Making Sense of Qualifications - How Recruitment Professionals in Ireland view Qualifications


​QQI to promote better understanding and use of qualifications amongst recruiters and employers


A recently conducted survey by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) asked almost 100 recruitment organisations across the private and public sector, to give their views on the importance of qualifications in recruitment practice and their use of qualifications frameworks when recruiting staff.

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), maintained by QQI, is Ireland's 10-level framework that includes the many different types and sizes of qualifications offered in Ireland.  These include qualifications gained at school and also in further and higher education and training.  

QQI sets standards for qualifications to ensure consistency in the level of knowledge, skill and competence required to achieve a particular qualification and, as a result, making it easier to compare qualifications.  Qualifications on the national framework are easily compared to those of other European countries using the 8-level European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Key findings from the survey showed that:

-  71% sometimes find it difficult to find people with the right qualifications

-  74% find the evaluation of foreign qualifications challenging

-  71% recruited from within Ireland, 34% from the EU and 27% globally

-  63% were interested in qualifications achieved outside the formal education and training system are important; reflected in a 55% level of interest in digital badging

-  96% were aware of the NFQ and 54% referred to it during recruitment

-  69% were aware of the EQF and 17% referred to it during recruitment

-  The qualification level most in demand by recruiters were NFQ Level 8 or professional qualifications equivalent to NFQ Level 8 or above

-  While the vast majority deemed qualifications to be of medium to high importance when recruiting, qualifications played a slightly less important role in recruiting for                 operational roles than supervisory or managerial roles

Reflecting on the survey results, John O'Connor, Head of Framework Integrity at QQI said,

 "The effective recruitment and selection of human resources is essential to high performing workplaces yet the role of qualifications in this process may be taken for granted or may be misunderstood.  Making sense of academic, vocational, sectoral, professional or international qualifications can be challenging, and this survey allows us to better understand those challenges as experienced in recruitment practice."

 John continued,

"We will be working together with employers and recruiters to ensure better understanding of how qualifications work and how tools such as the National Framework of Qualifications, the European Qualifications Framework and QQI's NARIC service for recognition and comparison of qualifications from outside Europe can improve their search to find the right candidates with the right qualifications, both at home and abroad."


Key findings of the survey can be read here.

The full report can be read here.