Qualification frameworks are not an instrument leading to automatic recognition of foreign qualifications, but they should be regarded as an important transparency tool and a foundation to compare qualifications on the basis of learning outcomes.

Application of Qualification Frameworks in credential evaluation

  • Credential evaluators should always view the foreign qualification within its national system. If an NQF exists, they should take its position within this framework into consideration. If a country does not have an NQF, this fact should not prejudice the evaluation of a qualification from such a country.
  • Credential evaluators should use NQFs as transparency tools for understanding the level, learning outcomes, and workload of foreign qualifications.
  • Where adequate information on the learning outcomes of a specific qualification is available, this should help understand the place of a qualification within a framework and compare qualifications on the basis of learning outcomes.

Application of EQF and EHEA for evaluation of European qualifications

  • For European countries, credential evaluators should check to see if the NQF of the country where the qualification was obtained has been referenced to the EQF-LLL or to the EHEA-QF. The Commission has launched an EQF-portal, where National Qualifications Frameworks can be compared by using the EQF as a translation device (see example below). It is expected that the majority of EU countries have referenced their qualifications frameworks to the EQF by 2012 and specific comparisons of NQF’s will thus be available on the portal.

Example 1: Comparing levels of different national qualification frameworks using EQF

Evaluation of qualifications issued under previous structures

  • Where qualifications were issued under previous structures, the credential evaluator should refer to the status of the qualification in the issuing country. If an NQF exists in the country where the qualification was awarded, it should be established whether previous qualifications are included in it.

Example 2: Qualifications issued under previous structures