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European Qualifications Framework


The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a standardization system that works to simplify and make comparable the different stages of education throughout Europe. It aims to allow people to move across borders in the certainty that the European job market can understand, and properly value, the student’s/worker’s educational level regardless of country.


For example, an employer in France may want to recruit a florist from Germany. The EQF system allows for the French employer to know the relevant education level of the German florist, by comparing the different levels of education common to all EU countries through the EQF table.

The structure of the EQF system is based on 8 different levels, each representing a different educational stage and the related output and competences that a person at that stage possesses:

In the context of EQF, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual.In the context of EQF, skills are described as:
cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking), and
practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments)
In the context of EQF, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy.
1Basic general knowledgebasic skills required to carry out simple taskswork or study under direct supervision in a structured context
2Basic factual knowledge of a field of work or studybasic cognitive and practical skills required to use relevant information in order to carry out tasks and to solve routine problems using simple rules and toolswork or study under supervision with some autonomylower secondary school
3Knowledge of facts, principles, processes and general concepts, in a field of work or studya range of cognitive and practical skills required to accomplish tasks and solve problems by selecting and applying basic methods, tools, materials and informationtake responsibility for completion of tasks in work or study; adapt own behaviour to circumstances in solving problemsGCSE Grades A*-C UK
4Factual and theoretical knowledge in broad contexts within a field of work or studya range of cognitive and practical skills required to generate solutions to specific problems in a field of work or studyexercise self-management within the guidelines of work or study contexts that are usually predictable, but are subject to change; supervise the routine work of others, taking some responsibility for the evaluation and improvement of work or study activitiesAbitur, Matura, vocational school
5Comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge within a field of work or study and an awareness of the boundaries of that knowledgea comprehensive range of cognitive and practical skills required to develop creative solutions to abstract problemsexercise management and supervision in contexts of work or study activities where there is unpredictable change; review and develop performance of self and othersHigher National Diploma (HND)
6Advanced knowledge of a field of work or study, involving a critical understanding of theories and principlesadvanced skills, demonstrating mastery and innovation, required to solve complex and unpredictable problems in a specialised field of work or studymanage complex technical or professional activities or projects, taking responsibility for decision-making in unpredictable work or study contexts; take responsibility for managing professional development of individuals and groupsHonours Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Degree without Honours, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, vocational university German State-certified Engineer, Business Manager and Designer (Fachhochschule) Bachelor, City and Guilds Graduateship (GCGI), German Fachwirt, German Operative Professional
7- Highly specialised knowledge, some of which is at the forefront of knowledge in a field of work or study, as the basis for original thinking and/or research
- Critical awareness of knowledge issues in a field and at the interface between different fields
specialised problem-solving skills required in research and/or innovation in order to develop new knowledge and procedures and to integrate knowledge from different fieldsmanage and transform work or study contexts that are complex, unpredictable and require new strategic approaches; take responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice and/or for reviewing the strategic performance of teamsMasters, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, vocational university (Fachhochschule) Masters, City and Guilds (MCGI)
8Knowledge at the most advanced frontier of a field of work or study and at the interface between fieldsthe most advanced and specialised skills and techniques, including synthesis and evaluation, required to solve critical problems in research and/or innovation and to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practicedemonstrate substantial authority, innovation, autonomy, scholarly and professional integrity and sustained commitment to the development of new ideas or processes at the forefront of work or study contexts including researchDoctorate, PhD, Professional Doctorate, City and Guilds Senior Awards - Fellowship


For more information visit: https://ec.europa.eu/ploteus/content/descriptors-page