3. September 2018. 09:09

Qualifications Agency will be established by the end of 2018

By the end of 2018, the Serbian Government will establish the Qualifications Agency, and at the proposal of the Council of the National Qualifications Framework in Serbia (NQFS) Sector Skills Councils will be established, that will operate as social partnerships.

Sturdy technological and economic changes have caused shifts in all segments of the society, especially in relation to labour and labour market. A new working environment created new demands with regard to education. Education is expected to ensure employability of individuals in a relatively short time, so that, upon completing their education, the knowledge they have gained becomes functional and thus enable them to improve their position on the labour market.

Despite of the recognized market needs and undertaken activities, the problems in practice are still being encountered, such as the discrepancy between supply and demand on the labour market, a vast share of informal employees in total employment, a high structural unemployment rate and the growing unemployment, particularly among the young population, as well as other issues.

With respect to qualifications, the labour market is characterized by an unregulated system of qualifications, poor mobility of labour force, and an aggravated communication with the labour environment. Other than the name of a qualification and the length of education, employers have no information about what an individual is able to do after completing the education, such as: their competencies, jobs that they have become trained for. In order to overcome these problems and create a link between the world of education and the labour market, one of the strategic priorities of the Serbian Government is the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework in Serbia (NQFS) based on social partnership and a wide social consensus.

Establishing the NQFS will define what each individual is able to and knows to do, subject to their acquired qualifications. This will be beneficial for both the employers and individuals and consequentially, the society as a whole. Each employer will be able to know who has the capacity to perform particular jobs on the labour market, which is of particular importance to foreign investors who are not fully acquainted with the educational system of the country where they operate.

From the perspective of individuals, the establishment of the NQFS will significantly improve the career development of individuals by ensuring that all future students will have an insight into what they will be able to do and be skilled in at the end of their education, which jobs they will be able to apply for and/or continue their education.

In the NQFS, aside from the qualifications acquired through formal education, qualifications acquired through informal education and informal learning will be also taken into account, which is in line with the practice that the competence, i.e. the outcome of learning on the labour market is more important than the way in which it has been acquired.


Significant results were achieved in this field in the previous period. The Law on NQFS was adopted and the NQFS Council was established, being an advisory body that will provide policy recommendations on the process of planning and development of human potential, in accordance with relevant public policies in the field of lifelong learning, employment, career guidance and counselling and regional/local development.

For the purpose of performing professional and development tasks, to ensure the quality of the qualifications system (the preparation of draft qualifications standards, register keeping, etc.) and coordination between the NQFS Council and other competent institutions in all aspects of the development and implementation of the NQFS, the Government will establish the Qualifications Agency by the end of 2018.

At the proposal of the NQFS Council, the Government will establish the Sector Skills Councils by the end of 2018, as the bodies that will operate as social partnerships. The Sector Skills Councils will be responsible for analysing the existing and identifying new qualifications in the sector, identifying the qualifications and updating them, identifying those qualifications that no longer meet the needs of the sector, defining draft standards of qualifications within the sector, discussing the implications of the NQF on qualifications within the sector and proposing a list of qualifications per levels and types, that can be acquired upon the recognition of previous learning. Based on the market analysis, 12 Sector Skills Councils were proposed.

In accordance with the adopted Law, MESTD is in the process of adopting the regulations and subordinate legislation.