64th meeting of the European Qualifications Framework Advisory Group


The European Qualifications Framework Advisory Group (EQF AG) held its 64th meeting online on March 5th and 6th. QQI represents Ireland on the AG and Órla Barry and Andrina Wafer provide expertise on qualifications frameworks and validation of nonformal and informal learning respectively.

The EQF AG meeting opened in the usual manner with updates from the EU Commission, Cedefop, European Training Foundation, Council of Europe and the EU Presidency which is currently held by Belgium.

Referencing reports of national frameworks to the EQF were prominent on the agenda this time, with Croatia providing an update on the state of play on its referencing report and Lithuania presenting its re-referencing report since the 2017 EU Council Recommendation. Spain also presented a baseline report for its first referencing to the EQF. Órla acted as a discussant for this report. The role of discussant is to act as a critical friend and provide feedback on the report. A one-off validation report was also presented by Estonia and Andrina acted as discussant for this report.

The Commission provided a significant update on the skills and talent mobility packages associated with the EU Council proposal of 15 November 2023 [Commission proposes new measures on skills and talent to help address critical labour shortages - European Commission (europa.eu)] which are designed to make the EU more attractive to talent from outside the EU and to facilitate mobility within. The Commission is recommending a set of measures to simplify and speed up the recognition of skills and qualifications of third country nationals. These measures would modernise the EU's current recognition system and bring it closer to the system established for EU nationals that move to another Member State. The recommendations will be submitted to the Council for consideration and adoption during 2024.

The Commission proposed a workplan for the EQF AG for 2024-2025 focused on six core areas:

1. Strengthening implementation of the EQF

2. Strengthening implementation of validation of non-formal and informal learning

3. Communication and visibility

4. Evolving landscape of qualifications and credentials

5. External dimension

6. EQF and validation development and research.

QQI contribute to these priorities through our work at national level in implementing and communicating the NFQ and its associated policies. Our membership of the EQF AG offers opportunities to be members of project groups and we are currently represented on the pilot project to compare the EQF with the qualification framework of the Southern African Development Community. We are also a member of a new standing group to consider the levelling of international qualifications in more than one EU state.

The next meeting of the EQF AG will be in Brussels in June 2024 and will be followed by a network meeting of the EQF AG, EQF national coordination points (NCPs) and National Europass Centres.