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Subject of discussion/ Diskussionsgegenstand


A political strategy of supporting lifelong learning is established in many European countries with the implementation of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the subsequent realization of National Qualifications Frameworks. The outstanding goals of this strategy are improving mobility of the European workforce as well as permeability between different educational sectors, and transparency of qualifications, certificates, learning processes and outcomes. 


Although learning outcomes should be basically describable for all qualifications by using the EQF descriptors knowledge, skills and competence in the same way regardless of their origin in terms of country or organisation responsible for maintaining and monitoring structures in which they are embedded, a mere description in EQF terms cannot dispel any doubts about the real value of this qualification: the EQF as such does not deliver enough criteria for assessment and comparison of qualifications.

It is therefore important how qualifications frameworks are referenced to the EQF. In a situation where qualifications frameworks are not available in every European country, every educational area, and occupational sector at the same level of development, it does not surprise that a common understanding of appropriate referencing these frameworks to the EQF does not exist.

The projects Common Grounds for Referencing NQFs and SQFs to the EQF and Matching Frames shall help to foster this understanding:

The project Matching Frames develops methods and instruments useable for the assignment of (national) qualifications to national and sectoral qualification frameworks and to the EQF. Based on three sectors (metal industry, electrical industry and automotive service and repair) the project identifies learning outcome oriented descriptions of qualifications, regulatory measures, and sectoral qualification approaches in order to elaborate their advantages. Moreover, the projects intends to foster Europe-wide comparability and transparency of qualifications and regulatory measures via preparation of appropriate tools. Detailed information can be found under

The project Common Grounds for Referencing NQFs and SQFs to the EQF shall provide for comparability of qualifications on the basis of learning outcomes defined in terms of abilities required by work processes. This shall be enabled by the use of a specific tool, an EQF shadow grid to be developed within the project: the employability grid. This grid shall be applicable for the assessment of qualifications as well as for the evaluation of frameworks qualifications refer to. It shall test how far descriptions of frameworks and qualifications make visible what the learning outcomes of qualification processes are in terms of work process requirements, thus supporting employment at the European labour market. The sectors to be considered are ICT, trade, logistics and construction. Detailed information can be found under



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