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NFQ Standards and Guidelines

NFQ and Standards

At QQI, we maintain the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) as a system of levels for relating different qualifications (i.e.awards) to one another.

These levels are described in terms of general (non-subject-specific) indicators of a person’s knowledge, skill and competence; that is, standards for their learning achievements.   

We maintain NFQ Award-Type Descriptors that specify learning achievements in a general way for all the types of awards recognised in the NFQ. 

We may issue NFQ Guidelines to support the interpretation and implementation of the NFQ and its Award-Type Descriptors. 

We also set Awards Standards for our own QQI awards and those made by providers to whom we have delegated authority (DA awarding bodies).

NFQ Award-type Descriptors

These are benchmark statements about the learning achievements required to attain particular NFQ award-types e.g. an Honours Bachelor Degree or an Advanced Certificate.   

Award-Type Descriptors are part of the NFQ and all recognised awards must be consistent with one of these descriptors where one has been determined for the award-type. 

These descriptors apply to awarding bodies which make awards recognised in the NFQ.

Guidelines

Guidelines may be issued by us to assist interpretation of the NFQ and its award-type descriptors. They apply to all bodies which make awards recognised in the NFQ.

QQI Awards Standards

The Awards Standards we determine apply to our own QQI awards and those made by providers to whom we have delegated authority; currently the institutes of technology.   

Awards take different forms in different situations. The links in the right hand side panel elaborate.

For further details, please see our Policy for Determining Awards Standards and our Policy and Criteria for Making Awards.