QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORKS - A EUROPEAN VIEW
Browse through the keypad below to learn about the relationship between the Irish NFQ and the EQF and EHEA Qualifications Frameworks.
NATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF QUALIFICATIONS (NFQ)
The Irish NFQ has been referenced to the EQF making qualifications easier to understand across countries and qualifications systems.
Levels 1 and 2 on the Irish NFQ have been referenced to Level 1 on the EQF.
This level typically includes qualifications that recognise the attainment of elementary knowledge, skills and competences.
The EQF level is increasingly referenced on graduation parchments, Certificate Supplements and Diploma Supplements for Irish education and training awards.
Visit the Learning Opportunities and Qualifications portal to compare levels of the Irish NFQ to other systems and qualifications frameworks that have also been referenced to the EQF.
Level 3 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 2 on the EQF.
This level typically includes vocational education and training qualifications and lower secondary general qualifications.
Level 4 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 3 on the EQF.
This level typically includes vocational education and training qualifications.
Level 5 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 4 on the EQF.
This level typically includes vocational education and training and upper secondary general qualifications.
What is the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)?
The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) aims to facilitate cooperation between systems, institutions, and individual staff and students throughout the EHEA. This will make European higher education known and appreciated throughout the world. 48 countries worldwide are participating in the EHEA, working to implement its goals for quality and mobility.
For more information on the EHEA please see here.
Both Certificate Supplements and Diploma Supplements include information on the NFQ level of qualifications. Find out more by visiting www.europass.ie
ENIC-NARIC centres facilitate the recognition of qualifications throughout Europe and abroad. NARIC Ireland can help you with recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland or provide information to those travelling abroad with Irish qualifications. See hereFind information on other ENIC-NARIC centres visit: www.enic-naric.net
A directory of programmes validated by QQI can be accessed through the Qsearch service on the QQI website. QSearch is constantly updated with new courses, programmes, providers and awards.
Should you have further queries on the Irish NFQ, the Irish education system or the recognition of qualifications please visit the QHelp section of the QQI website
What is the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA)?
The EHEA now includes the concept of a qualifications framework with an emphasis on learning outcomes. The undergraduate/postgraduate degree structure has been modified into a three-cycle system - bachelor, master, and doctorate.
Ireland’s NFQ has been verified as compatible with the QF- EHEA. This means that higher education and training qualifications from Ireland are consistent with the EHEA first (Bachelor), second (Master) and third (Doctorate) cycles.
The cycles of the QF-EHEA are referenced in Diploma Supplements for Irish higher education and training awards.
Browse through the keypad below to learn more about the link between the qualifications in the Irish NFQ and the cycle qualifications descriptors of the QF-EHEA.
What is the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)?
The EQF is an overarching framework that links the qualifications frameworks of different European countries together. It covers qualifications at all levels and in all sub-systems of education and training (general and adult education, vocational education and training as well as higher education).
The main role of the EQF is to make qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems. In this way, the EQF supports individual mobility and lifelong learning, helping those moving from one country to another to work, or to continue their education or training. European countries are encouraged to develop their national qualifications systems and to link those systems to the EQF. Ireland completed the referencing of the Irish NFQ to the EQF in 2009.
Level 6 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 5 on the EQF.
This level typically includes vocational and higher education and training qualifications.
Levels 7 and 8 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 6 on the EQF.
This level typically includes undergraduate higher education and training qualifications.
Level 9 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 7 on the EQF.
This level typically includes post-graduate higher education and training qualifications.
Level 10 on the Irish NFQ has been referenced to Level 8 on the EQF.
This level typically includes post-graduate higher education and training awards.
The Higher Certificate is a Short Cycle Qualifications (within or linked to the First Cycle).
For further information on the verification of compatibility of the Irish NFQ with the QF – EHEA please see here.
The Ordinary Bachelor Degree is compatible with the QF-EHEA first cycle descriptor. However, holders of Irish Ordinary Bachelor Degrees and their equivalent former awards do not generally immediately access programmes leading to second cycle awards.
The Honours Bachelor Degree is compatible with completion of the QF-EHEA first cycle.
The Higher Diploma is a qualification at the same level as completion of the first cycle, and is a qualification typically attained in a different field of learning than an initial first cycle award.
The Masters Degree is compatible with completion of the QF-EHEA second cycle.
The Post-Graduate Diploma is an intermediate qualification within the QF-EHEA second cycle.
The Doctoral Degree is compatible with completion of the QF-EHEA third cycle.
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA (EHEA)?
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QQI QUALIFICATIONS INFORMATION SERVICES
WHAT IS THE QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK FOR THE EHEA (QF-EHEA)?
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK (EQF)?
A GUIDE TO FRAMEWORKS