The LQF is now operational. Its development and implementation was carried out in two stages: the first stage (2009-11) involved inclusion of formal qualifications in the LQF and referencing to the EQF; further development and revision took place in a second stage, and resulted in the adoption of the updated EQF referencing report in 2019. The framework is firmly embedded in legislation governing the Latvian education and training system. The Education Law of 1998 was amended in 2015 and includes the definition of the LQF and its general characteristics, reaffirming the LQF as a comprehensive eight-level framework open to all levels and types of formal education (general, vocational and academic education), as well as professional qualifications. The Cabinet of Ministers Regulation 322 on the education classification of Latvia came into force in June 2017, determining the descriptions of knowledge, skills and competences and defining the LQF levels and the conformity of types of education programme with the LQF/EQF levels.
Several large European Social Fund projects have supported LQF implementation. Strong emphasis has been placed on increasing the quality of vocational education in line with labour market needs and with the EQF. Strides have been made in modularisation of VET programmes and developing a system for sectoral qualifications linked to the LQF. 15 sectoral qualification frameworks/structures were approved by 2018, specifying occupations, specialisations and levels of qualifications, and forming a basis for the development of VET programmes (European Commission, 2019). New occupational standards are being developed and LQF level descriptions have been used as a tool to understand both the education side and the needs of the labour market (European Commission and Cedefop, 2020).
The Latvian qualifications database (LQD) ( www.latvijaskvalifikacijas.lv; www.latvianqualifications.lv; www.lkd.lv; www.lqd.lv ) was set up in 2016, enhancing the visibility and transparency of Latvian qualifications. It includes over 2 000 formal (State-accredited) qualifications included in the LQF. The LQD contains a general description of qualifications, including: LQF/EQF level, ISCED 2013, awarding body, title of the qualification, learning outcomes, previous education, diploma and diploma supplement examples. Learning outcomes are described either as a bulk text that does not distinguish between knowledge, skills and competences but includes all of them (usually for academic higher education and general basic and secondary education) or are differentiated as knowledge, skills and competences (usually for VET and professional higher education qualifications). Most of the content of the LQD is available in both Latvian and English.
Since 2013, it has been compulsory to indicate the LQF/EQF level on diploma supplements in higher education ( Regulation No 202 of the Cabinet of Ministers of 16 April 2013: Procedures by which State-recognised education documents certifying higher education are issued (Latvian: Kārtība, kādā izsniedz valsts atzītus augstāko izglītību apliecinošus dokumentus). http://likumi.lv/doc.php?id=256157/). Levels are also indicated on more than 150 Europass certificate supplements (available in Latvian) ( https://registri.visc.gov.lv/profizglitiba/nks_europass_saraksts.shtml). From 1 January 2017, LQF levels have been indicated on vocational education certificates and diplomas (both in initial and continuing VET). No decision has been taken on including LQF and EQF levels on certificates in general education.
The LQF is used by education and training institutions in formulating learning outcomes for study programmes, and by quality assurance bodies in the licensing and accreditation of study programmes. It is taken into account by the Latvian ENIQ/NARIC in the recognition of foreign qualifications, while employers are starting to use LQF levels in vacancy descriptions. In order to disseminate the EQF to wider audiences, the NCP ensures that every year there are at least one or two translations of international publications on EQF-related topics into Latvian ( Published on the NCP website. The following have been translated into Latvian since 2018:
Kato, S.; Galán-Muros, V.; Weko, T. (2020). The emergence of alternative credentials. OECD Education working paper No 216.
Beverley, O. (2019). Making micro-credentials work for learners, employers and providers. Melbourne: Deakin University.
Cedefop; ETF; Unesco (2019). The global inventory of regional and national qualifications frameworks. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
Cedefop (2019). Overview of national qualifications framework developments in Europe, 2019. Luxembourg: Publications Office.
Cedefop (2019). Qualifications frameworks in Europe: 2018 developments. Cedefop briefing note, May 2019.)
The EQF NCP has conducted a number of studies to support LQF implementation. Most recently, a study on the Role of the LQF in education and on the labour market ( The research methods used include: desk research, survey and semi-structured interviews.) aims to examine the use, visibility and impact of the LQF among various target groups (education providers, employers, workers and jobseekers and the general public). The results suggest that the LQF is well known and understood among education and training providers, and that visibility needs to be improved among the general public, employers, workers and jobseekers ( The results (in English) will be available in spring 2021.). There is also regional variation in levels of awareness of the LQF, and a seminar in the least-reached region, Vidzeme, was organised by the NCP in autumn 2020 in response to this. Once finalised, study results will be evaluated and may be used in planning further activities by the NCP.
Previous studies include two evaluations analysing the changes in the Latvian education and training system in the context of the introduction of the LQF: in 2013 ( Academic Information Centre/Latvian NCP (2013). Referencing of the Latvian education system to the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning and the qualifications framework for the European higher education area: situation assessment. http://www.nki-latvija.lv/content/files/LQF_evaluation_of_situation_2013.pdf.) and 2016 respectively ( Academic Information Centre/Latvian NCP (2016). Referencing of the Latvian education system to the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning and the qualifications framework for the European higher education area: situation assessment 2016. http://www.nki-latvija.lv/content/files/LKI_attistiba_situacijas_izvertejums_2016.gada.pdf); the 2013 study resulted in proposed and adopted changes to regulations regarding LQF levels 1 to 4. The study International qualifications in Latvia ( http://www.nki-latvija.lv/content/files/International-qualifications-in-Latvia_EN.pdf) was conducted in 2014 to describe existing practice with regard to international qualifications in Latvia and their possible inclusion in the LQF; a crucial aspect highlighted was the need for introducing and using learning outcomes to facilitate the relevant assessment of international qualifications. Another study was conducted in 2015-16: Terminology in the context of Latvian qualifications framework and European qualifications framework ( http://www.nki-latvija.lv/content/files/Terminologijas_zinojums_2016.pdf). Proposed terminology and definitions were discussed in a seminar with education and language experts and submitted to the Ministry of Education and the Terminology Commission of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Results of these studies informed the preparation of the updated EQF referencing report in 2018 (AIC, 2018b).