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Qualifications Framework

In May 2008, the government launched the Qualifications Framework(“QF”) with the objective of promoting lifelong learning and enhancing the competitiveness of the local workforce. It is worthy to note that QF has been underpinning the development of vocational education in Hong Kong, alongside academic and continuing education. QF is a seven-level hierarchy that orders and supports different qualifications, thereby facilitating articulation among academic, vocational and continuing education by providing a comprehensive network of learning pathways.


Policy Objectives

The primary objective of establishing the HKQF is to provide a platform to encourage and facilitate lifelong learning, with a view to enhancing the capability and competitiveness of the workforce in Hong Kong.


The objectives are to be achieved through:

  • Defining clear and objective standards applicable to qualifications in the academic, vocational and professional as well as continuing education sectors;
  • Assuring the quality of qualifications and the associated learning programmes available to learners; and
  • Assuring relevancy of learning to industry needs.


Seven-level hierarchy under the Hong Kong QF

Seven-level hierarchy under the Hong Kong QF


Under QF, Specification of Competency Standards (“SCSs”) are drawn up by different Industry Training Advisory Committees (“ITACs”), which set out theskills, knowledge and outcome standards required of employees in different functional areas of the respective sectors, and provide a basis for course providers to design training courses including in-house training to meet the needs of the sectors. The use of QF credits and the policy and principles for credit accumulation and transfer introduced under QF have further enhanced articulation among qualifications from different sectors. 


Download the details of Generic Level Descriptors pdf .