Integration of new qualifications and competencies in Europe

Most European countries have formally adopted national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) to integrate new qualifications and competencies in TVET, facilitate skills recognition, and provide pathways for learners

According to Cedefop, 39 countries across Europe – defined as EU Member States, EEA countries, EU candidate countries, potential candidate countries and Switzerland – have developed NQFs. However, these NQFs are at different stages of implementation. As of 2018, 17 of these NQFs were at an early operational stage, while 21 were at an advanced operational stage. (Cedefop 2019)

36 of these European NQFs include formal qualifications from VET, general, higher and adult education – and thus provide pathways to further education via both the academic and vocational tracks. (Cedefop 2020)

Many European countries’ NQFs include qualifications awarded outside formal education and training by private providers, sectors, companies and international bodies – a development viewed as crucial to fostering lifelong learning and progression through different pathways. The number of European countries that have linked non-formal and informal learning to their NQFs has grown from 12 in 2010 to 31 in 2018. (Cedefop 2020)

In 2020, the European Commission invited countries to link their national qualifications databases to the new Europass portal, which was launched on 1 July 2020. The Europass portal acts as the EU’s central platform and single-entry point for accessing information on all qualifications contained in the various European NQFs to support their interoperability. (Cedefop 2020)



Non-routine competencies such as the ability to problem solve, communicate well, innovate and collaborate are essential for future-oriented jobs.

The BILT project is implemented by

International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

with support of

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

and sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Reserve

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre

for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1

53113 Bonn, Germany


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