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About the Qualifications Framework

About the Danish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning, what you can use it for and how it is structured.

The Danish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning is a comprehensive, systematic layered classification of publicly recognised qualifications that can be acquired within the Danish education system – from primary and lower secondary to university level and within the area of adult and continuing education and training.

The Qualifications Framework also includes some non-publicly recognised qualifications and qualifications belonging to public authorities outside the three education ministries (Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Ministry of Children and Education and Ministry of Culture).

The Qualifications Framework has eight levels. Degrees and certificates are placed at one of these eight levels on the basis of learning outcomes. The level descriptors express the learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and competence.


What can the framework be used for?

The Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning supports transparency in the education system and furthers the possibilities for mobility and lifelong learning:

  • It provides a comprehensive overview of qualifications approved by national authorities while simultaneously making routes through the education system visible. This makes it easier to find out how to build on the qualifications one already has.
  • It supports lifelong learning by connecting publicly recognised qualifications with private qualifications and qualifications outside the area of the three education ministries.
  • It facilitates mutual recognition between Danish and non-Danish qualifications.  This is because each level in the Danish Qualifications Framework and each level in other countries’ Qualifications Frameworks and systems refer to a level in the European Qualifications Framework. This makes it easier to compare qualification from different countries.

The Qualifications Framework can be used by the general public, companies and counsellors who need an overview of qualification levels in Denmark, including the level at which specific qualifications are placed. In the case of educational institutions and authorities, the Qualifications Framework is a tool for counselling, description, assessment, comparison and recognition of qualifications and programmes leading to the qualifications.

Which education and training programmes are covered?

The Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning covers:  

  1. Publicly recognised certificates and degrees – from the certificate for the Leaving Examination of the Primary and Lower Secondary School to the PhD degree.

  2. Publicly recognised certificates for supplementary qualifications, for example certificates for Higher Preparatory Single Subject courses, basic courses at Vocational Education and Training (VET), Adult Vocational Training, or preparatory courses.

  3. Certificates for private qualifications etc. having received a level assessment and referenced to a level of the qualifications framework on the basis of official criteria and procedures.

The degrees and certificates covered by the framework are acquired by means of education and training programmes offered in accordance with Danish Acts and executive orders, and which are subject to officially validated quality assurance. It is possible to acquire certain degrees and certificates by other methods than by completing whole education programmes and courses, through recognition of what one has learned in working life or activity in associations, for example, on the basis of an assessment of prior learning.

Higher education

The level descriptors for levels 6, 7 and 8 of the Danish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning are identical with the three highest level descriptors of the Danish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education, i.e. bachelor, master and PhD level, respectively. For level 5 of the Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning the level descriptor is broader than the one applying to the Academy Profession level of the Qualifications Framework for Higher Education. This is due to the fact that some of the qualifications at level 5 are not a part of the Qualifications Framework for Higher Education.