Qualifications pillar

The qualifications pillar is one of the three pillars of ESCO.

Qualifications included in the qualifications pillar

The qualifications pillar aims at collecting existing data on qualifications. The final objective is to provide a comprehensive listing of the qualifications that are relevant for the European labour market.

In its qualifications pillar ESCO includes qualifications from two types of sources:

  • National qualifications databases of Member States. These qualifications are included in National Qualifications Frameworks that have been referenced to the EQF. Since 2014, the Commission has been financially supporting Member States and other partner countries (EFTA, EEA and candidate countries) to develop national qualifications databases and to interconnect these with the "Learning Opportunities and Qualifications in Europe" and ESCO.

The following countries have linked their national qualifications databases so far:

- Greece (July 2017)

- Latvia (August 2017)

  • Other qualifications that are directly provided in ESCO by awarding bodies. These are not part of national qualification frameworks but are also relevant for the European labour market. They include private, sectoral and international qualifications. The Commission is currently piloting this approach and will discuss the results and following steps with Member States.

Metadata of qualifications in ESCO

The qualifications pillar supports the understanding of the individual qualifications needed by employers, public and private employment services, learners, workers, jobseekers, education and training providers and other actors. This information should be as complete and transparent as possible to meet the information needs of these stakeholders. Therefore, only qualifications data which includes the following core information are displayed in ESCO, based on Annex VI of the EQF Recommendation:

Information on other fields can also be provided, such as credit points, internal quality assurance process, link to qualification supplement, entry requirements, etc.

Member States and other stakeholders wishing to publish information on their qualifications in ESCO need to structure their data according to the qualifications metadata schema developed for this purpose and upload it in the qualifications dataset register (QDR).

Relationship with the skills pillar of ESCO

After the publication of ESCO v1, organisations providing data on qualifications can annotate with ESCO terminology. To this end, they identify knowledge, skill and competence concepts in the skills pillar of ESCO that are relevant in the context of the learning outcome description of a qualification. The Commission is piloting this approach in 2017.

Relationship with the occupation pillar of ESCO

Relationships between qualifications in ESCO and the occupations pillar are only displayed, if they already exist on the national level. Member States are not developing such data for ESCO. The relationship can indicate e.g. if a qualification is a requirement in order to work in an occupation in the specific Member State.