NQF country report

Finland has a well-functioning education and training system. According to the 2018 Programme for international student assessment (PISA), student performance in reading, mathematics and science is among the best in the EU; and has reached the target of less than 15% underachievement in reading and science. Socioeconomic and migrant backgrounds, however, have a strong influence on educational outcomes. After accounting for socioeconomic status, the difference in reading performance between students with migrant and non-migrant backgrounds is the largest in the EU. Finland keeps increasing participation of children above age four in early education and care (89.3% in 2018 compared to 87.8% in 2017), but is still below the EU benchmark of 95%. Tertiary education attainment reached 47.3% in 2019, exceeding the EU 2020 target. The employment rate of recent graduates aged 20-34 was 84.4% in 2019 which is above the EU benchmark of 82%. The percentage of early leavers from education and training is relatively low (7.3 in 2019) but shows a gender imbalance (8.5% for males and 6.0% for females). Finland will extend the compulsory schooling age to 18 by 2021. The aim is to ensure that every student completes at least secondary education, reducing the dropout rate as well as increasing their chances of getting a job.

Vocational education and training (VET) is a popular study path in Finland, with 71.6% of all learners at upper secondary level enrolled in 2018. VET offers good job opportunities for young students entering labour market and for adult students seeking new career opportunities. The 2019-23 government programme aims to increase the number of students completing upper secondary education, including VET. In November 2019, VET and general education matters were brought under one department at the Ministry of Education and Culture. This arrangement aims to strengthen the cooperation between the two strands. In June 2020, the Ministry launched a three-year programme for quality and equity in VET. In higher education, the government has set three main objectives to be reached by 2030: providing 50% of the total youth adult population (aged 25-34) with a tertiary degree; playing a major role in adult learning; and increasing access to and equality in university studies.

New proposals have been adopted regarding the validation of non-formal adult education. In December 2019, a working group coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Culture prepared a report with recommendations to include non-formal adult education provision in the national digital database of qualifications and certificates (Koski) by September 2021. This will also involve creating a more structured description of learning outcomes in different areas of non-formal education. The process will be coordinated by the National Board of Education, including funding for pilot projects, training of teachers and other staff, and developing guidelines.

A parliamentary working group on the development of the continuous learning concept is on track to deliver its proposals by the end of 2020. The government has asked the Ministry of Education and Culture to produce an education policy report by the end of 2020. This snapshot of the current education system will serve as another tool for reshaping Finnish educational policy, including adult learning (European Commission, 2020).

A report from the Finnish National Forum for Skills Anticipation ([1] The National Forum for Skills Anticipation serves as a joint expert body in educational anticipation for the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The system consists of a steering group, anticipation groups and a network of experts. Their task is to promote the interaction of education and training with working life in cooperation with the ministry and the agency. https://www.oph.fi/sites/default/files/documents/osaaminen_2035.pdf) highlights changes in competence and skills that will be needed in 2035. Important future skills include customer-oriented development of services and knowledge of sustainable development. The labour market will require digital, information evaluation and problem-solving skills.

Finland has developed and is implementing the Finnish national qualifications framework (FiNQF). This is a comprehensive framework covering the full range of national qualifications, including those awarded under other jurisdictions than that of the Ministry of Education and Culture (such as defence, police and border-guards). It also covers extensive competence modules, the extent of which may be less than that of a qualification, to be levelled and included in the framework ([2] This applies to competence modules comparable with qualifications or other extensive competence modules; the learning outcomes of which are laid down in or by virtue of an act, and which have been specified as professional eligibility or qualifications requirements for working in a profession, or which are otherwise related to development of competence and professional skills.). A qualifications framework for higher education, in line with the Bologna process, was developed in 2005 and forms an integrated part of the NQF.

The FiNQF aims to improve the clarity, transparency and effectiveness of the Finnish qualifications system, and to increase comparability of qualifications. It reflects the current system of qualifications; for this reason, specific policy strategic targets have not been set. However, it is used as a tool for promoting the learning outcomes approach, recognition of knowledge, skills and competences, and national and international mobility. It is used in combination with other policies on transfer and progression, validation of non-formal and informal learning, and quality assurance, introduced prior to the adoption of the NQF.

The FiNQF includes the full range of national qualifications from general education, VET and higher education, within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as qualifications awarded by other ministries. Certain competence modules that are defined in learning outcomes and are comparable with qualifications, or constitute a qualification requirement, or are otherwise related to development of competence and professional skill, may also be levelled and included in the framework. These play an important part in Finnish lifelong learning and many relate to access to regulated or specialised professions.

