The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) provides a common reference framework which assists in comparing the national qualifications systems, frameworks and their levels. It makes qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems in Europe.
The introduction of the EQF has been a trigger for a shift to learning outcomes. The linking of national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) to the EQF is expected to be completed by 2014 thus signalling that the learning outcomes approach has been broadly accepted as the basis for future European cooperation in the area of education and training.
The introduction of the EQF, and the rapid development of NQFs, is increasingly influencing the writing of curricula and qualification standards, focussing on what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do. Increasingly we observe that the shift influences the way teaching and training is organised and assessment is carried out.
ESCO and the EQF
The qualifications pillar of ESCO is developed in a way that is consistent with the EQF. This will allow building on the results achieved during the work on the EQF. National qualification databases will be a valuable source for ESCO.