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A Quick Guide to the NFQ

A Quick Guide to the NFQ

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Published by CELT_NUIGalway
A short guide outlining features of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications
A short guide outlining features of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications

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Published by: CELT_NUIGalway on Jun 28, 2010
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11/08/2012

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CELT,lastreviewedJuly2012
AwardLevels
TheFrameworkcomprisestenlevels(1-10).Eachlevelisbasedonspecifiedstandardsofknowledge,skillandcompetence,withstandardsincreasingasalearnerprogressesthroughthelevels.Thesestandards(expressedintermsoflearningoutcomes)definetheoutcomestobeachievedbylearnersseekingtogainawardsateachlevel.ThelevelsoftheFrameworkmostimportantforuniversitiesarethosefrom7–10,ontowhichuniversityawardscanbemapped.Thetablebelowoutlinesthemostcommonmajorawardsattheselevelsrelevanttouniversities.Therearealsonon-majorawardsthatmaybeincludedateachlevel.
Level7
OrdinaryBachelorDegree
Level8
HonoursBachelorDegree
Level9
Master’sDegreePostgraduateDiploma
Level10
Doctorate
AwardLevelIndicators
EachawardlevelontheFrameworkisdescribedintermsoflearningoutcomesorawardlevelindicators.Thereareeightawardlevelindicatorsoverallbasedonthreeoverarchingstrandsoflearning-knowledge,know-howandskill,andcompetence.WithintheFramework,thelearningrequiredateachlevelwillbeexpressedintermsoflearningoutcomesundereachoftheawardlevelindicators.The8indicatorsandquestionsforwhichtheyhavebeendesignedtoanswerare(NQAI,2003):
Knowledge–breadth;
 
Howextensiveisthelearner’sknowledge?
Knowledge–kind;
 
Whatnatureorqualityofknowinghasthelearnerengagedin?
Know-howandskill–range;
 
Howextensivearethephysical,intellectual,socialandotherskillsdemonstratedbythelearner?
Know-howandskill–selectivity;
 
Howcomplicatedaretheproblemsthatalearnercantackleusingtheskillsacquiredandhowdoesalearnertacklethem?
Competence–context;
 
Inwhatcontextsisalearnerabletoapplyhis/herknowledgeandskills?
Competence–role;
 
Howmuchresponsibilitycanthelearnertake,personallyandingroups,fortheapplicationofhis/herknowledgeandskills?
Competence–learningtolearn;
 
Towhatextentcanthelearneridentifythegapsinhis/herlearningandtakestepstofillthosegaps?
Competence–insight
 
Howfarhasthelearnerintegratedtheintellectual,emotional,physicalandmoralaspectsofhis/herlearningintohis/herself-identityandinteractionwithothers?Thelevelofengagementwitheachoftheabovelevel-indicatorswilldifferdependingonthenatureofprogrammebeingdescribed.
Implications
TheuseoftheNFQhasimplicationsinmanyareasofHigherEducation.TheNFQ,alongwithECTSandlearningoutcomes,iscentraltotherecognitionofpriorlearning(RPL),thepromotionoflifelonglearning,andsupportsmobility,withanoverallaimtoimprovingaccess,transferandprogressionwithineducation.regularlywithclassmembersandactontheirbehalfatschoolmeetings.TheClassRepsschemeisvaluablebutitmayalsobeworthconsideringinvolvingstudentsatamoredirectlevelintheotherfeedbackmethodsmentionedabove.Oneexamplewouldbetoallowstudentrepstocollateandsummarisefeedbackfrommodulequestionnaires.Thisgivesthemamoreresponsibleroleandprovidesagreatersenseofownershipintheprocessaswellasraisingthequitelegitimateexpectationthatsuchfeedbackwillbeconsideredand,whereappropriate,acteduponbystaffmembersorattheSchoollevelasappropriateTheNFQisalsoincreasinglyusedasareferenceincoursequalityreviews,toensureprogrammesareappropriately
NationalFrameworkofQualifications
TheNationalFrameworkofQualifications(NFQ),launchedin2003,isasingleframeworkdesignedtoaidthedevelopment,recognitionandawardingofqualificationswithinIrishEducation.AllawardsmadeintheStatebybodiessuchastheDepartmentofEducationandScience,FETAC,HETAC,DITandtheuniversitieswillbeincludedintheframework.

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