The eight-level framework is learning-outcomes based, and describes qualification levels in an integrated approach, in terms of knowledge, skills, competences and their interrelationships, without an explicit distinction between them.

While the requirements for knowledge and skills are closely aligned to those of the EQF, the descriptors related to competences reflect national objectives in these areas (for example related to key competences for lifelong learning and language skills). A good illustration is the descriptor for level 4, where personal and social competences are described in the following way (FiNQF Government Decree, 120/2017, Annex):

  • Has a good command of the knowledge base of his/her field of work or study in broad contexts in and certain cognitive and practical skills as well as expression skills, and makes use of such knowledge and skills when solving problems specific to his/her field and carrying out tasks in the field. Works independently in operating environments that are usually predictable but are subject to change.
  • Takes responsibility for completion of his/her tasks and works safely and responsibly within a work community. Works in an economical, productive and systematic manner, and organises his/her work taking other actors into consideration. Is able to supervise routine tasks performed by others. Has the ability to work in an entrepreneurial manner in someone else's service or as an independent entrepreneur in the field. Evaluates his/her competence and scope of duties and improves actions relating to work or studies. Develops himself/herself and his/her work.
  • Has the ability for lifelong learning. Acts in a way that complies with ethical principles when interacting with different people in learning and working communities and other groups and networks. Communicates diversely and interactively in different situations and produces varied and also field‐specific texts in his/her mother tongue. Communicates in the second national language and interacts in his own field in at least one foreign language, also internationally.

Source: FiNQF Government Decree 120/2017, Annex.

The example shows that, while the aspects of 'autonomy' and 'responsibility' are highlighted (as in the EQF), explicit reference is also made to the ability to work as 'an independent entrepreneur', to be able to 'evaluate his/her competence and scope of duties', to pursue 'lifelong learning', 'to act in a way that complies with ethical principles', 'to communicate diversely and interactively', and 'interact in his/her own field in at least one foreign language, also internationally'.

Developments within the Finnish education system have long been parallel with the objectives of the EQF; vocational-competence-based qualifications ([3] In competence-based qualifications, proficiency is shown at work regardless of how the skills have been obtained: through work experience, education or other activity. All vocational upper secondary qualifications, further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications can be achieved as competence-based qualifications.) were introduced in the mid-1990s and learning-outcomes-based vocational qualifications in the late 1990s. The country's 2018 VET reform reflects a holistic approach to lifelong learning with initial and continuing VET reorganised under the same legislation. Being flexible and customer-oriented are the main features, translating into more provider autonomy and responsibility. This flexibility allows taking up VET at any time, depending on provider arrangements, and following personal development plans which build on learners' knowledge, skills and competences. The more learners know and can do already, the shorter their studies. All programmes enable progression to higher education.

The scope of the competence in qualifications and units is expressed as competence points: 60 competence points corresponds to approximately one year of studies. Each VET qualification has a number of competence points (ECVET equivalent) mentioned in all diplomas/certificates (Cedefop, 2019).

In higher education, Finland has actively, and at an early stage, complied with what was agreed in the Bologna process. The shift towards learning outcomes in higher education has been slower than in other sectors of education, but the progression has been systematic, and it has intensified in recent years.

The Act on the national framework for qualifications and other competence modules ([4] Act 93/2017 of 10 February 2017, Helsinki (unofficial translation in English): https://www.oph.fi/sites/default/files/documents/182270_act_93-2017.pdf) and the Government Decree on the national framework for qualifications and other competence modules both came into force in March 2017 ([5] Act 120/2017 of 23 February 2017 (in Swedish): https://www.finlex.fi/sv/laki/ajantasa/2017/20170120).

The Ministry of Education and Culture is the national authority responsible for the FiNQF and the further development of this framework. The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) ([6] The Finnish National Agency for Education: https://www.oph.fi/english) is a government agency working under the Ministry of Education and Culture. EDUFI is responsible for developing education and training, early childhood education and care, and lifelong learning, as well as for promoting internationalisation. Quality assurance of education in Finland is based on a principle of decentralisation where the self-evaluation of education providers and the external evaluations by national expert bodies build the basis. External evaluations are mainly carried out by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) ([7] The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre is an independent government agency that evaluates education in Finland and the work of Finnish education providers from early childhood education to higher education. It also produces information for education policy decision-making and the development of education: https://karvi.fi/en/fineec/) which operates as a separate unit within EDUFI.

