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Conference on including non-formal sector qualifications in the national qualifications framework

Group of participants at NQF-in Project conference in Prague

Sheila Dunn, Head of Quality and International Engagement and Anthony O’Reilly, Development Officer at SCQF Partnership recently attended the NQF-in Project's conference on: “Including non-formal sector qualifications in the national qualifications framework - the experiences and solutions of 7 European countries” at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic on November 9, 2017.

Over 85 participants were warmly greeted by Ms. Irena Palánová, Head of International Cooperation Department, National Institute for Education (Czech Republic) and Ms. Kláŕa Bezděková, Head of the Adult Education Department at the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, who were introduced by Jan Brůha, from the National Institute for Education and NQF-In Project partner.

Horacy Dębowski, NQF-In Project Expert from Poland, provided a general overview of the project, as well as a presentation on the conceptual and terminology problems that may arise when working on issues pertaining to NQFs and qualifications. After these introductory presentations, project partners presented on the solutions in their countries: Czech Republic, Scotland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Hungary and Poland. Each presentation covered such topics as:

  • terminology used,
  • historical context of NQF implementation,
  • procedures of including non-formal sector qualifications in the NQF,
  • legal status of qualifications included in the NQF,
  • fees for inclusion,
  • challenges and directions of development.

The final session was a panel discussion, held with representatives of all the countries involved in the project. Each of the panellists was asked to respond to two questions:

  • Which topics, solutions, ideas shown in the country presentations were the most interesting, inspiring?
  • Which of the presented solutions on including non-formal sector qualifications in the NQF have a universal character and can be used in other countries?

Lively discussions ensued between the panellists and participants, who were invited to share their perspectives and comments on the questions posed and remarks of the panellists. Quality assurance was raised as an important issue – will it be a very procedural process or more flexible to respond more quickly to dynamically changing labour markets. The issue of the ownership of qualifications was also raised, especially in terms of the different approaches in various countries – public vs. private ownership and the impact this may have on NQFs and qualifications systems.

Participants were graciously thanked for their attendance and active involvement in the discussions at the end of the event by Jan Brůha and Horacy Dębowski. An announcement was made about a follow-up conference on models of including non-formal sector qualifications in the NQF, to be held in Warsaw, Poland in early June 2018.

Each country report can be accessed on the NQF-In Project website at


Conference presentations can be downloaded from


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