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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National qualifications framework


2.Organisation and Governance

2.5National qualifications framework

Last update: 16 February 2024

Albanian Qualifications Framework was adopted by Law No.10247 on 21.3.2010, as amended in 2020. It comprises of 8 levels similar to European Qualifications Framework. The responsible institutions for AQF are:

The Albanian Qualifications Framework (AQF) identifies and classifies qualifications in accordance with the labour market and social demands. The AQF is a comprehensive framework that integrates and coordinates the national qualification areas to improve transparency, access, progress and quality of qualifications. The AQF classifies all qualifications in 8 (eight) hierarchical levels. Each level is defined by learning outcomes in three domains: knowledge, skills and broader competencies, the so-called level descriptors. All qualifications included in the AQF will be quality assured. The Albanian Qualifications Framework is built on the principles of the European Qualifications Framework.

The overall purpose of the AQF is to regulate and improve qualifications in accordance with economic, social and cultural needs of the country by developing, recognizing and awarding them in the Republic of Albania, based on standards of knowledge, skills and competencies to be achieved by the pupils / students.

The main principles of the AQF are: learning outcomes-based qualifications; flexibility; taking into consideration lifelong learning in conformity with applicable legal framework; recognition and evolution of qualifications; quality assurance and identification of institutions which assure quality of acquired qualifications; identification of implementing institutions.

The main objectives of the AQF are: 

  • to guarantee that qualifications that are included in the AQF are quality assured and based on labour market and society requirements;

  • to guarantee equal opportunities for qualification holders;

  • to ensure comprehensiveness, clarity and transparency of the qualifications and of their inter-linkage;

  • to encourage development of learning outcomes-based qualifications, which are comparable with international standards in terms of knowledge, skills and wider competences;

  • to encourage and promote lifelong learning, including qualifications for continuous development of skills, and adult learning in AQF;

  • to improve access to qualifications and the flexibility of pathways towards qualifications acquisition;

  • to improve progress and mobility within and among the systems of formal, informal and non-formal learning in the framework of vocational education and training;

  • to improve individuals' employment opportunity to match the obtained qualification;

  • to encourage comparability and recognition of qualifications acquired in Albania with qualifications in other countries.

    • accreditation of institutions, which offer programs that lead to framework qualifications and evaluate pupils / students;

The functions for the establishment and proper functioning of the AQF, as stated by the law in force are:

  • development, maintenance and validity of standards and qualifications;

  • quality assurance and evaluation of pupils / trainees / students;

  • the validity of the certification of successful pupils / trainees / students;

  • general management and quality assurance of the framework.

These functions are exercised by the implementing institutions of general, vocational and higher education. These institutions operate in accordance with the policies and regulations approved in that respect.

The Albanian Qualifications Framework has a vertical and a horizontal dimension. The vertical axis classifies qualifications according to qualification levels, while the horizontal axe classifies qualifications according to type. 

The AQF is structured in eight levels at which qualifications can be placed. The lowest level is 1 and the highest level is 8. Each level is defined by level descriptors in three issues: knowledge, skills and broader competences. These are expressed as learning outcomes. The progress from level to level is defined by increasingly complex learning outcomes; they describe an increasing complexity of knowledge, skills and broader competences. 

More specifically the levels and structure of the AQF as established in the AQF Law are provided below:

AQF Levels 

LEVEL 1                                


First level Pre-university (general):  compulsory education


Second VET level: 

  • Professional Certificate issued at the conclusion of the two-year program for semi-skilled workers;



Third VET level: 

  • Professional certificate issued at the end of a one-year program for skilled workers;
  • Professional certificate issued at the end of a three-years program for skilled workers;
  • Professional Certificate issued upon completion of an apprenticeship programme;



Fourth VET level: 

  • State Professional Matura Diploma issued upon completion of the vocational high school programme;
  • Professional Certificate issued at the conclusion of the four-year study program for middle technicians / managers;
  • Professional certificate issued at the conclusion of the one-year program for middle technicians /managers;
  • Professional Certificate issued at the conclusion of the two-year program for middle technicians’ / managers;
  • Professional Certificate issued at the end of an apprenticeship programme.

                                              Fourth Pre-university general level:

  • State Matura Diploma issued upon completion of the high school programme;



Fifth level post-secondary in VET: 

  • Professional certificate non-university study program after secondary education

                                              Short Cycle in HE: 

  • Professional Certificate (1 year - 60 ECTS)
  • Professional Diploma (2 years - 120 ECTS)


First HE level     : 

  • Bachelor Diploma (at least 3 years – at least 180 ECTS)



Second HE level

  • Professional Master – (1 year - 60 ECTS)
  • Professional Master (2 years -120 ECTS
  • Master of Sciences or Master of Arts (2 years – 120 ECTS)
  • Integrated Master (5-6 years – 300-360 ECTS) 



Third HE level   

  • Executive Master (1 year - 60 ECTS)
  • Executive Master (2 years - 120 ECTS)
  • 2 years (Long-term specializations (at least 2 years – at least 120 ECTS)
  • (Doctoral Degree – (3 years up to 5 years)


LEVELS 1-5; 7-8

Lifelong learning qualifications

The AQF law (2010 amended in 2018) includes a set of general level descriptors based on the EQF level descriptors. These general level descriptors have been elaborated in more detailed level descriptors, as they are regulated in a specific by-law (DCM no. 428, of 26.6.2019 “The approval of table detailed descriptions of the Albanian qualifications framework levels”) in order to better support the translation of the labour market and social needs into relevant qualifications.

The Albanian Qualifications Framework is built on the principles of the European Qualifications Framework

Finally, The National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications developed by NAVETQ is de facto the register of vocational qualifications in Albania and is approved by the Minister in charge of VET. Currently, the National Catalogue for Vocational qualifications includes 122 vocational qualifications which are totally based in LO. More information on AQF  and respective documentation related to the National Qualifications Framework can be found here.