EDUFI is national reference point for quality assurance in VET and assists in this respect; however, the vocational training providers are responsible for the quality of the qualifications, the training and other services they provide. EDUFI is the national Europass centre in Finland, and manages and develops Europass and communicates information about it. The agency guides and supports cooperation between stakeholders, sectoral working life committees ([8] There are ca. 40 sectoral working life committees responsible for organising competence demonstrations for candidates, monitoring the quality of assessment practices, and feedback and follow-up for VET providers. The committees decide on rectifying an assessment in the case of an appeal and are involved in the development of qualifications in their respective sectors.) and providers of validation of non-formal and informal learning.

In 2008, the Ministry of Education and Culture issued a regulation in which the following tasks were assigned to EDUFI as the national coordination point for the European qualifications framework (EQF-NCP):

  1. participation in the development and implementation of the EQF;
  2. disseminating information to stakeholders about the EQF, the NQF and the placement of qualifications in the framework;
  3. giving guidance and advice to stakeholders in using the qualifications framework;
  4. taking part in national and international collaboration on qualifications frameworks and promoting cooperation;
  5. other tasks assigned by the ministry.

In 2009, the Ministry of Education and Culture also asked EDUFI to represent

Finland in the network of national correspondents for qualifications frameworks (EHEA QF). In 2019, the following tasks were also assigned to EDUFI:

  1. to communicate on its website information both on the opportunity to propose the inclusion of new competence modules in the framework and on the process of dealing with the proposals
  2. to compile the proposals received from other administrative sectors and stakeholders into new competence modules to be placed into the framework, issue an opinion on the received proposals and submit them and the opinions concerning them to the Ministry of Education and Culture annually by a separately agreed date.

A broad range of stakeholders was involved in the early, preparatory stages of the FiNQF developments. Delays encountered with the legal proposal between 2012 and 2016 systematically weakened the dialogue on the role of the framework but the relaunch in 2016 was supported by broad consultation. It is regarded as significant that higher education institutions have supported the development of the FiNQF from the start and have contributed to the composition of the framework. This reflects the existing Finnish education and training system, where interaction between general, vocational and higher education and training institutions seems to operate more smoothly than in many other countries.

The Finnish NQF will be updated and supplemented by amending the annex to the Government Decree (120/2017). The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for making the amendments. Administrative branches and interest groups can propose new competence modules to be included in the FiNQF. The ministry processes the proposals at least every two years ([9] Next deadline for submitting proposals is 31 March 2021.). The ministry evaluates the proposals and, if necessary, consults other administrative branches and stakeholders. A draft for amending the annex is circulated for comments before the Decree is issued.

[10] This section draws mainly on input from Kartunen, A. (2019) European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning 2018 update: Finland

Validation of non-formal and informal learning has relatively long and established roots in Finland and the legislation and policies are well developed and detailed. As in many other countries, there is no single law on validation of non-formal and informal learning; laws and regulations for each field of education define validation separately. These fields include general upper secondary education, vocational education and training and higher education.

Validation has not been widely used in general upper secondary education. A new Act on general upper secondary education ([11] Law 714/2018 on general upper secondary education (in Finnish and Swedish): https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2018/20180714) appears to strengthen the potential of validation in this sector. First, general upper secondary education will start using credit points, which facilitates recognition of prior learning. Second, it is proposed that practices for identifying and recognising competence acquired elsewhere before and during general upper secondary studies would be improved. The law was implemented in August 2019.

In other sectors (VET and HE) validation arrangements are in place and typically cover the four validation stages: identification, documentation, assessment and certification. VET qualifications are modular, and qualification units are awarded in increasing numbers. In VET – both initial (IVET) and continuing (CVET) – there are national standards (qualification requirements) and validation arrangements are well defined in laws and policies. The VET sector has applied a competence-based approach since 1994 and the qualification requirements are defined in terms of learning outcomes.

The Universities of applied sciences Act (932/2014, §37) (Ammattikorkeakoululaki) and the Universities Act (558/2009, §44) (Yliopistolaki) state that a student may – in accordance with the decision of the higher education institution – have his/her prior studies accredited when studying for a degree or specialisation studies. A student may also have prior non-formal or informal learning, demonstrated in some other manner, substituted for studies belonging to a degree or specialisation study syllabus or counted towards a degree or specialisation studies.

