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Norway: NQF comes into force

A government decree (forskrift) on the overall position of the national qualifications framework for lifelong learning (NQF, NKR in Norwegian) in relation to different areas of education and training was adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research in November 2017.

The NQF, promoting the learning outcomes in Norwegian education, consists of seven levels covering qualifications from general, vocational and higher education. These qualifications can be used throughout the EU/EEA. The adoption of the new decree, which defines the reference between the NQF and the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning (EQF), signals that the NQF has reached an operational stage.

According to the new government decree, the qualification level in the NQF may be added to diplomas or other documentation of qualifications. Additionally, a reference to the EQF level may be included in diploma attachments or other documentation of qualifications (e.g. the Europass certificate supplement or diploma supplement). The reference will apply only to qualifications established through national legislation and awarded by publicly recognised and accredited institutions, according to the Education Act, the Private School Act, the Act for Vocational Colleges, the University and Higher Education Act and the Adult Education Act.

The Europass certificate supplement (EQF level 4) is already available in both Norwegian and English. Today, NQF, EQF and ISCED levels are available in Norwegian, while EQF and ISCED levels are available in English. The Europass diploma supplement includes only the reference to the national framework, but has taken into account a possible future reference to the EQF level following the adoption of the new decree. The process of developing the Europass certificate supplement for vocational colleges (EQF level 5) was assigned to NOKUT, in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). NOKUT, the national agency for quality assurance in education and training, acts as national secretariat for the NKR as well as taking on the role of national coordination point (NCP) for the EQF.

‘The NQF and the EQF are useful for learners that wish to seek a job or study further in another country. The recent decree formalises the status of Norwegian qualifications compared to European standards’, stated the former Minister for Education and Research.

The NQF is divided into seven levels and includes learning outcomes descriptions of what graduates are expected to know, understand and be able to do after completing their education. With the adoption of the decree, Norwegian graduates will be able to refer their qualifications to the EQF levels, making them understandable in any EU/EEA country. In 2018, the Ministry of Education and Research will initiate an evaluation of the NQF.  

Read more:

Det norske og det europeiske kvalifikasjonsrammeverket kobles sammen [Linking NQF and EQF]

Henvisning av n ivåene i NKR til nivåene i EQF