the National Framework and, after a process of national consultation, the Italian Qualifications Framework – QTI was published in 2010.
Since 2012, CIMEA has been a participant in the work of the National Correspondents for Qualifications Frameworks (QF-EHEA) group, created at the Council of Europe, representing Italy.
For further information:
- The Italian Qualifications Framework
- Framework of Qualifications in the Europe and North America Region
- European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
- Qualifications Frameworks in the EHEA
- National Qualifications Frameworks (EHEA)
- UNESCO - International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)
- European Training Foundation (ETF): Transnational Qualifications Frameworks