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Czech-Republic:National Qualifications Framework

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Overview Czech Republic

Contents

Czech-Republic:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Czech-Republic:Historical Development

Czech-Republic:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Czech-Republic:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Czech-Republic:Political and Economic Situation

Czech-Republic:Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Czech-Republic:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Czech-Republic:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Private Education

Czech-Republic:National Qualifications Framework

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Czech-Republic:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Funding in Education

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Higher Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training Funding

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Czech-Republic:First Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Bachelor

Czech-Republic:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Second Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Czech-Republic:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Distribution of Responsibilities

Czech-Republic:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Czech-Republic:Main Providers

Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

Czech-Republic:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Czech-Republic:Teachers and Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Management and Other Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Educational Support and Guidance

Czech-Republic:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Czech-Republic:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Czech-Republic:Mobility and Internationalisation

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Czech-Republic:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in School Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Czech-Republic:European Perspective

Czech-Republic:Legislation

Czech-Republic:Institutions

Czech-Republic:Bibliography

Czech-Republic:Glossary

The National Qualifications Framework, as defined in the European documents, is an instrument for classification of qualifications, aiming  

  • to integrate and co-ordinate national sub-systems of qualifications, and
  • to improve the transparency, accessibility, development and quality of qualifications in relation to the labour market and civic society. 

In this form, it has not been established in the Czech Republic yet (the state at the end of 2014). Currently, the discussion on its necessity and possible shape is in progress.

The design of the Czech Qualifications Framework should be based on the needs of the society. Discussions in seminars and answers of experts dealing with its development repeatedly contained its main advantages, such as:

  • to make possible or facilitate mutual communication between different spheres of education and the labour market; 
  • to establish a platform for common discussions and solving up existing problems and differences;
  • means for finding up the consensus;
  • better permeability and equity due to the recognition of knowledge, skills and competencies regardless the way of acquirement; 
  • when interlinked with quality assurance framework, it could increase quality of qualifications and training;
  • better orientation in the system of education/qualifications;
  • possibility of comparing foreign levels and qualifications;
  • co-ordination of the preparation of curricular documents and standards.


Referencing Process in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic went through the national referencing process to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) in the years 2009–2011 and prepared the National Referencing Report on it. The Report was presented to the EQF Advisory Group in December 2011. In accord with the recommendation, the Czech Republic has referenced its education and qualification systems to the EQF, i.e. qualifications awarded:

  • within the system of primary, secondary and tertiary professional education;
  • within the system of higher education;
  • within the system of recognition of learning results according to the Act on verification and recognition of further education results and on amendments of some acts (i.e. qualifications in the register of the National Qualifications System; see below in the section on National Register of Qualifications).

This way of referencing the qualification levels (or directly qualifications) to the EQF is rare in Europe. The member states were expected to reference their national qualifications framework to the EQF, i.e. qualifications awarded in vocational, general and higher education and qualifications awarded on the basis of the previous learning (non-formal and informal).

In view of the fact that the Czech Republic did not have such comprehensive framework at that time, the existing system of qualifications was referenced (basically the education system) and the framework of vocational qualifications of the National Register of Vocational Qualifications.

Legislation and Bibliography:

National Referencing Report of the Czech Republic

Act on Verification and Recognition of Further Education Outcomes


National Register of Qualifications

The development of the National Register of Qualifications (Národní soustava kvalifikací – NSK) has proceeded since 2005 as a public register of all complete professional (formerly complete) qualification and professional (formerly partial) qualifications recognised in the Czech Republic. It is governed by the Act on Verification and Recognition of Further Education Results of 30 March, approved in 2006 with effect from August 2007, when the implementing decree was released. This law, as well as its implementing decree, was amended in 2012. The aim of the amendment was to make the whole system of recognition based on the National Register of Qualifications more effective, more attractive and more precise, taking into account comments from the practice.

Complete professional qualification defines the ability to perform all work activities pertaining to a relevant occupation listed in the National Occupations System (see below).

Professional qualification represents the ability to perform particular working activities or groups of these activities suitable for the labour market. Professional qualifications can be part of one or more complete professional qualifications.

For each qualification, a qualification standard as a structured description of competence is prepared, as is an evaluation standard as a set of criteria and procedures for certifying this competence.

An applicant for taking an examination (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Applicant’) may be any natural person older than eighteen (18) years who has achieved at least special basic education / basis of education (základy vzdělání) or the applicant, who is in retraining, no matter how he/she acquired his/her knowledge and skills. The examinations are taken before the so-called authorised person. After successful passing a qualifying exam, the applicant receives a certificate on professional qualification.

A set of certificates on having passed the professional qualifications, which make part of the relevant complete professional qualification, substitutes the formal education and enables those interested to pass the final exam in secondary education with apprenticeship certificate (střední vzdělání s výučním listem), and secondary education with a school-leaving examination (střední vzdělání s maturitní zkouškou). Thus the NSK is an alternative way of obtaining a qualification within the school (initial) education.

The aim of the NSK is to create an environment that will support the comparability of learning results achieved by various forms of education and learning. This also leads to the interconnection between initial and further education. The specifying of qualifications in the NSK will influence the changes in the branch structure of the upper secondary education. It is linked with the preparation of the framework educational programmes, and assessment standards will project onto the final examinations (závěrečné zkoušky) requirements in the individual fields of education.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the body responsible for the NSK; the coordinator is the National Institute for Education (full name National Institute for Education, Education Counselling Centre and Centre for Continuing Education of Teachers). The Institute has prepared the standards in co-operation with relevant interest and professional associations, professional chambers, representatives of employers, trade unions, schools and experts in the relevant field to the given qualification, associated in the sectoral councils.

In parallel with the NSK, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs prepares the National Occupations System (Národní soustava povolání – NSP), a database monitoring the requirements on practice of individual professions on labour market and containing i.a. information on qualification requirements on individual occupations in the Czech Republic. The National Occupations System has been fully functional since the second half of 2008. The System was preceded by the Integrated System of Standard Positions (ISTP) as an information system on the world of labour. The interest of employers in the preparation of the NSP and NSK is guaranteed through sectoral councils. These are groups of employers and professional associations organized by a consortium of the Economic Chamber, The Association of Industry and Transport and the private company Trexima Ltd. 29 sectoral councils for important economic sectors have been established.

Qualification and evaluation standards of professional qualifications are approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which is in charge of the National Occupations System, and corresponding authorising body. The authorising bodies are always central government bodies – the ministries of relevant branches, possibly the Czech National Bank.

The National Qualifications Register has been linked with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). See the section on Referencing process in the Czech Republic.

The standards of professional qualifications have been prepared primarily up to the 4 NSK level. By the end of autumn 2014, more than 600 professional (formerly partial) qualifications for following seven sectors had been approved: the Ministry for Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In total, more than 100 000 successful examinations have taken place until now. Within the NSK2 project, carried out in the framework of the Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness, also the standards for higher NSK qualification levels are prepared, however, without the possibility of combining the complete professional qualification from professional qualifications. Within the Bologna process, preparation of the National Qualification Framework for tertiary education (EQF 5–8) started in 2007.

A decree which regulates the accreditation process for programmes and organisations delivering retraining programmes and the completion of retraining interconnected the NSK and retraining. In case accredited professional qualification for given occupation exists, the retraining course is completed by the professional qualification examination taken before an authorised person.

There is also an effort to harmonise the NSK with the Trade Licensing Act. At present, the certificate on obtaining a professional qualification is becoming one of the alternatives for fulfilling the qualification requirements for carrying out the licensed or regulated profession. The amendment of the Act on verification and recognition of further education results made it possible to obtain craft trades, among others, upon presenting an appropriate set of certificates on obtaining the professional qualifications, as they are set for corresponding occupation in the NSK.

The development of an efficient system of financial and non-financial motivation and stimulation of demand to further education and training on the side of the employees and employers remains a challenge.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Act on Verification and Recognition of Further Education Outcomes

Decree on Language Schools Authorise to Organize State Language Examinations and on State Language Examinations

Decree stipulating the Essentials of an Application for the Accreditation of an Educational Programme, the Organisation and the Form of Completing the Education in a Retraining Institution

Trade Licensing Act