Information on the IQS

On January 15, 2016, the Act of 22 December 2016 on the Integrated Qualifications System entered into force. Many people were waiting for the IQS to be introduced – employers, representatives of trade unions, industry organisations and, above all, Polish employees – both those who work in Poland as well as those who have left to work in other countries of the European Union.

The solutions introduced by the Integrated Qualifications System respond to changes in the labour market and the economy. As seen in the experiences of other European countries, introducing a system based on a qualifications framework will result in more people wanting to have their competences formally recognised and qualifications raised, which will not only impact their work situation, but also their sense of security in the labour market.

In Poland, qualifications are awarded by the formal general, vocational and higher education systems, as well as by sectoral associations and organisations functioning on the basis of various laws. Some qualifications awarded outside the formal education system have high quality standards, but not all.

For those seeking employment abroad, as well as for employers hiring foreigners, the ability to more objectively compare diplomas awarded in various countries is a key issue. Poles working in other countries are often employed below their level of knowledge and skills. The reason is that outside our borders, no one knows the Polish Qualifications Framework level of a particular qualification. The ability to verify a qualification's level should enable, for example, a Pole working in Ireland to earn the same as an Irish person with the same competences.

Work on the new system will be led by the Minister of National Education, who supervised and coordinated an entire array of the changes made to the qualifications system.

Work on the Integrated Qualifications System in Poland was carried out with the continuous cooperation of social partners. They included representatives of employers, trade unions, industry organisations, non-governmental organisations, educational and research institutions and training firms. Their opinions significantly influenced the design of many of the solutions used in the IQS.

The Integrated Qualification System is for people who want to learn and develop throughout life, as well as for those who are just preparing to enter the labour market. In the IQS, specific learning outcomes take on greater importance - what we know, the skills and competences we possess, and how we are able to use this professionally and in society.

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