The National Register of Qualifications (Národní soustava kvalifikací - NSK) has been under development since 2005. It is a public register of complete and partial qualifications and their qualifications and assessment standards. Part of the NSK is a system of qualification levels, whose eight levels correspond to the eight levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

The development of the framework and the register for vocational qualifications can be seen as a key instrument in the national strategy for lifelong learning ([1]) aiming at accessibility of lifelong learning and a more permeable education and training system. The main elements of this strategy, reflecting identified and agreed needs, are as follows:

  • making the whole system more transparent and understandable for all stakeholders, e.g. learners and employers, employees, training providers;
  • linking initial and continuing education;
  • creating a system for the recognition and validation of learning outcomes, irrespective of the way they were achieved;
  • systematically involving of all stakeholders in vocational education and training and in the development of national qualifications;
  • responding to European initiatives such as making qualifications more transparent and supporting the mobility of learners and workers;
  • supporting disadvantaged groups and people with low qualification levels.

The NSK has been developer within two projects. The first concentrated on the design and pilot implementation and was developed as a project of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2005-2008. In 2009 a new project The NSK Development and Implementation (NSK2) started, is implemented by the National Institute for Education and is also partially funded by the ESF.

This system is underpinned by the act 179/2006 on Recognition and Validation of continuing education results.

Vocational qualifications are drafted by employers and are based on description of occupations as created and accessible in the National System of Occupations. Employers are grouped in sector councils, which are coordinated by a consortium of the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic, the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic and Trexima, a consultation company.  

Both projects strengthen substantially the role of the social partners (especially employers) and their involvement in the area of setting the content and structure of qualifications. They also support the development of educational programmes leading to qualifications and integration of initial and continuing education.

[1]              Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (2007). The strategy of Lifelong Learning in the Czech Republic  available at http://www.msmt.cz/uploads/Zalezitosti_EU/strategie_2007_EN_web_jednostrany.pdf (08.07.2011)