About the NFQ

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

The NFQ is intended to put the learner at the centre of the education and training system in Ireland.  It is important that you are aware of the NFQ, understand what it means for you, and the benefits it can bring.

The NFQ is a system of ten levels. It incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, from initial learning to Doctorate, wherever the learning is gained. For example, the Irish Junior Certificate is at NFQ Level 3, apprenticeship qualifications are at a number of NFQ Levels, the Honours Bachelor Degree is at NFQ Level 8 and the Doctoral Degree is at NFQ Level 10.

The NFQ provides a structure (a framework) to compare and contrast the level and standard of different qualifications.  This helps you to make informed decisions about your qualification choices and to consider what options might be available for your further studies. The NFQ also makes it easier for you to explain to others what qualifications you hold, or are studying for. This becomes very important when you are considering further learning or when you are applying for a job - at home or abroad. You should consider the following questions before making a final choice:

  • What qualification does an education / training programme lead to?
  • Who is the awarding body?
  • What level is the qualification on the NFQ?
  • What class of qualification (e.g., major, minor) is it?
  • What are the options to progress further after completing it?
  • Will the qualification be recognised by employers?
  • Will the qualification be recognised abroad?

For further information about the NFQ, see http://www.nfq.ie/

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