According to the NQF-Act, qualifications are mapped to one of eight NQF qualification levels. Each level builds on the level below. The eight levels are equivalent to the eight reference levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), which means that mapping a qualification to a NQF qualification level is equivalent to referencing to the same EQF level.
The NQF qualification levels, as per section 3 of the NQF-Act, were devised in a development process that involved all relevant stakeholders. NQF qualification levels 1 to 5 are described using the descriptors of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF descriptors) and cover qualifications from all educational contexts, while levels 6 to 8 are split and are referenced using two types of descriptors, depending on their respective educational sector.
The qualifications of the Bologna framework (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD) are mapped based on the descriptors for the European higher education area (the Dublin descriptors) in accordance with the NQF-Act. All other qualifications are mapped according to the EQF descriptors.