The Framework of Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area
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The Framework of Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area Stuart Garvie National Qualifications Authority of Ireland. Qualifications Framework: Bergen

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The Framework of Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area

Stuart Garvie

National Qualifications Authority of Ireland

Qualifications Framework: Bergen Education Area

We adopt the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA, comprising of three cycles (…), generic descriptors for each cycle based on learning outcomes and competences, and credit ranges in the first and second cycle.

We commit ourselves to elaborate national frameworks for qualifications compatible … by 2010, and to having started work on this by 2007

Work programme 2005 7
Work Programme 2005-7 Education Area

  • Self-certification: 2 pilot projects (Ireland + Scotland)

  • Survey of definitions of credits in national legislation (?)

  • Advice to Stocktaking

  • Follow the development of the EQF-LLL (descriptors)

  • Provide assistance to member states on NQF

Basic Education Area

  • Qualifications are national according to national legislation

  • Qualifications are articulated/located in national qualifications frameworks

  • The 45 national frameworks are linked together through an alignment to an overarching framework of the EHEA

Framework for ehea
Framework for EHEA Education Area

  • The EHEA framework is an overarching framework; a meta-framework or a framework for frameworks

  • Not all national qualifications will correspond to the completion of the major cycles in the overarching framework

Why overarching framework
Why overarching framework ? Education Area

  • International transparency

  • International recognition of qualifications

  • International mobility of learners and graduates

Overarching framework
Overarching framework frameworks

  • Cycles

  • Descriptors of qualifications and learning outcomes

  • Credit ranges in ECTS

Nqf and bologna framework
NQF and Bologna Framework frameworks

  • Bologna-Framework

  • Self certification

  • National Qualifications Framework

  • Accreditation or similar

  • National qualifications

Alignment of nqf to the ehea framework
Alignment of NQF to the EHEA framework frameworks

  • No external control but trust building

  • Minimum criteria for the verification that a NQF are compatible with the EHEA framework

  • Procedures for self-certification of compatibility

  • Role of Quality Assurance

Criteria for verification 1
Criteria for verification 1 frameworks

  • The NQF and the body/bodies responsible for its development are designated by the national ministry for HE

  • There is a clear and demonstrable link between the qualifications in the NF and the cycle qualification descriptors of the European framework

  • The NF and its qualifications are demonstrably bases on learning outcomes and the qualifications are linked to ECTS credits

Criteria for verification 2
Criteria for verification 2 frameworks

  • The procedures for inclusion of qualifications in the NF is transparent

  • The NQA for HE refer to the NQF and are consistent with the Berlin communiqué and any subsequent communiqués agreed by ministers in the Bologna Process

  • Diploma Supplement

  • The responsibilities of the domestic parties to the NF are clearly determined and published

Procedures for self certification 1
Procedures for self-certification 1 frameworks

  • The competent national body/bodies shall self-certify the compatibility of the NF with the European framework

  • The self-certification process shall include the stated agreements of the QA-bodies of the country in question recognised through the Bologna Process

  • The self-certification process shall involve international experts

Procedures for self certification 2
Procedures for self-certification 2 frameworks

  • The self-certification and the evidence supporting it shall be published and shall address separately each of the criteria set out

  • ENIC/NARIC shall maintain a public listing of States that have completed the self-certification process

  • Diploma Supplement

  • All signatories will complete the self-certification process 2010

Verification of compatibility with bologna framework
Verification of compatibility with Bologna framework frameworks

  • Ireland is the first country to complete self-certification

  • steering committee – Qualifications Authority, awarding bodies (Higher Education and Training Awards Council, universities, Dublin Institute of Technology), plus two international experts, established February 2006

  • draft report for consultation published, June 2006

  • information sheet on European framework developments, Sept 2006

  • stakeholder workshop, October 2006

  • completed, November 2006

Verification report
Verification report frameworks

  • Verification of criteria (7)

  • Verification of procedures (6)

  • Appendix 1: Comparison of the Dublin descriptors with the award-type descriptors in the Irish National Framework of Qualifications

  • Appendix 2: Analysis of non-outcomes issues which are relevant to verifying the compatibility of the Irish Framework with the Bologna Framework

  • Report published – see

Further information
Further Information frameworks

  • Framework website:

  • National Qualifications Authority of Ireland:

  • Higher Education and Training Awards Council: