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On the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning

Proposal for a recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning
Brussels, 5.9.2006
COM(2006) 479 final

The proposal is one of the concrete outcomes of the Education and Training 2010 work programme established after the Lisbon European Council in 2000, and was specifically called for by the 2005 and 2006 Spring European Councils. It was developed following an extensive consultation with Member States, the social partners and other stakeholders. It forms part of the Community Lisbon Programme, actions put forward by the Commission in support of the Member States efforts to secure the objectives for social and economic development agreed in March 2000.

The core element of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a set of eight reference levels describing what a learner knows, understands and is able to do - their learning outcomes - regardless of the system where a particular qualification was acquired. The EQF reference levels therefore shift the focus away from the traditional approach, which emphasises learning inputs (length of a learning experience, type of institution). Shifting the focus to learning outcomes -

  • supports a better match between the needs of the labour market (for knowledge, skills and competences) and education and training provisions;
  • facilitates the validation of non-formal and informal learning;
  • facilitates the transfer and use of qualifications across different countries and education and training systems.

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