Validation arrangements in higher education are relatively young in comparison with the VET sector. However, most of the curricula are described in terms of learning outcomes, the validation methodologies are continuously developing, and validation is increasing in popularity as it is relatively well known among students. New initiatives and projects promoting and developing validation arrangements are carried out in different areas of higher education; for example, SIMHE services ([12] SIMHE services: https://www.oph.fi/en/simhe-services-higher-education-institutions) that aim to support immigrants in higher education. The members of SIMHE services include several Finnish HEIs, with coordination by EDUFI. The services aim to enhance the identification and recognition of prior learning of highly educated immigrants of different statuses and make it easier to direct immigrants to higher education at national and regional levels. Also, in 2019 a report on recognising prior learning in higher education ([13] Link to the report (in Finnish): https://bit.ly/3jZ1Izo ) was published by the Ministry of Education and Culture; it is based on data from different sources and workshops organised together with diverse stakeholders.

The Ministry of Education and Culture set up a working group in February 2019 to examine and consider the use of competence-based descriptions in liberal adult education, to propose a model for such descriptions and to propose a common unit describing the extent of such education ([14] Link to the report (in Finnish): http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-263-695-9). As a further step, the working group proposes that the legislation on the Koski database ([15] The KOSKI national database introduced in 2018, collects real-time comprehensive data on education to serve both the needs of citizens and different administrative branches. The data are collected from various sources: https://www.oph.fi/fi/palvelut/koski-tietovaranto (in Finnish and Swedish)) be amended so that the skills and knowledge gained in liberal adult education could be transferred to this repository, starting in August 2021. The group also proposes a reference framework for describing skills and knowledge in liberal adult education.

Labour market stakeholders have a central role in the Finnish validation system, especially in VET; and the VET qualifications system is built to serve the labour market and ensure hands-on participation in validation processes. However, there are few examples where labour market organisations would independently carry out validation activities in the full meaning of the process.

The national student feedback system and questionnaires are an important tool for monitoring the quality of vocational education and training (VET) from the customers' point of view. National feedback is gathered anonymously from students whose target is to complete a vocational qualification or modules of VET qualifications. The education and competence demonstration tests are organised in cooperation with the VET provider and working life.

In 2019/20, students and graduates reported that they were satisfied with being able to start their studies flexibly with a suitable schedule (grade 4.3 on a scale of 1-5), and that earlier studies, work experience and other knowledge and skills were scrutinised diversely (grade 4.1). Students reported that they received sufficient instruction and guidance to progress as planned (grade 4.2) and the work tasks in which they completed their demonstration corresponded to work tasks in real working life (grade 4.4). Based on the feedback, the teaching and guidance were of high quality (grade 4.3) and students received sufficient feedback on the development of their knowledge and skills (4.0). In general, students were satisfied with the education and training they had received (grade 4.38; 80% of respondents, both young and adult students).

The comprehensive FiNQF has reached operational stage and is well embedded in the national education, training and qualification structure. The initial implementation phase covered all formal qualifications under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and vocational qualifications and higher education qualifications in the other administrative sectors. For the second phase a number of new competence modules are included in the framework as of February 2020, at levels 2 to 7 based on a proposal ([16] Competence and skills matter. Final report of the working group for framework expansion in Finnish, with summaries in Swedish and English: http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/161306) made by a working group set up by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2018. The qualifications, syllabi and other extensive competence modules are classified into the levels based on the required competences. The competences acquired at each level are defined in the Government Decree 120/2017. Information is provided on the websites of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education ([17] https://www.oph.fi/en/education-and-qualifications/qualifications-frameworks).

The Finnish National Agency for Education maintains the portal Opintopolku ([18] https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/) which provides information on study programmes and about applying for studies. The information provided in this portal is designed to meet the needs of the individual learners, education providers, officials and study counsellors. The portal also contains the requirements for all syllabi and qualifications prepared at EDUFI ([19] https://eperusteet.opintopolku.fi/#/en ). Opintopolku is currently being updated. In the future, the new version of the service will include information about Finnish NQF/EQF levels of all qualifications.

NQF/EQF levels are indicated on qualifications documents in general education, IVET, CVET, HE and Europass certificate and diploma supplements. The NQF/EQF levels are also indicated in some qualification documents awarded outside formal education, according to the decision of the education provider. EDUFI recommends that all education providers indicate NQF/EQF levels in their certificates.

No evidence has been gathered specifically about the use of the FiNQF. EDUFI, however, uses the qualifications framework as an information source in the comparison and recognition of foreign qualifications, and VET and higher education institutions know the descriptors of qualifications in the FiNQF well as they were prepared and developed in cooperation with education providers. Education and training institutions and providers are supposed to utilise the level descriptors of the FiNQF when planning programmes as well as defining learning outcomes for their qualifications.

