International Consulting on Education and Media

European Qualifications Framework

Transparency within the areas of qualification in Europe


The European Qualification Framework (EQF) was initiated by a decision taken by the Ministers of Education from 32 European countries in December, 2004. In April, 2008, the European Parliament and the European Council passed the recommendation on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning.

International Comparable Standards on eight levels

On eight levels, the document offers a generic, i.e. non-content-oriented guideline for knowledge, capabilities and competencies (as Learning Outcomes), which have to be presented at a specific level. If the EQF functions according to plan as a translation instrument between countries and sectors/industries, it will provide greater transparency in multifaceted education and the training market in Europe.

Influence on national developments

Possible effects of the European Qualification Framework on the organization of general and professional education in Germany are under discussion at present.

In no case can the EQF serve to solve national problems. But, in Germany in particular, the description tool touches upon a sensitive spot and is received as an impulse for discussions on education strategies in the German context.

From the EQF to a sector framework - the ICT industry as an example

Initiated by education planners, the EQF is of major interest for the world of production and professional strategic planning. A first example of this is the ICT industry.

The eight levels in particular are appropriate as a common point of orientation for the work done in relation to the European e-Competence Framework. The 40 e-Competences of this ICT workplace oriented reference framework are further specified on five proficiency levels (e-1 to e-5) which are related to the EQF levels 3-8.

In doing so, the European e-Competence Framework embodies one of the first sector-specific frameworks directly linked to the EQF.