The internationalisation of educational and training systems, labour markets, and the increased mobility of people and jobs have implications on the ways that skills are recognised, validated and accredited and on cross-border recognition of qualifications.
Qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes are tools that have been used to reform and expand educational and training provision in ways that will raise skills levels, improve labour market productivity and contribute to sustainable development.
World Reference Levels
The Shanghai Consensus (2012) recommended the development of international guidelines on quality assurance for the recognition of qualifications based on learning outcomes. In collaboration with experts, international partners and regional and global organizations, UNESCO has in the last few years been developing a system of World Reference Levels (WRL) which can be used to translate learning outcomes into an internationally recognized form to facilitate the comparison of qualifications and skills.
Global Inventory of Regional and National Qualifications Frameworks
To monitor and map global and regional qualification reforms and discuss key trends and policy issues emerging from qualifications framework reforms and development around the world, UNESCO published a Global Inventory of Regional and National Qualifications Frameworks in collaboration with the European Training Foundation (ETF), the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).
Fourth edition of the Global Inventory 2019
The publication Global inventory of regional and national qualifications frameworks 2019 – Volume I: Thematic chapters gathers information on progress in establishing national qualifications frameworks, as well as the challenges and success factors in implementation. It shows how countries around the globe are reforming their education systems by improving the quality and relevance of their qualifications. Volume I focuses on three core areas that are dominating the direction of reforming policies – digitisation, recognition of prior learning, and outcomes-based approaches to managing education and training – and concludes with an exploration of the benefits which can be gained from forging closer links between qualifications frameworks as policy tools, and the practitioners whose work makes them meaningful and valuable to individuals and society as a whole. Previous editions can be found here: Thematic chapters Vol I (2017) and National and regional cases Vol II (2017).