12th January 2021

Many times we are asked to explain the different terminologies used to categorise qualifications and to compare qualifications attained in different countries. HR professionals, especially those working in recruitment especially those working in recruitment and training and development, need to keep abreast with the meaning of such terminology particularly when assessing an applicant’s suitability to the expected duties.  

Frameworks, also known as level descriptors, make different qualifications easier to compare and understand. A level descriptor indicates the location of a specific qualification. Thus, providers, employers, and learners can easily grade and comprehend a specific qualification when compared to others. Such categorisation does not apply to a particular country or a specific education system only, but also to those awarded in other countries and different education systems.

In Malta we have the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF). Qualification refers to the programme of study based on learning outcomes at the corresponding MQF level (we will come to this soon), having enough workload to meet the requirements depending on the level.

Each level of the MQF is expressed in the in terms of knowledge, skills, and competences, in accordance with the Malta Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning Regulations. The level of difficulty of the knowledge, skills, and competences increases gradually with Level 8 (Doctoral Degree) being the highest. Each level requires a number of credits (explained soon) to be attained to be reached.

Award holders have successfully completed a programme carrying less credits than the minimum number required to be certified as a Qualification but have still attained the expected learning outcomes at the relevant MQF level. Credits such as ECTS and ECVET, measure the workload whilst facilitating the implementation of learning at national and European level. In Malta, 1 ECTS and 1 ECVET is equivalent to 25 hours of learning. The learning hours can be spread between hours spent during actual teaching hours, practical sessions, mentoring, self-study, research etc. (Source: National Commission for Further and Higher Education available from this link)

Thus, an Award at MQF Level 6 with 4 ECTS means that a student would have successfully completed a programme with outcomes equivalent to those of a bachelor’s degree with 100 hours of learning rather than the 4,500 to 6,000 hours expected for a bachelor’s degree.

We are organizing an information session on how to better understand the Malta Qualification Framework. Our guest speakers will be from the MFHEA , the authority which is responsible for implementing and developing the MQF in Malta.