Qualifications frameworks

National qualifications frameworks (NQF) are key to reforming national education and training systems and are vital reference points for lifelong learning and the comparison of qualifications across borders. An NQF is an instrument used to classify a country’s qualifications at different levels. Each level is defined by a set of learning outcomes expected at that level.

An important part of the work of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) on national qualifications framework developments in education and training is the Global Inventory of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks. This is a joint venture between UIL, the Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters, and two European Union (EU) agencies: the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). So far, four editions of the Global Inventory of Regional and National Qualifications Frameworks have been published.


Global inventory of national and regional qualifications frameworks

UIL projects for the development of national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) in education and training

  • Supporting the Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME)
  • Developing links between NQFs and the validation of non-formal and informal learning
  • Developing national qualifications frameworks in technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
  • Promoting NQFs in the development of education and training in Africa
  • Establishing NQFs for lifelong learning
  • Strengthening alternative progression pathways for youth in transition