Cedefop’s European inventory on national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) shows that as national qualifications frameworks take shape and are implemented, their benefits and added value become more visible.

So far, 21 countries have indicated NQF/EQF levels in their qualifications documents and databases. The main catalyst for this development in Europe has been the European qualifications framework (EQF).

NQFs offer a more comprehensive picture of a county’s qualification landscape. They make education, training and qualifications systems easier to understand nationally and internationally. They promote the use of learning outcomes to describe and classify qualifications. Countries give high priority to linking frameworks and validation arrangements. Some countries use their frameworks to ‘bridge’ learning taking place outside formal education and training, and to strengthen the links between initial and continuous vocational education and training.

By February 2017, the following countries had linked their national qualifications frameworks to the EQF: Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales).  The remaining countries are expected to follow in 2017-18.