Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National qualifications framework


2.Organisation and governance

2.5National qualifications framework

Last update: 27 November 2023

Luxembourg’s National Qualifications Framework (CLQ; Cadre luxembourgeois de qualifications) is a non-binding reference framework, which gives a comprehensive overview of the different qualifications available in Luxembourg’s formal education and training system.

General goals and purposes

Designed for purposes of communication, orientation and transparency, the CLQ does not confer any entitlements, neither regarding the access to study or training programmes, nor in view of the recognition of certifications. These aspects are governed by separate laws.

The CLQ aims at allowing:

  • Individuals to position their level of qualification in comparison to other qualifications, thus helping them to plan their training pathways
  • Education and training providers, as well as certifying bodies, to understand the level of learning outcomes related to access of a training programme or a certification
  • Stakeholders from the job market, such as employers or employment administrations, to understand the level of competences acquired by an individual in relation to the labour market’s demand
  • Comparison between certifications from Luxembourg and certifications from abroad.


Like the EQF, the CLQ comprises eight levels:

  • Certification levels 1 to 4 are under the responsibility of the ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE; ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse)
  • Certification levels 6 to 8 fall within the remit of the ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR; ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche).

Responsibility for the certifications at level 5 lies:

  • Either with the ministry of Education and the Chamber of trades (Chambre des métiers), which are in charge of the master craftsman’s diploma (brevet de maîtrise)
  • Or with the ministry of Higher Education and Research, which is in charge of the advanced technician’s diploma (BTS; brevet de technicien supérieur).

The learning outcomes of each qualification are described by 3 categories of descriptors.These descriptors set out in a general and non-disciplinary way what a learner usually knows, understands and is able to do at the end of a learning process.

These three categories of descriptors are:

  1. Knowledge (savoirs)
  2. Aptitudes  (aptitudes)
  3. Attitudes (attitudes).

'Knowledge' should be understood as the outcome of the assimilation of information as a result of education and training. Knowledge refers to a group of facts, principles, theories and practices connected with a particular area of study or work; 'assimilation' is defined as the process by which knowledge or knowhow is integrated by the learner.

Aptitudes  should be understood as referring to the ability to apply knowledge to the completion of tasks and the resolution of problems. As in the European Qualifications Framework, aptitudes may be either:

  • Cognitive (use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking), or
  • Practical (based on both dexterity and the use of method, equipment, tools and instruments).

Attitude should be understood as referring to personal and social dispositions in work or study situations and for professional or personal development:

  • Personal abilities are characterised by an autonomous, responsible disposition that allows critical consideration of one’s own actions and the actions of other people; they also define the scope of a person’s own development through either study or practice
  • Social skills depend on an autonomous, responsible disposition that allows working with others and taking other people’s interests into account.

For levels 5 to 8, the descriptors are defined as communication aptitudes and the ability to form judgments.

The CLQ is linked to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and (concerning its levels 5 to 8) to the Qualification Framework of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA).

The descriptors have been developed with reference to existing certifications as well as to the European descriptors (knowledge, skills, and competences). There is no parallel system for adult learners: adult secondary and higher education lead to the same qualification as initial education. The same applies to the validation of informal learning, which is also done by reference to qualifications within the education system.

Lifelong Learning

Luxembourg’s framework s is dedicated to a Lifelong Learning perspective and does not distinguish between different fields of education. Vocational and general qualifications are placed at the same level.

During the first phase of implementation, the framework will be open to formal certifications of Luxembourg’s official system only.

In a second phase, institutions delivering non formal certifications (that is certifications that are not foreseen in Luxembourg’s formal education and training system) will have the possibility to request referencing to the framework. Luxembourg’s strategy for Lifelong Learning foresees to establish a referencing procedure. Among other criteria, which will yet have to be defined, referencing of certifications will be based on the definition of the learning outcomes certified.


Following the adoption of the 2008 Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning, the ministry of Education, in consultation with the ministry of Higher Education and Research, has drawn up a first proposal for a National Qualifications Framework. This proposal has been presented to the Government Council in 2009. As the proposal explicated various implicit aspects of Luxembourg’s education system (in particular concerning the comparability of general and vocational qualifications), the council required to put in place an inter-ministerial coordination. Following this coordination process, a second proposal was thus presented to and adopted by the Government Council in September 2010. From November 2010 to March 2011, this proposal has been submitted to different stakeholders (social partners and representatives of different sectors of education and training and the University of Luxembourg). Their feedback is summarised in Luxembourg’s referencing report.

In the next step (second half of 2011), 3 national experts examined if the qualifications referenced correspond to the descriptors of the respective level. Where necessary, the experts came together with stakeholders in the respective field of the qualification.

In 2012, the referencing report linking Luxembourg’s qualification framework to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and to the Framework for Higher Education has been adopted by the Government Council and presented to the European Commission. In the 1st half of 2013, the Commission’s remarks have been integrated. The framework has then been published on the website of the ministry for Education.


The national coordination point is situated within the ministry of Education, Children and Youth. It ensures an ongoing coordination with the ministry of Higher Education and Research, the University of Luxembourg as well as relevant social partners.

Luxembourg’s National Qualifications Framework as well as the report linking it to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is available on the website of the ministry of Education, Children and Youth.