Qualification is the formal recognition of acquired competencies. An individual obtains the qualification when the competent body determines that they have achieved the learning outcomes within a certain level according to a given qualification standard, which is acknowledged by issuing the public document (diploma or certificate).
Based on NQFS, qualifications are classified into:
- general – primary education, secondary education which includes all types and majors of secondary schools as well as specialist secondary schools
- professional – secondary professional education, training, secondary arts qualifications
- undergraduate – accredited undergraduate study programmes (primary, master, specialist and PhD studies), as well as academic arts qualifications, and
- vocational – accredited vocational study programmes (primary, master and specialist).
Methods of acquiring qualifications
In the system of qualifications in the Republic of Serbia, qualifications have been traditionally acquired through the formal system of education. As the result of introducing more flexible ways of acquiring qualifications, new legislative solutions in the field of adult education have regulated the way of recognising qualifications in the non-formal system. By implementing NQFS, possibilities of introducing validation system of non-formal and informal learning have arisen.
Qualifications in NQFS can be obtained in a formal or non-formal way, as well as by validating of non-formal and informal learning:
- formal way – qualifications are obtained in the system of formal primary, secondary or higher education, after which a diploma or a certificate are issued;
- non-formal way – qualifications are obtained in the system of adult education, by various means, mostly through training, after which a certificate is issued;
- validation of non-formal or informal learning – qualifications are obtained based on work or life experience, through a special procedure, after which a certificate is issued.