The Luxembourg qualifications framework
Following the adoption of the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, in consultation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, has drawn up a proposal for a Luxembourg qualifications framework.
The Luxembourg qualifications framework is intended to serve as a non-binding guidance framework for individuals, providers of education and training and for the employment market. It will enable individuals to rank their qualifications in relation to other qualifications, with a view to lifelong learning.
A further element of the Luxembourg qualifications framework is that it is intended not only to apply to the formal system of qualifications but also to include non-formal qualifications.
Following preliminary discussions concerning the development of a Luxembourg qualifications framework, it has been decided, from a terminological standpoint, that the French-language title of the framework should read "Cadre [luxembourgeois] des qualifications" and not, as in the relevant official EU texts (including the Recommendation of 23 April 2008), "Cadre [luxembourgeois] des certifications", since the French word "qualifications" includes the notion inherent in the French word "certifications" and establishes the link with the world of work.
Extent of the framework
Initially, the Luxembourg qualifications framework will cover only formal qualifications. Later on, issuers of non-formal qualifications will be able to request that their qualifications be brought into alignment with the national framework levels.
The Luxembourg qualifications framework currently involves a systematic description of qualifications within the national education and training system. Acquisition of those qualifications is confirmed and standardised by the obtaining of a degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent body.
The framework comprises a general description of the qualification profiles and training outcomes and, in addition, for levels 5 to 8 relating to higher education, certain aspects of a formal nature, including in particular the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) volume. The framework links in with the European Qualifications Framework in respect of lifelong education and training and, as regards levels 5 to 8, is moreover linked to the Qualification Framework of the European Higher Education Area ("QF-EHEA"). The qualifications framework does not provide any information concerning admissions to the different study levels.
It defines, by way of descriptors, what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. Three categories of descriptors are used to describe learning outcomes relating to a given qualification in a generic and non-disciplinary way, and to classify and specify those outcomes.
Three categories of descriptors
The framework distinguishes the following three categories of descriptors: knowledge, skills and attitude.
The result of the assimilation of knowledge through learning and training.
Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a field of study or work; assimilation is defined as the process by which knowledge or know-how is integrated by the learner.
The ability to apply knowledge in order to complete tasks and solve problems.
As in the European Framework, skills may be cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).
The use of personal and social abilities in work or study situations and in professional and personal development.
Personal competence is characterised by a sense of autonomy and responsibility enabling the person concerned to adopt a critical approach to his or her own actions and those of others; it also allows persons to develop, either through study or through practical activities. Social competence is characterised by a sense of autonomy and responsibility enabling the person concerned to work with others and to take the interests of others into account. For levels 5 to 8, these descriptors are specified as encompassing communication skills and the ability to make judgements.