The ETF supports partner countries in the development of their respective national qualification framework (NQF), contributing to modernising VET for lifelong learning, employability and competitiveness.

The revised European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Recommendation includes provision for third countries to compare their NQF to the EQF. In 2020, the ETF is advising the European Commission and Member States, through its membership of the EQF Advisory Group, on the readiness of third countries to link their systems to the EQF. The ETF also cooperates with partner organisations such as Cedefop and UNESCO on initiatives to develop World Reference Levels for qualifications and a biennial Global National Qualifications Frameworks Inventory.

The ETF’s support to each partner country is tailored to the developmental stage. Generalising by region, priorities in South Eastern Europe and Turkey are to elaborate the national frameworks in terms of levels, linking the validation of non-formal and informal learning and producing supporting handbooks and databases; in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, focus is given to the role of the NQF in the respective national education and training system and providing advice on legislation and enabling infrastructure, including institutional arrangements; and in Eastern Europe, the ETF is providing advice on integrating the VET and higher education components of NQFs for occupational standards as well as communication tools for more advanced NQFs, such as dedicated websites.  The ETF also advises countries on national recognition practices, which will contribute to migrant integration into the labour market.

To supplement partner country experts' knowledge and expertise, the ETF has established a Qualifications Platform, an 800-member online community, in English and Russian, of qualifications experts who blog, share information and report new developments.

The new ETF toolkit “Qualifications and Skills, Benefits for People”, to be disseminated in 2020, provides advice on how to channel the benefits of skills and qualifications to main user groups through decision-making on guidance, curricula and teaching.

More information

Evaluation of Qualification activities in ETF partner countries