National Qualifications Framework and Referencing Report NQF-EQF

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is an important component within the reform of the education and training system in Kosovo.  It is intended to improve access to work and further learning by ensuring that qualifications are relevant to employment and learning, and meet the needs of individuals, the economy and education and training institutions. The NQF will support improvements in quality in developing qualifications that are based on standards and rigorous quality assurance. NQF provides transparency within the national qualifications system, making clear the nature of qualifications and the relationship between qualifications, and by providing a basis for comparison of achievements across all parts of the education system. NQF will support greater progression and mobility for lifelong learning through education and training pathways within the system. NQF also provides access to flexible learning, focused on the requests of individual for employment, creating opportunities for recognition of prior learning. NQF has been developed in line with European Qualification Framework (EQF) and provides the basis for co-operation and mutual recognition between NQF and EQF.  

The National Qualifications Framework and the National Qualifications Authority are established by the Law on National Qualifications (Law 03/L-060).  The National Qualifications Authority has a Governing Board of 13 members drawn from relevant ministries, universities, social partners, non-governmental organisations, and private sector providers. This Board is responsible for strategic management of NQF.   

The basic structure of the framework is a set of eight levels at which qualifications and modules can be placed. Each of the levels of the NQF is defined by a statement of typical outcomes of learning. These outcomes are of three kinds: knowledge, skills, and wider competences.  

The framework includes all kinds and levels of qualification and certification and each level of the Framework will contain qualifications of different sizes and qualifications designed for different purposes. 

All qualifications and/or modules in NQF should have assured quality and applicable assessment mechanisms to ensure that those are correct and objective, flexible, valid, reliable, sufficient, practical, cost effective and transparent. In order to assure quality, institutions should develop and combine internal and external controls, as well as undergo external control from a relevant institution. NQA and other relevant institutions will play an important role in strengthening external mechanisms in the quality assurance process.

Law on National Qualifications (Article 3, paragraph 3) makes clear that aspects of NQA responsibilities will be shared with other institutions – “The National Qualifications Authority established under the provisions of this Law shall also regulate the awarding of qualifications in the Framework with the exception of qualifications which are regulated under the provisions of the Law on Higher Education and qualifications explicitly regulated and under the provisions of other legislation”.

Operational responsibility for the NQF is shared between three authorised institutions:

  • NQA for vocational education and training qualifications;
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Technology  (MEST) for general education qualifications;
  • Kosovo Accreditation Agency for qualifications of higher education.

In the NQF, these three institutions work under common principles, practices and criteria for the main NQF functions: verification of occupational standards; validating qualifications; accrediting institutions to offer these qualifications; and quality assuring assessment and certification.

Relevant institutions NQA, KAA and MEST have special roles with regards to the development, validation, accreditation, assessment and certification for special types of qualifications. This is an important principle of NQF management because these roles and responsibilities are determined according to the type of qualification and level of qualification.

Management structure of NQF is presented as follows:

Strategic Management of the Framework

NQA – NQF Governing Board

Representatives of ministries, universities, social partners, NGOs & private sector

Operational Management of the Framework

Working with common principles, practices and criteria for the main functions:


General Education Qualifications


  Vocational Qualifications of all types


Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) was drafted in 2011 by the National Qualifications Authority (NQA), with the support of the EU KOSVET -V- project and funded by the European Union (EU).

The NQF was drafted by the NQA staff, supported by various experts and consultants. The relevant stakeholders such as: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and line ministries: Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry of Finance have contributed to this process. Also, NQF was assisted by Kosovo Accreditation Agency, Agency for Vocational Education and Adult Education, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce, HandiKos, Vocational Schools, Public, Universities, Private Colleges, Vocational Training Centers and other social partners. Support has been provided by various European organizations and our development partners.

The NQF Review and Completion started in 2017. The NQF revised and supplemented document incorporates changes and developments in the national system of qualifications in line with labor market needs in Kosovo and in line with EU policies and developments.

Revision and completion of this document is supported by DVV International - Office in Kosovo.

The NQF has been approved by the Steering Council of the National Qualifications Authority in 2019.

The NQA will continuously takeover of the implementation of the NQF in Kosovo and will address the requirements and needs of the national qualifications system in the future.

The Reference process of Kosovo National Qualifications Framework in the European Qualifications Framework is useful in almost all social, economic and political spheres. Improving the quality, mobility, flexibility, employment and lifelong learning are just some of the components which will affect to the improvement of welfare in Kosovo.

NQA has worked for a long time about the NQF establishment and now we consider that now is time where reference process could help more about functionality and implementation of National Qualification Framework.

Here you also can find the Reference Report of the National Qualifications Framework with the European Qualifications Framework produced by NQA.


Documents for download

National Qualification Framework Handbook 2020
Kosovo EQF Referencing Report 2016