Regional TVET Qualifications Framework

Regional Qualifications Framework for Technical Vocational Education and Training

The ministries responsible for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania signed a declaration on 24 May 2022 with which they adopted a Regional Qualifications Framework for TVET in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

This frameworks references to the National Qualifications Frameworks of the three countries. With this adoption of the Regional Qualifications Framework it has become possible to compare and value TVET qualifications across the region.

Through the adoption it is a valid reference for Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, in due course other countries in East Africa may adopt it also.

Why a Regional Qualifications Framework ?

The purposes of this Regional Qualifications Framework for Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are:

  • To enable easier movement of learners and workers across the region and internationally through the regional recognition of diplomas and certificates in TVET
  • Compare levels and qualifications across member countries
  • Promote trust between member countries regarding the quality of their education systems and the qualifications of the graduates

The framework is a tool for the Recognition of Prior Learning, learning that took place in non-formal situations (on the job, life experience, etc.)

It facilitates the mobility of students through a system of credit transfer. Students who did part of their professional training in one country thus can move easier to continue their training in another country and can demonstrate easily that they have the right learning credits.

For outcomes-based education and training, the qualification framework, its levels and the level descriptors serve as a framework for the development of curricula.

What is the Regional Qualifications Framework for TVET ?

A regional qualifications framework is a common “language” with which diplomas and certificates can be compared and valued.

The Regional TVET Qualifications Framework consists of a set of 8 levels and descriptors which can be referenced against the National Qualifications Frameworks of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. The level descriptors are focussed on technical and vocational qualifications that are needed in the labour-market in the region.

The level descriptors are ordered in 3 categories: Knowledge, Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge is the ability to recall and present information and the ability to use knowledge, principles, and theories to analyse and understand problems and reflect on these.
  • Skills is the ability to do, and to act in the context of a task or an occupation.
  • Competencies are the abilities to use general and specific skills, knowledge and personal qualities effectively in a work environment and for personal development.

The Regional TVET Qualifications Framework consists of 8 levels that can be referenced to the National Qualifications Frameworks of the three countries.

The descriptors for the levels are detailed and, as said give the possibility to compare diplomas and certificates across countries. They are the common reference, the common language for qualifications.

The levels increase in complexity of the tasks professionals are able to handle and in the amount of autonomy with which they can do their work. The higher the level the more complex the tasks and the greater the autonomy of the professional.

Level A professional on this qualification level :
  • can perform tasks in a structured environment and can function in a limited context
  • can perform tasks individually or in a group under supervision or guidance
  • can apply a number of practical and thinking skills to complete tasks and solve problems in an educational subject, occupation, or occupational area.
  • can operate in predictable, defined contexts that require use of a specified range of standard techniques and tools
  • can act with limited autonomy and professional judgment within defined guidelines
  •  can operate in situations of varying complexity and predictability requiring application of a wide range of techniques and tools
  •  can identify key areas of problems and choose appropriate tools / methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  •  can operate in complex contexts, requiring selection and application from a  range of innovative or standard techniques and tools. Skills and understanding in a wide and unpredictable variety of contexts
  •  can act autonomously, within agreed guidelines
  •  demonstrates self-direction and originality in problem solving
  •  can act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  •  can operate in complex and unpredictable/ specialized  contexts that may be at the forefront of knowledge and the occupational field
  •  can act independently and with originality in problem solving, is able to lead in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level

The simplified table  gives a summarized overview of the 8 levels.

How is it referenced to the National Qualifications Framework?

The 8 levels have been referenced against the National Qualifications Framework. There is a near fit, especially on the most common levels for TVET the levels 2-6 as the table demonstrates:

How will the  Regional Qualifications Framework be implemented ?

The Regional Qualifications Framework will begin with implementation in the three countries that adopted the reference framework. Their authorities responsible for TVET will reference all TVET levels of the Regional Qualifications Framework in detail with their National Qualifications Framework.

Other countries in the East African region may apply to adhere to the qualifications framework and reference their National Qualifications Frameworks to the Regional Qualifications Framework.

TVET authorities and TVET providers in the region and especially the Regional Flagship Training Institutes will be invited to use the framework as a tool for curriculum development or renewal.

Quality assurance of TVET in the three countries can be coordinated and harmonization of procedures and methodologies may take place.

The three countries will also, together with the Inter-University Council of East Africa, actively inform industry and TVET providers in the region (in the three countries and beyond in a later stage) on the framework.

Aligned with  the development of This Regional Qualifications Framework a methodology for harmonization of occupational standards was developed and harmonized occupational standards of 44 occupations in 4 sectors (Leather, Transport, ICT and Power/ Energy) are presented. These standards are an important tool for the development of competency-based curriculum and the methodology can be applied to harmonize additional occupational standards.

IUCEA will coordinate the implementation of the regional framework and its further development.

The Regional TVET Qualifications Framework for Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania was as part of the EASTRIP project  developed with the assistance of Cadena international development projects.

[1] For more detail see the relevant policy paper.

[2] See: