In collaboration with the Bahrain Education & Training Quality Authority (BQA), the SCQF Partnership has published the Referencing Report of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and the National Qualifications Framework of Bahrain (NQF). The goal of all exercises that reference one qualifications framework (QF) to another is enhanced trust for the users of qualifications who may be internationally mobile or those that use qualifications for international recruitment. In a referencing process, trust comes from a clear and authoritative explanation of how qualifications levels in one jurisdiction relate to those in another jurisdiction and this detailed and robust report has been endorsed fully in both countries.

The SCQFP started discussions with colleagues in Bahrain in 2010 when work was at a very early stage of developing a National Qualifications Framework for Bahrain. In November 2010 a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bahrain Qualifications Framework Project Steering Committee was signed. As part of the MoU, the SCQFP agreed to provide advice and comment to the BQF Steering Committee on aspects of framework development and governance and provide final comment and opinion on the way forward for the Bahrain NQF. This was the start of eight years of close collaboration with regular contact and discussion on key areas and general aspects of Framework development.

In 2015 we updated and signed a new MoU between the SCQFP and BQA. As part of that MoU we agreed to consider the benefits of formally referencing our two Frameworks. In autumn 2017 the SCQFP and BQA agreed to undertake this work to support the mobility and recognition of both students and employees.

Scotland has experience of referencing their Framework to the EQF and also to another regional Framework and used this experience to agree a process with Bahrain.

Chief Executive of the BQA, Dr. Jawaher Shaheen Al Mudhahki said: “I am delighted that the BQA has formally referenced the National Qualification Framework (NQF) to the SCQF. Our fruitful relationship with the SCQFP goes back to 2010 at the early stages of Bahrain NQF development. In 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the SCQFP and BQA and agreed to look into the formal referencing of our frameworks and hence we achieved this target. We anticipate that referencing with a reputable framework like the SCQF will lead to more international recognition of Bahrain framework, qualifications and students. We also are looking forward to enhancing our cooperation in the near future with the SCQFP.”

Aileen Ponton, CEO of the SCQF Partnership, added, “There is now a greater awareness of the need for qualifications systems to have high international credibility, as governments accept that qualifications play a part in facilitating competitiveness and economic growth. At the same time international companies and organisations are increasingly asking for transparency of national systems so that transnational business can be facilitated through the recruitment of employees with the requisite qualifications. We see this report as part of this wider picture which will add to the international comparability of qualifications and systems.”

The report has been shared with stakeholders in both countries to ensure the process is robust and the outcome is validated. The final report is available to download.

10/07/2018