The National Qualification Framework: Where to now?

Michael Irwin
Vol 16, Number 2, p.69
This article describes the 'original' National Qualifications Framework (NQF), the criticisms that it has attracted, and recent attempt to 'rescue' it by 'broadening' it to allow registration of 'provider' qualifications. The article identifies the failure of official documents (including the Green Paper [June 1997]) to sufficiently address problems of the tension between a framework emphasising uniformity and thus interchangeability and a framework emphasising comprehensiveness and inclusiveness. The Green Paper additionally fails to address empirical and theoretical work critiquing similar qualifications frameworks in the United Kingdom. Four principles are suggested which might be kept in mind if an educationally satisfactory outcome is desired.