- It serves as a converting tool between various national qualification frameworks. It makes the contents of qualifications more transparent and straightforward for employers, teachers, employees and institutions.
- It supports cross-border mobility and life-long learning.
- Transparency intensifies trustfulness; as a result, adopting the qualification frameworks can promote the support of already existing procedures aiming at the mutual acceptance of qualifications.
The European Parliament and the Council accepted the recommendation about creating the European Qualification Framework for life-long learning in 2008.
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) connects the national frameworks as a common European reference framework and promotes the understanding, comparison and recognition of various national qualifications and reference frameworks. Its objective is to support life-long learning and mobility across Europe with the aim of employment or further studies.
The EQF consists of eight levels; it determines learning outcomes on the basis of knowledge, skills, autonomy and responsibility. The recommendation of 2008 gave a description to member states on how to connect their national qualification frameworks to the European Qualification Framework in a transparent way thus corresponding their qualification levels to the EQF levels. Also, the recommendation requested that member states develop their own national qualification frameworks following the typical aspects of their educational systems.
Since 2008, the majority of European member states have established their own national qualification framework. Besides, the referencing procedures of the national qualification frameworks to the EQF have been concluded on the basis of commonly approved criteria. The advisory group of the EQF accepted the referencing report of Hungary in 2015.
In 2017, the Council has accepted a new EQF recommendation. The document contains the common quality assurance principles, the criteria of referencing procedures, the tasks related to EQF communication and the description concerning data about qualifications.
In certain countries, the linking of qualifications to ESCO has begun. ESCO is the classification system of the European Commission connecting professions, competences and qualifications.