In a survey ([20] UNESCO IIEP sustainable development project 2012-18 Planning for flexible learning pathways in higher education, Finnish national case study, Finnish Education Evaluation Centre: https://karvi.fi/en/), completed by the FINEEC as a part of an international project, many national-level respondents stated that FiNQF has improved the clarity and made the skills and competences of qualifications more visible and given directions for the learning outcomes approach in course and curriculum design. It has also improved the comparability of the degrees, furthering especially international student mobility. The survey report suggests, as the next steps in Finland, the role of the FiNQF in promoting greater awareness and understanding of qualifications and level descriptors and increasing dialogue between the world of qualifications and the world of work; this should be further discussed and possibly evaluated at a later stage. Other important areas for national discussions include the role of the FiNQF in advancing flexible learning pathways and increasing the synergy between the two national actors: the FiNQF contact point operating at EDUFI and the national quality assurance conducted by FINEEC.

All information required according to the Annex VI of the 2017 EQF recommendation will be given for all qualifications in the upcoming version of the Opintopolku website, including NQF and EQF levels. The width and depth of the description of qualifications differ ([21] Countries have agreed on key data that need to be available. Annex VI of the 2017 EQF recommendation lists elements for data fields for the electronic publication of information on qualifications with an EQF level: title of the qualification, ISCED field, country, EQF level, description of the qualification in learning outcomes, and awarding/competent body are required. Optional elements include information on credits/workload, quality assurance, and entry requirements.).

The main source of information about the Finnish NQF is the EDUFI website, where all information can be found in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Specific evaluation of the FiNQF has not been carried out, but the tasks of the working group set up by the ministry in 2018 to coordinate the expansion of the FiNQF included to determine in more detail the criteria for the competence modules to be included and its rationale; to identify the wider competence modules in various administrative sectors and to determine which sectors are considered to meet the criteria specified; to formulate a proposal for placing competence modules on various levels of the framework; to provide arguments for such placements; and to formulate a proposal for the required legislative amendments. The working group was extensive and covered various sectors of ministries, employer and employee organisations, different types of education providers and student organisations. The working group considered how the current FiNQF had served the needs of the stakeholders and, as a result, the group proposed the FiNQF be expanded with additional qualifications to cover different types of competence modules. The working group proposed the FINQF be expanded. To reach this goal the criteria for expansion were defined and later published on the EDUFi website ([22] https://www.oph.fi/en/education-and-qualifications/qualifications-frameworks and https://www.oph.fi/sites/default/files/documents/criteria-for-placing-new-competence-modules-in-the-finnish-national-framework.pdf). Generally, it was concluded that widening the FiNQF benefits individuals, and adds to the quality as well as recognition of prior learning. As the implementation of competence modules further expands, an evaluation of the FiNQF might also be considered.

FiNQF was referenced to the European qualifications framework (EQF) in December 2017. Finland has carried out referencing to the EQF and self-certification to the European higher education area as one process and combined report.

Through the wider coverage of the FiNQF, the transparency of the education system has increased, as other competence modules have been brought in, besides the degrees and qualifications. It also supports validation of prior learning and promotes clarity and transparency in the recognition of foreign qualifications. There is a general challenge that the FiNQF could be better known among citizens.

The future plan is to implement the process of the widening of the FiNQF and the proposal for the inclusion of new competence modules in the framework for all administrative branches and stakeholders (European Commission and Cedefop 2020).

As Finland switched to distance education in March 2020, EDUFI launched a study to find out how schools and institutions in primary and secondary education cope with being forced into distance education by the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is collating and summarising several Finnish studies and reports with the aim of facilitating further reforms and development of education in the future. The study period is planned to continue until the end of 2020 (Finnish National Agency for Education).

