National Qualifications Framework
The sequence of steps for the elaboration of the National Qualifications Framework of the Slovak Republic was approved by the Government Resolution no.105/2009 of 4 February 2009.
It is based on the Recommendations of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. The Slovak Republic has decided on its implementation.
In accordance with its principles, EQF supports the integration of formal and non-formal education and informal learning, therefore also the educational programmes of non-formal education, or more precisely educational activities, have to be integrated in the individual reference levels following the EQF descriptors.
The development of the National Qualifications Framework of the Slovak Republic has 3 main phases:
- defining the structure, number of levels and the descriptors of each level of the qualifications framework,
- classifying state educational programmes, study and educational programmes of further education into the individual levels of the qualifications framework,
- relating levels of the national framework to the levels of the European Qualifications Framework.
The National Qualifications Framework of the Slovak Republic is based on 8 qualifications levels, which is a structure approved by the ministry of education in March 2011. Descriptors within the Slovak qualification framework, which were approved in May 2015, were subsequently reviewed. The draft version of the qualifications framework includes a set of descriptors determining the level of knowledge, skills and competences, which are necessary to acquire at a certain qualifications level. Descriptors of individual levels were revised by an expert group composed of parties from different areas of education, employers’ and professional organisations and associations.
Assessment and subsequent inclusion of educational programmes, study programmes, and educational activities and qualifications are based on the work group’s professional output and the Slovak qualification framework descriptors. Classification into relevant levels of the Slovak qualification framework is determined by the work group members, who work directly under the National coordination unit for the implementation of the European qualification framework. Since 2014, this unit operates at the State Institute of Professional Education. The tasks of the National coordination unit include:
- comparing qualification levels within the framework of the national qualification systems with the levels of qualification frameworks shown in Annex1,
- ensuring that the methodology used for comparison of the national qualification levels with European qualification framework (EQF) is transparent with the aim to make the comparison between them easier, on the one hand, and to guarantee the publishing of the respective decisions, on the other hand,
- providing the access to information and coordination for stakeholders concerning the extent to which the national qualifications are compatible with the EQF through national qualification systems,
- promoting the participation of all those involved according to valid national regulations and procedures, institutions of higher education, institutions of vocational education and training, social partners, sectors and experts in the field of comparison and use of qualifications at the European level,
- coordination of the reference process of the Slovak qualification framework with the European qualification framework.
At the end of 2017, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic announced the finalisation of the process of introducing Slovak Qualifications Framework level to certificates of education. Including Slovak Qualifications Framework/European Qualifications Framework level on certificates of education was implemented by updating new forms and amending the respective decrees (SK).
National System of Qualifications
Preparation of the National Qualifications Framework is subject to parallel the ongoing creation of the National System of Occupations (NSO) and the National System of Qualifications (NSQ).
The NSQ is a publicly accessible register of all complete and partial qualifications, confirmed, differed and recognised at the territory of the Slovak Republic. The aim of NSQ is to support the interlink of formal and non-formal education, enable comparison of results of education achieved by various forms of education and learning as well as the comparison of qualification levels in the Slovak Republic and other EU countries. At the same time, it will inform the general public of all nationally recognized qualifications.
National system of qualifications (NQS) will be issued by the Ministry generally binding regulation.
The essence of the parallel creation of NSQ and NQF is a proper interconnection of results of education and individual qualifications. The NSQ will create a system solution that will support the comparison of results of education achieved by various forms of education. The NSQ will enable recognition of real knowledge, abilities and skills independently of the forms of education, transfer of the demands of labour market to education, public information of all nationally recognized qualifications, compatibility of qualifications levels in the Slovak Republic and other EU member countries. Currently, there are first 1000 qualifications described in NSQ.
The National System of Occupations
The National System of Occupations (NSO) defines the Act No. 5/2004 of the Law Code on employment services and on the change and supplement to some acts as an integrated information system of description of labour market standard demands for individual jobs. It determines the requirements of professional skills and practical experience necessary for performing work activities at labour market posts.
The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, in cooperation with public administration authorities, local self-government bodies, employers, representatives of employers and representatives of trade unions, contributes to the NSO output.
The main goal of NSO is to update and maintain the system that will enable the access to detailed information on labour market (current needs of employers, description of occupations and requirements of pursuing them) and will contribute to improvement of interlink between the employers’ demands and education and training for the labour market.
The National System of Occupations will be the basic system framework for update of the National Qualifications System. Owing to the fact that the National System of Occupations defines the requirements for professional skills and practical experience necessary for performance of working activities at labour market jobs, it is necessary to create the National System of occupations in close cooperation with development of the National Qualifications System and National Qualifications Framework. The National System of Occupations and the National Qualifications System make up prerequisites so that the Slovak Republic could interlink its national qualifications with the common reference framework with the aim to remarkably facilitate the European labour market mobility.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Act No. 5/2004 on employment service as amended by subseqquent provisions (Zákon č. 5/2004 Z.z. o službách zamestnanosti a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2009. Act No. 568/2009 on lifelong learning and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 568/2009 Z.z. o celoživotnom vzdelávaní a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).