20 February 2018

Global inventory of regional and national qualifications framework, 2017

Global inventory of regional and national qualifications framework, 2017

The Global inventory of regional and national qualifications frameworks - the two-volume publication - gives an update on the qualification frameworks around the world. It provides information on national and regional developments as well as selected themes. It is a result of a collaborative work between the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the UNESCO Headquarters’ in Paris, and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).

The publication captures records and analyses national qualifications frameworks in 100 countries in all 5 continents. In addition, it covers developments in 7 regional qualifications frameworks: in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Gulf region, the Pacific, Southern Africa and the Commonwealth States. The country-by-country chapters are supported by 8 thematic chapters on transversal analysis of the most important issues in qualifications frameworks such as purposes and impact of NQFs; qualifications frameworks as catalysts for lifelong learning and recognition of non-formal learning; and qualification frameworks promoting international and global communication and cooperation and comparability of qualifications.

Outcomes reveal that more than 150 countries worldwide are now developing and implementing qualifications frameworks. The number of qualifications frameworks has not grown much from the last edition of global inventory in 2015. However, between 2015 and 2017 we can observe a tendency towards strengthened regional cooperation between NQFs. This is not only the case in Europe, related to the revision of the European qualification framework (EQF) in May 2017; it can also be observed in Asia related to the adoption of ASEAN reference framework and the (re-starting) of the SADEC cooperation in the Southern African context. It also reveals that countries around the world see NQFs as instruments for reforming their qualifications systems to improve transparency, relevance and quality of qualifications, as well as widening access and opening up pathways to learning opportunities.

This third edition (the first two editions appeared in 2013 and 2015) of the Global Inventory of Regional and National Qualifications Frameworks is published at a time when the attention being paid to qualifications frameworks is rising, as evidenced by the UN’s Education 2030 Framework for Action and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which calls on countries to promote inclusive and equitable education and lifelong learning. There is also growing global cooperation at technical expert level, e.g. through work on world reference levels, led by UNESCO.

The findings were presented at the 6th Asia-Europe education Ministers’ meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in November 2017. The ASEMME6 Chairs’ conclusions refer to Global inventory as an important reference document for Regional Qualification Frameworks (RQFs) and National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs), which supports global monitoring by interested actors, provides policy analysis, identifies the latest issues and contributes to peer-learning.

Volume I and II of the Global Inventory can be accessed here.