Assessment of ‘competencies’ through the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a ‘translation device’ to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers’ and learners’ mobility between countries and thus facilitating their skills and lifelong learning. The EQF relates different countries’ national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework. Individuals and employers will be able to use the EQF to better understand and compare the qualifications, training, skills and competencies – vocational and technical of different countries and different education and training system.
The EQF applies to all types of education, training and qualifications, from school education to academic, professional and vocational. The EQF qualifications framework has 8 descriptors: levels 5-8 correspond to higher education. Level 5 is further education, level 6 (Bachelor), level 7 (Masters ), level 8 (PhD). EQF also ecompasses vocational education and training (VET), and work contexts for the highest level.
EQF does not award qualifications. It describes levels of qualifications in terms of learning outcomes. Awards/degrees are a matter for national qualifications bodies.
European countries are emphasing the need to take account of the full range of an individual’s knowledge, skills and competencies. Recognising all forms of learning is a priority of EU action in education and skills training. EQF clearly encourages lifelong learning by promoting the validation of non-formal learning. Dr Brenden Education Solutions (DBES) supports competency-based education, and provides ‘portfolio assessments’ using the EQF model for the appropriate qualification level.