The national framework of qualifications (NFQ) is a system of 10 levels which allows the different standards and levels qualifications to be compared and is explained below.
National framework of qualifications
THE NATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF QUALIFICATIONS (NFQ)
The national framework of qualifications (NFQ) provides a structure to compare and contrast the level and standard of different qualifications. This helps you to make informed decisions about your qualification choices and to consider progression opportunities available to you. The NFQ also makes it easier for you to explain to others what qualifications you hold, or are studying for. This becomes very important when you are considering further learning or when you are applying for a job – at home or abroad.
The NFQ, illustrated by the “fan diagram” is a system of ten levels. It is based on standards of knowledge, skill and competence and it incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, wherever it is gained. School qualifications awarded by by the state examinations commission, further education and training qualifications awarded by further education and teaching awards council (FETAC) and higher education and training qualifications awarded by higher education and teaching awards council, DIT, other institutes of technology and the universities are all included is the framework.
Qualifications is the nfq are quality assured. This means that students can have confidence that their course, and the institution at which they are studying, are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Quality assurance is intended to ensure that all students have a high quality learning experience regardless of where you are studying.
The European and international dimensions of the nfq are also very important from a student perspective, increasingly, students and workers are travelling to other countries for further study or employment. All qualifications in the nfq are recognised at home and abroad.
The European and international dimensions of the nfq are also very important from a student perspective. Increasingly, students and workers and travelling to other countries for further study or employment. All qualifications in the nfq are recognised at home and abroad.
The nfq is used to compare Irish qualifications with foreign qualifications, thus, acting as a valuable tool for Irish graduates travelling abroad who wish to use their Irish qualifications. In addition, students or workers travelling to Ireland with qualifications gained abroad can use the nfq to have these qualifications recognised.
There are five levels of qualification in irish higher education. These levels, together with another five from the primary and secondary parts of the education system, make up the nfq. Levels 6 to 10 are higher education qualifications: From a higher certificate at level 6 to a PHD at level 10.
There are three types of full – time undergraduate higher education qualifications a student can pursue:
Level 6 – Higher certificate
Level 7 – Ordinary bachelor degree
Level 8 – Honours bachelor degree
In addition to these ‘Major’ awards, there are a range of other awards (often gained through part-time) made at each of the levels, known as minor, supplemental or special purpose awards.