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Glossary

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  • qualification

    Definition: 

    Qualification covers different aspects:

    • Formal qualification: the formal outcome (certificate, diploma or title) of an assessment process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards and/or possesses the necessary competence to do a job in a specific area of work. A qualification confers official recognition of the value of learning outcomes in the labour market and in education and training. A qualification can be a legal entitlement to practise a trade (OECD);

    • Job requirements: knowledge, aptitudes and skills required to perform specific tasks attached to a particular work position (ILO).

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008, based on Eurydice, 2006; European Training Foundation, 1997; OECD, 2007; ILO, 1998.
  • qualification system

    Definition: 

    All activities related to the recognition of learning outcomes and other mechanisms that link education and training to the labour market and civil society. These activities include:

    • definition of qualification policy, training design and implementation, institutional arrangements, funding, quality assurance;

    • assessment and certification of learning outcomes.

    Comments: 

    a national qualifications system may be composed of several subsystems and may include a national qualifications framework.

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008; European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 2008.
  • qualifications framework

    Definition: 

    Instrument for development and classification of qualifications (at national or sectoral levels) according to a set of criteria (using descriptors) applicable to specified levels of learning outcomes;

    or

    Instrument for classification of qualifications according to a set of criteria for specified levels of learning achieved, which aims to integrate and coordinate qualifications subsystems and improve transparency, access, progression and quality of qualifications in relation to the labour market and civil society.

    Comments: 

    A qualification framework can be used to:

    • establish national standards of knowledge, skills and competences;
    • promote quality of education;
    • provide a system of coordination and/or integration of qualifications and enable comparison of qualifications by relating qualifications to one another;
    • promote access to learning, transfer of learning outcomes and progression in learning.
    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008; European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 2008; OECD, 2007.