What is a National Qualifications Framework (NQF)?
The Seychelles National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a comprehensive system approved by the Minister for the development, classification, registration, publication, evaluation and articulation of quality-assured qualifications. The NQF provides for the development of regulations and policies that guide all public and private education and training providers in the country about the requirements and conditions to be fulfilled before they are pronounced fit and able to deliver programmes that are nationally recognised by the SQA. These programmes are designed in a way that allows learners to have access to education and training without hindrances. For the SQA to carry out this mandate, a robust Quality Assurance System has been developed through consultation with relevant stakeholders. There are various pillars on which the NQF stands, among which are Quality Assurance and Standards Setting. These work together to safeguard the interest of learners and ensure providers offer education and training that is up to the required standard.
The NQF provides a structure, or a framework, by which all education and training can be included in one system and can be compared with each other. It is intended to help learners to make informed choices about their qualifications and to see what qualifications and career paths can be available to them. This is important when seeking to undertake further education and training, or applying for a job.
The NQF is intended to help providers of education and training to ensure that the standards of their qualifications are at the required level and can be recognised nationally, regionally and internationally.
For employers, the NQF serves to clarify the level of education and training that their current or prospective employees possess.
The Structure of our National Qualifications Framework
The Seychelles National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has ten (10) levels. The lowest level on the framework is the Primary Certificate while the highest are the Doctoral and Post-Doctoral degrees.
The National Qualifications Framework is shown below:
In Seychelles our National Qualifications Framework has been designed to provide:
- quality assured, nationally recognized, consistent standards and qualifications
- recognition and credit for knowledge and skills acquired
This means that all qualifications which will be nationally recognized as having the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudinal components will belong to the NQF. These qualifications (certificates, diplomas, degrees) will be registered on the framework.
The Qualifications Map is the most visible part of the NQF. It shows its architecture in terms of the number of levels on the framework, the qualifications types, the pathways to qualifications, the notional hours, and the level descriptors adopted for the qualifications on the map. Level descriptors basically describe the skill, knowledge, attitudinal and cognitive requirements for particular levels on the map. With notional hours, it is used as the main tool to position qualifications on the framework.
The NQF regulationsThe NQF regulations are subsidiary laws which derive from the main act which established the SQA. The regulations of the framework cover the structure of the NQF, the qualifications types and their structure, quality assurance, standards setting, the recognition of foreign qualifications, existing qualifications, and of prior learning, as well as other generic regulations including fees and appeals. All the regulations pertaining to these elements are included in one document. The regulations thus serve as the framework in which the education and training system will be regulated.
Qualifications Map and Level Descriptors
The Qualifications Map is the most visible part of the National Qualifications Framework. It shows its architecture in terms of the number of levels on the framework, the qualifications types, the pathways to qualifications, the notional hours, and the level descriptors adopted for the qualifications on the map. Level descriptors basically describe the skill, knowledge, attitudinal and cognitive requirements for particular levels on the map. With notional hours, it is used as the main tool to position qualification on the framework.