Transparent qualifications, opportunities in the labour market

Since February 16, 2011, the public has been debating on a model of the Polish Qualifications Framework, organised as a part of the European-style Qualifications Project. The PQF is being developed with the joint involvement of academicians, employers, employees and teachers.

The Polish Qualifications Framework introduces a new way of describing and validating qualifications, which are achieved at various levels of education and learning, through the use of many pathways of acquiring knowledge, both informal as well as non-formal. These changes will impact everyone – persons who issue diplomas validating a qualification or those who achieve a qualification, persons who assess someone’s competences or those who order training workshops, persons who train or those who learn, persons who are searching for a specific type of worker or those who are planning their professional development.

The Polish Qualifications Framework should be a tool that is user-friendly and facilitates comprehensive personal and professional development, fulfils the expectations of employers and supports lifelong learning. Developing the national qualifications system will require cooperation, as well as the involvement and a certain level of public oversight on the part of social partners. To this end, so that the PQF does not become a product developed only by experts, and is immediately confronted with the expectations of practitioners, the team implementing the project at the Educational Research Institute invited participants in the qualifications system to a public debate. The debate enabled social partners to be actively engaged and influence the formation of the Polish Qualifications Framework.

Various professional groups and communities with an interest in the PQF participated in the debate: representatives of employers and employees, other labour market institutions, teachers, lecturers, pupils, students, employment agencies, as well as institutions offering educational and training assistance and support in their daily work to persons seeking work.

The joint work on the model of the Polish Qualifications Framework took place in three thematic groups. In the first group, the knowledge, skills, individual and social competences required for each stage of a qualification were discussed. The second group deliberated on the process of achieving a qualification based on learning outcomes, that is, the framework of qualifications for lifelong learning. The third group discussed the system of confirming learning outcomes and mechanisms of assuring the quality of qualifications, to ensure the reliability of the education provided and the qualification achieved both within the country, as well as in Europe.

Each group met five times. During the meetings, social partners exchanged opinions, suggested ideas and expressed reservations about the structural elements of the framework being developed, as well as issues related to the Polish labour market and educational system. Good practices were also presented. The purpose of the meetings was to develop a common position, discuss the needs and risks that could emerge as a result of the new system, and together search for solutions to the problems which were raised.

The final meeting of the first stage of debate was held in Warsaw on June 15, 2011. However, this wasn't end the public consultation process on the new way of describing qualifications. Meetings and conferences continue to be held, which enable the public to learn about the model of the PQF being developed.

 KRK na youtube