PQF Introduction

A person who is learning generally achieves some learning outcomes after a period of time, or in other words, acquires certain competences. If these learning outcomes are positively assessed by a body authorised for this purpose, and the sum of the outcomes consist of a defined set (of acquired competences) that fulfil established requirements, the authorised body (after having checked that the learner has fulfilled the requirements) can then issue a formal document (diploma, certificate) confirming the achievement of the described competences.

A key element of the qualifications system is the Polish Qualifications Framework. The PQF will describe the mutual relations among qualifications and integrate various national qualifications subsystems. The PQF will also establish the hierarchy of qualifications levels. Eight levels will be distinguished in the PQF, with each level assigned to its equivalent in the European Qualifications Framework.

Systematising the qualifications within the PQF will provide greater transparency, access and quality of the qualifications that learners will be able to achieve through various learning paths, including formal and non-formal education, and informal learning.

In the proposed approach, „formal education” is professionally organised and implemented cycles (programmes) of education intended to lead directly (overtly) to the learner’s achievement of qualifications included in the national qualifications register. “Non-formal education” is also professionally organised and enables a learner to acquire new competences, but it does not lead directly to the award of qualifications that are included in the national qualifications register. “Informal learning” is not organised at all (by a professional entity) and obviously also does not lead directly to the achievement of qualifications found in the national register.

The essential justification for differentiating among these various learning modes in such a way is based not only on its transparency, but also on the practical advantages of distinguishing the aforementioned categories. The proposed definitions facilitate the establishment of guidelines for the general requirements governing non-formal education in Poland and for the support of its development through policies for lifelong learning.

All qualifications (full, partial, compound and constituent) within the qualifications system will be included in the national qualifications register. This register will be managed by the institution for the national qualifications system. Any qualification entered into the register will be automatically assigned to a specific level.

If an established set of learning outcomes (acquired competences) is listed in the national qualifications register, then, according to the principles of the future NQS, presenting a person with a document recognising the acquisition of these competences will be equivalent to awarding a qualification to a person. This means that within the NQS, a qualification can only be recognised if it is listed in the qualifications register as a set of learning outcomes (competences), and after its assessment and comparison with the requirements (of the particular qualification), it will be formally validated (certified) by an institution authorised for this purpose.

An essential element of the qualifications system is validation – a process whereby an authorised institution provides a learner with a formal document confirming the achievement of a defined set of learning outcomes. Credit accumulation is an important part of the validation process. This is the collection of documented credits within specific categories of learning outcomes. Accumulated credits can also be transferred, that is, used to attain successive qualifications. An important element of the NQS is also quality assurance, determining the credibility of the qualification.

The national qualifications system functions on behalf of the learner and the employer, so the main beneficiaries of the system being developed are:
The learner: A learner will be guaranteed the opportunity to attain high quality qualifications by the state.
The employer:  An employer will be provided with better information about the competences of potential employees

The national qualifications system should in time create better conditions for learners’ personal development, and simultaneously favour the acquisition of competences that better meet the needs of the labour market by current and future employees.

 KRK na youtube