Over the past year, progress in developing and implementing national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) has allowed more countries to link these to the common reference framework for qualifications, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

How far each country has progressed along this road can now easily be seen by clicking on country chapters in Cedefop’s working paper, Analysis and overview of NQF developments in European countries, the fourth annual report Cedefop has prepared on this topic.

This linking process makes it easier for countries to understand one another’s qualifications. As a result, it also eases citizens’ lifelong transitions between learning and working, across sectors, and within the entire European labour market. Some countries also see qualifications frameworks as tools for education reform and institutional change.

Twenty national frameworks are now linked to the EQF

At the end of the period covered by the working paper (December 2012), 16 out of 36 countries working together on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) - Austria, Belgium (FL), Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK - had linked their national qualification levels to EQF levels. By late May 2013, this number had gone up to 19, with the addition of  Italy, Poland and Slovenia.

Moreover, some countries, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Lithuania and Portugal, have started featuring NQF and EQF levels on new certificates, diplomas or Europass documents.