The Finnish National Agency for Education acts as EQF NCP: http://www.oph.fi/qualificationsframework

Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture: https://minedu.fi/en/frontpage

Database of programmes from VET, general education and HE: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/

Finnish National Agency for Education; Ministry of Education and Culture (2017). Referencing the Finnish national qualifications framework to the European qualifications framework and the framework for qualifications of the European higher education area: https://europa.eu/europass/en/compare-qualifications

NQF levelQualification typesEQF level

Universities and National Defence University scientific and artistic postgraduate degrees (licentiate and doctor degrees) (Yliopistojen ja Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun tieteelliset ja taiteelliset jatkotutkinnot (lisensiaatin tutkinnot ja tohtorin tutkinnot))

General staff officer degree (Yleisesikuntaupseerin tutkinto)

Specialist degree in veterinary medicine (Erikoiseläinlääkärin tutkinto)

Specialist training in medicine (Erikoislääkärikoulutus)

Specialist training in dentistry (Erikoishammaslääkärikoulutus)


Master degrees – universities (Ylemmät korkeakoulututkinnot)

Master degrees – universities of applied sciences (Ylemmät ammattikorkeakoulututkinnot)

Professional specialisation programmes provided by universities and universities of applied sciences intended for holders of a master degree or a UAS master degree (Yliopistojen ja ammattikorkeakoulujen erikoistumiskoulutukset, joiden kohderyhmänä ovat ylemmän korkeakoulututkinnon tai ylemmän ammattikorkeakoulututkinnon suorittaneet henkilöt)

Advanced pastoral qualification (Ylempi pastoraalitutkinto)

Senior staff officer course (Esiupseerikurssi)

Further studies in war economy and technology (Sotatalouden ja tekniikan lisäopinnot)

Specific qualification on prescribing medicines (Rajatun lääkkeenmääräämisen erikoispätevyys)


Bachelor degrees – universities (Alemmat korkeakoulututkinnot)

Bachelor degrees – universities of applied sciences (Ammattikorkeakoulututkinnot)

Professional specialisation programmes provided by universities and universities of applied sciences intended for holders of a bachelor degrees or a UAS bachelor degree (Yliopistojen ja ammattikorkeakoulujen erikoistumiskoulutukset, joiden kohderyhmänä ovat alemman korkeakoulututkinnon tai ammattikorkeakoulututkinnon suorittaneet henkilöt)

Specialised training provided by the church (Kirkon erityiskoulutukset)

Pastoral qualification (Pastoraalitutkinto)


Specialist vocational qualifications (Erikoisammattitutkinnot)

Sub-officer qualification – Fire and rescue services (Alipäällystötutkinto)

Vocational qualification in air traffic control (Lennonjohdon perustutkinto)

General level (1 and 2) study module for non-commissioned officers (Aliupseerin yleistason (1 ja 2) opintokokonaisuus)

Master level study module for non-commissioned officers (Aliupseerin mestaritason opintokokonaisuus)


General upper secondary school leaving certificate (Lukion oppimäärä)

Matriculation examination (Ylioppilastutkinto)

Upper secondary vocational qualifications (Ammatilliset perustutkinnot)

Further vocational qualifications (Ammattitutkinnot)

Basic examination in prison services (Rikosseuraamusalan tutkinto)

Fire fighter qualification (Pelastajatutkinto)

Emergency response centre operator qualification (Hätäkeskuspäivystäjätutkinto)

Basic course for border guards (Rajavartijan peruskurssi)

Basic study module for non-commissioned officers (Aliupseerin perustason opintokokonaisuus)


Preparatory studies for general upper secondary school (Lukiokoulutukseen valmistava koulutus (LUVA))

Preparatory education for vocational training (Ammatilliseen koulutukseen valmentava koulutus (VALMA))

Advanced syllabus for basic education in the arts (Taiteen perusopetuksen laaja oppimäärä)


Basic education certificate (9 years) (Perusopetuksen oppimäärä)

Preparatory education for working life and independent living (Työhön ja itsenäiseen elämään valmentava koulutus (TELMA))



European qualifications framework


Finnish Education Evaluation Centre


initial vocational education and training


national qualifications framework


vocational education and training


Finnish national qualifications framework


national coordination point


European higher education area qualification framework



Finnish National Agency for Education

[URLs accessed 3.2.2021]

Cedefop (2019). Vocational education and training in Finland: short description. Luxembourg: Publications Office. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/4176_en.pdf

European Commission (2020). Education and training Monitor 2020. https://op.europa.eu/webpub/eac/education-and-training-monitor-2020/en/index.html

European Commission; Cedefop (2020). Survey on implementation, communication and use of NQF/EQF [unpublished].

FiNQF Government Decree120/2017, Annex (in Finnish, Swedish and English) published on the Finnish National Agency for Education, EQF NCP, website


Karttunen, A. (2019). European inventory on validation of non- formal and informal learning 2018 update: Finland. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2019/european_inventory_validation_2018_Finland.pdf


Stage of development:
NQF linked to EQF:
Scope of the framework:
Comprehensive framework including all State-recognised qualifications. No qualification linked to EQF level 1.
Number of levels:

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