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Graphic representing the National Framework of Qualifications

National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

Ireland has a framework of qualifications with ten levels, which include awards made by schools, further and higher education and training institutions.  This framework is the common reference point for Irish qualifications to help with understanding of qualifications so you can find out where your qualification is and what it means if you want to find a job or another course.


Why is this important?

The types and expected learning outcomes of national awards made by higher education institutions at undergraduate and postgraduate level are described in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).   


Awards in the NFQ are nationally and internationally recognised and are underpinned by legislative quality assurance arrangements.


There are overarching level indicators at each of the 10 levels of the Framework with associated sub-strands of knowledge, skill and competence appropriate to the achievement of an award at each of these levels.


The NFQ is aligned with the Bologna Framework (Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area) and is referenced to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF).


How do I find out if a qualification and course is recognised in the NFQ in Ireland?

You can check the Irish Register of Qualifications (IRQ) is a resource that provides public confirmation of the formal, technical relationship between a qualification and the NFQ.


Visit the IRQ here



Need help understanding where foreign qualifications fit in an Irish context? 

QQI host the National Academic Recognition Information Centre where free advice is available about foreign qualifications. Each qualification is compared to a similar award and award type in the Irish context. This advice can help with finding employment or a course in Ireland or abroad. 


Visit NARIC Ireland here