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Past Projects


Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training) of the European Commission and led by the Educational Research Institute from Poland the NQF-in project aimed to support to national governments, EU agencies and key stakeholders in developing policies on including non-formal VET qualification into NQFs.

The SCQF Partnership participated in this project (2015-2018) with a number of partners led by The Educational Research Institute (Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych – IBE) in Poland.

The main goal of the NQF-IN project was to provide evidence based support to national governments, EU agencies and key stakeholders in developing policies on including qualifications in national qualifications frameworks, with a particular focus on qualifications awarded outside the formal education system (non-formal sector qualifications). The project produced a range of useful reports including:

  • Including Non-Formal Sector Qualifications in National Qualifications Frameworks: The Experiences and Solutions of Seven European Countries

  • Proposed Models of Including Non-Formal Sector Qualifications in National Qualifications Frameworks.


We have worked with IBE, Poland since 2012 through a range of European funded project activity. Acting as an international expert in relation to the EQF referencing report, we shared best practice from Scotland and Poland to support the report which went to the European Commission in May 2013 and was launched by the Polish Government in July 2013. SCQF Partnership Chief Executive Officer, Aileen Ponton spoke at the launch. In addition to this formal role we also provided bespoke support, including running workshops on credit rating, hosting Polish journalists and organising visits to the Scottish Qualifications Authority and colleges. We also presented at a Polish conference on NQFs as a tool for personal and labour market development and highlighted our work on employer engagement.

This partnership has continued with collaborative work on a Twinning Project in North Macedonia in 2016-17 and a Polish expert contributing to the update of the Scottish EQF referencing report in 2018-19.

The SCQF is a key partner in Poland’s work on building an integrated qualifications system – from the involvement of Aileen Ponton as an international expert participating in the development of our national qualifications framework – to the study visits, which were an inspiration and guide in developing our vision of the system in Poland.

Beata Balińska, National and International Cooperation and Public Relations Unit Leader, Educational Research Institute

Hong Kong

SCQF Partnership CEO, Aileen Ponton was a Council member of the HKCAAVQ from 2009-2015 and in March 2012 we signed an MOU with the Government of HKSAR which was witnessed by the Minister in Parliament. As a result of that we ran a joint conference on credit transfer, articulation and progression and their place within a Qualifications Framework. This conference was held in March 2013 and was attended by Sir Andrew Cubie, Dr Janet Brown, Aileen Ponton and Julie Cavanagh. Attracting over 800 delegates over the course of the conference there was considerable interest in the Scottish approach. 

Since then we have provided a project to help the QFS develop tools to measure the impact of their framework and most recently we completed a formal referencing of the HKQF to the SCQF in 2017.

As one of the participants of SCQF International Study Day on 20 February 2015, I was impressed how SCQF support lifelong learning for all people in Scotland. From presentations by representative of SQA and Police Scotland College ,I realized how flexible and robust the QA system of SCQF is. Besides, in the Study Day all participants got a flavour of those helpful and informative guides, tools, workshops, and other services provided by SCQF Partnership to all stakeholders of SCQF. It was also a nice experience to exchange views with experts from HE and Credit Rating Bodies on how to provide flexible learning opportunities for learners. To sum up, I would like to recommend similar Study Visit to those who look for learning and adopting best practice from a well-developed NQF like SCQF.

Patrick Wong, Assistant Manager, Qualifications Framework Secretariat (under the Education Bureau in Hong Kong)


We have worked closely with the Bahrain Education & Training Quality Authority (BQA) since 2010 originally acting as an international expert on a SQA led project to support the development of a National Qualifications Framework for Bahrain (NQF).  In 2017 we provided consultancy to develop processes for the alignment of non-Bahrain qualifications, to the Bahrain NQF.  More recently we completed a project to the Bahrain NQF to the SCQF with the final referencing report published in July 2018. 

Our strong relationship continues to develop and we were delighted to have the BQA as guest speakers at our 2018 conference international study day.

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.

Dr. Jawaher Shaheen Al Mudhahki, Chief Executive of the BQA

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