As the officially designated National Coordination Point for the European Qualifications Framework, QQI is pleased to publish this National Report confirming the alignment of the Irish NFQ with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA).
During 2020 a National Steering Group was established to oversee and advise on the preparation of the National Report.
In the foreword of the National Report, the Chair of the Steering Group Paul O’Toole commented that,
‘Qualifications play an important role in fulfilling personal, social, and economic ambitions. The implementation of the Irish NFQ has brought greater transparency to our national system of qualifications. This report shows that the NFQ is well implemented and well regarded, delivering real benefits to users of qualifications including learners, providers, employers, researchers, regulators, credential evaluators and policymakers. Sincere thanks go to the national stakeholders and international experts who, during very challenging times, gave generous support, advice, and expertise during the referencing process.’
Welcoming the publication of the National Report Dr Padraig Walsh, Chief Executive of QQI said,
‘This report provides a contemporary account of the publicly-regulated system of qualifications in Ireland. It has been prepared and endorsed by national stakeholders and externally reviewed by international experts. In successfully benchmarking the NFQ against the criteria and procedures of both the EQF and the QF-EHEA, the report strengthens the transparency and trust in the NFQ and brings real benefits to users of qualifications. The report demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to a European area of excellent and inclusive education and training, where skills and qualifications are more comparable, mobile and enjoy cross-border recognition. The European orientation of the NFQ and its associated quality assurance arrangements, ensures that graduates from the Irish education and training system are well regarded internationally and Ireland is seen as an attractive destination for international students.’
Commenting on the report, Manuela Geleng, Director of the Skills Directorate, Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission, said that:
‘A very rich and interesting discussion of the updated Irish referencing report took place at the EQF Advisory Group of 24-25 November 2020. The report contributes to EU cooperation on knowledge building and transparency of qualifications, and reinforces understanding and trust in Irish qualifications. The report clearly shows the impact of the Irish framework which has brought tangible benefits to both individuals and stakeholders over the last 10 years. The report was warmly welcomed by the EQF Advisory Group and can serve as a benchmark for policy-learning.’
QQI is committed to working with national and European authorities to bring the many benefits of a European dimension of the NFQ to all users of qualifications including learners, schools, colleges and universities, social partners, the guidance community, regulators and other policy makers.