Development of Qualification Standards and occupational standards

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Qualifications Frameworks (QF in BiH)1  are both at an early stage of development. They both have sets of descriptors that are generic (not subject-specific) and broad in nature. These sets of level descriptors are designed to accommodate and describe different levels of achievement in any field of education or training. In a next stage, the qualifications framework level descriptors require specification.

The joint EU/CoE project will take up this task in the frameworks segment, which applies to higher education qualifications, and contribute to the development of level descriptors in selected subject areas.

Level descriptors in these selected subject areas must have sufficient specificity and content to make them a really useful tool for those (academics, professionals, employers) engaged in the particular subject field.

The descriptors will serve a whole range of purposes: reviewing existing awards, developing new curricula and qualifications, internal and external quality assurance, a clear distinction between cycle/level, e.g. the first and second EHEA cycles (EQF levels 5, 6 and 7), the future process of self-certification/referencing etc.

It is in this context, that Component 2 of the joint EU/CoE project is to develop and inter- link higher education qualifications with occupations in 5 subject fields, and for a variety of professions. The project will do this by developing standards for selected qualifications – and for corresponding occupations.

These qualification standards may be either considered or transformed into the earlier mentioned level descriptors, and will thus contribute to specify the BiH qualifications framework(s).

With this approach the project pursues a range of goals: the exercise will provide good practice for the systematic introduction of qualification standards in BiH. It will result in a methodology for the introduction of standards for all subject fields and qualifications across BiH. The interlinkage with occupational standards will enhance employability of HEI graduates in BiH. The exercise will provide important benchmarks for quality assurance and international recognition. It will contribute to a harmonisation of the degree system across BiH. And it will assist BiH with the further development and implementation of the BiH Qualifications Framework(s).

Under its Component 2, the project aims at assisting BiH to further implement QFBiH by developing qualification standards in 5 subject fields: Agriculture, Economy, Engineering, ICT and Teacher Education

5 Working groups are established, one for each of the subject fields composed of representatives of all public universities and 2 private universities. The working groups will work on qualification standards in given 5 subject fields over the series of 5 joint workshops and individual meetings in-between.

1 The 2007 QF-EHEA based 'Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina' and (ii) the 2010 EQF based 'Baseline of the Qualifications Framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina'. The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina is included in the Baseline for Qualifications Framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina, levels 6, 7 and 8, and as of 2010 there is one Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning in Bosnia and Herzegovina.