Qualification and different levels?

6. Is it possible to relate a qualification to different levels?

No, because the EQF is not a system to classify qualifications according to different dimensions.  In other words, the EQF table should not be read as separate columns. To read one level means that the whole line (all three columns) must be read all the way across and, in addition, each level descriptor assumes inclusion of the outcomes for the levels below. Thus, a full understanding of a particular level requires that it should be read in relation to the preceding levels (see questions 2 and 3).

Due to the nature of Europe’s extensive qualifications systems and diverse qualifications, quite often parts (a group of qualifications) of a national qualifications systems will fit into a certain level in one column, whereas at the same time they ft into another level of another column. There might be very different qualifications according to the complexity of knowledge or the range of skills required, but they can be just as difficult to achieve.

Presentation of the EQF descriptors in a table with three columns should facilitate understanding of the EQF and the assignment of qualifications. If the table format results in contradictory interpretations, the columns should be seen as of secondary importance. Consequently, this means, that one should simply read the whole line (knowledge, skills and competence) and judge – all in all – in which of the levels the group of qualifications fits best. This way of reading the descriptors will help to establish “the centre of gravity” of the qualification in question and thus make it possible to decide where to place it in relation to the EQF.

This illustrates that due to the diversity of qualifications at national and sector level there will never be a perfect or absolute fit to the EQF levels – the principle of best fit has to be applied instead.