Professional certificates – how to obtain a valuable certificate?

A certificate confirms that its holder has the knowledge, skills and social competences required for the given qualification. Under the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS), such a document is awarded by an Awarding Body (AB) with candidate’s skills previously assessed by experts with relevant knowledge and experience in a specific field. At the stage of the validation process consisting in the assessment of the candidate’s skills, the experts make sure the candidate meets the requirements for the awarding of the qualification. They must do so in line to the set criteria and quality assurance rules defined for each qualification. In the event the experts of the Awarding Body decide that the candidate has the competences required for the qualification in question, the candidate receives a certificate with the Polish Qualifications Framework (PQF) trademark.

What is the Polish Qualifications Framework trademark?

Each certificate issued under the Integrated Qualifications System bears the Polish Qualifications Framework trademark. The symbol indicates whether the qualification is a full or a partial qualification as well as the level assigned to it. The levels facilitate comparing qualifications awarded in Poland with those awarded in other EU states. Particular levels refer to the level of advancement and self-reliance as well as the scope of knowledge, skills and social competences of the person with the qualification of the given level. A PQF level is assigned to a particular market qualification by the minister relevant for the qualification. With the PQF trademark, each certificate is recognised both home and abroad. This way:

  • an employee finds it easier to present the level of his/her skills to a potential employer,
  • it is easier for a company to communicate to the contracting party the desired competences of employees required for the acceptance of a given contract.

One should remember that a certificate is not equivalent to a professional licence.  In some countries it may be required to attain particular licences, while the certificate may be deemed sufficient in others.

How to choose a valuable certificate?

The IQS will help you decide which certificate is the most beneficial for you, i.e. which qualification is worth applying for in order for it to yield measurable benefits in the form of certified competences to be presented to a potential employer. You can find the qualification which is right for you by yourself in theIntegrated Qualifications Register. This way, you will learn where and how to obtain the valuable certificate.

How to attain a certificate?

For the attainment of a certificate it is necessary to successfully pass the validation process applicable to the given qualification. Therefore, in order to get the valuable certificate, you need to;

1.   Look for the desired qualification in the Integrated Qualifications Register (IQS).

The register lists all the qualifications functioning in the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS). Each one includes a detailed description providing information on: specific requirements, the qualification’s profile, learning outcomes and assessment criteria as well as the demand for the qualification on the market.

2.   Read the qualification description

The description will tell you if you already have the necessary knowledge, skills and social competences required for the confirmation of all the learning outcomes, i.e. for the successful completion of the validation process. If you are still lacking the required competences, you can use the information included in the description as a guideline on what you still need to learn in order to be awarded a certificate attesting to the possession of the qualification.

3.   Find an Awarding Body

In the event you believe, having read the description of the qualification, that you meet all the criteria or once you have gained all the skills required for the given qualification, you can look for the relevant Awarding Body. A list of all institutions authorised to issue the desired certificate can be found in the Integrated Qualifications Register – next to the description of the qualification. At the website of the Awarding Body, you will find all the essential information on the application procedure as well as the course of the specific validation process.

4.   Undergo validation

You can undergo validation at the seat of the Awarding Body. Validation is a process consisting in confirming the knowledge and the skills required for the given qualification. At this stage, experts will assess you competences. You will need to prove that you possess all the required learning outcomes specified in the description of the market qualification.

5.   Collect your certificate 

Once your competences have been confirmed, the only thing left to do is to collect your certificate. You will receive the document provided the experts decide that you have the skills and the knowledge required for the given qualification. Once you have successfully passed the validation process and confirmed all assessment criteria, the Awarding Body (AB) will issue your certificate confirming the possession of the qualification.