NON-STATUTORY (MARKET) QUALIFICATIONS
What is a market qualification?
A market qualification represents your knowledge and skills (experience) in a given field, which have been verified and confirmed by an authorised institution.
In the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS), these are referred to as learning outcomes.
Learning outcomes refer to knowledge, skills and social competence –
i.e. what a person knows and understands, what they can do and which responsibilities they are ready to assume – regardless of how these elements were acquired.
As the name suggests, market qualifications respond to market demands. If a given qualification is needed, according to an entity, it can submit it for incorporation into the IQS.
The Integrated Qualifications System incorporates various qualifications corresponding to actual market demands. For example, qualifications related to installation of woodwork, recovery of data from hard drives, handling court mediation in economic law cases or planning and execution of a training process in various sports disciplines.
For more qualifications, see the Integrated Qualifications Register (IQR)
You can obtain a certificate confirming you knowledge and skills even if you lack formal education in a given field.
For example – if you can prepare an artistic layer cake, you can address a relevant institution, where your skills will be evaluated by experts. There, upon successful verification of your alleged skills, you will be awarded the certificate. Through this process, you will obtain a document, which you can produce before a potential employer instead of a confectioner’s diploma.
How to acquire knowledge and gain experience?
Learning outcomes can be attained in any given manner – through self learning, at work, over the Internet, through a course, by attending a school or studies.
Formal education – learning which takes place in a school or a higher education institution according to a syllabus. Formal education also includes the following:
- fulfilment of the compulsory schooling obligation by a child at home,
- postgraduate as well as PhD studies.
Non-formal education – various courses, workshops and trainings. Institutionally organised learning under programmes not included in the scope of formal education.
Informal learning – acquiring knowledge and skills outside of the scope of formal and non-formal education. To put it simply: this includes self learning, learning at work, over the Internet as well as learning from one’s colleagues and co-workers.
DESCRIPTION OF A MARKET QUALIFICATION
Each market qualification included in the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS) is described in detail. Descriptions of all qualifications incorporated into the IQS can be found in the Integrated Qualifications Register (IQR).
How do I know if a given qualification is right for me?
Carefully read the description of a given qualification – it will include all the crucial information on the given qualification:
- its profile,
- initial requirements to be met prior to undergoing the validation procedure,
- the list of learning outcomes and their verification criteria – i.e. what you need to know and what you need to be able to do in order to obtain the certificate.
Elements included in a description of a market qualification
1. Description of learning outcomes
Learning outcomes include knowledge, skills or social competence required in the case of a given qualification. Each learning outcome is briefly described and additionally clarified by verification criteria. Typically, there are several verification criteria applicable to each learning outcome.
The verification criteria are actions to be performed by the individual throughout the verification process in order to prove that they posses the required learning outcomes. The criteria describe, in great detail, what is confirmed by the certificate. They are important for both candidates as well as employers.
2. Conditions you have to meet in order to be able to apply for a certificate confirming a given qualification.
It is not relevant how you have acquired the knowledge or learned the skills necessary for obtaining the qualification. Nevertheless, initial requirements may apply for certain qualifications, where such is the expectation of the market.
This means that the following may be required of you:
- a full qualification on a given level – e.g. a matriculation certificate, a BA degree or a junior high school graduation diploma,
- a particular licence – e.g. a driving licence,
- a confirmation of additional skills – e.g. first aid skills,
- an insurance,
- a health certificate.
3. Description of conditions for the performance of validation.
A description of standards to be met by an awarding body (AB) responsible for validation. The said standards ensure the quality of the entire process as well as a consistent value of certificates issued by particular awarding bodies.
The conditions specify the following:
- The methods for verification of the learning outcomes – approved for qualifications or particular learning outcomes.
- The personnel. In most cases, the conditions specify the requirements applicable to individuals performing the verification – assessors and committee members. Additionally, requirements for individuals responsible for designing the validation process or a validation adviser may be specified.
- Validation procedure as well as organisational and material conditions.
These may include the following: required facilities, required equipment, validation time-frame or other important aspects related to the arrangement of the validation process.
A qualification description also includes other information – interesting particularly for individuals who consider changing their job and would like to know their prospects in other lines of business. These include:
- the market demand for a given qualification,
- a typical potential use of a given qualification.