The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to develop its education and training systems through adopting sound methodological approaches that utilize advanced international educational and training practices and experiences. The Kingdom regards education and training as considerable impetus towards national sustainable intellectual and economic development and growth as well as being the foundation for realizing the ambitious goals of its own Vision 2030. The Vision is the cornerstone for national empowerment regarding knowledge and skills acquisition while fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship together with providing lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Pursuant to the Saudi Cabinet Decision No. 108 on 25/10/2018, stating in Article 4 of Paragraph 11"The creation of a national qualifications framework which sets out relevant rules, regulations, standards, descriptors, terms and conditions and special procedures, approved and supervised by the Cabinet." The Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC) developed a National Qualifications Framework for Saudi Arabia (NQF-KSA) to make its terms of reference a guide for education and training institutions while building, developing, and restructuring their qualifications, in addition to be employed by recruiting agencies to draw on while identifying graduates’ knowledge and skill sets and qualifications.
The NQF-KSA aims to deliver an integrated system that incorporates high levels of quality, competitiveness, and international recognition of national qualifications, through:
- Regulation of national qualifications by standardizing their planning, design, and development processes to uniform standards across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Maintaining consistency of qualifications and outputs in line with national trends, development requirements, and the labor market.
- Creation of a common language among educational, training, and recruiting institutions ensuring transparency shared understanding of the qualification leveIntegration of different national qualifications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure consistency and quality leading to further enhancement of confidence among educational and training institutions.
- Realization of lifelong learning principles by recognizing various learning styles as a reference for the progress of individuals through education and training.
- Facilitation of learner’ national and/or international mobility between educational institutions, training sectors, and the labor market to navigate the different pathways associated with their qualification.
- A term of reference to design qualifications: The NQF-KSA is based on scientific principles that guide educational and training institutions and employers while planning, building, and developing their qualifications. Recruitment agencies also draw on the framework to identify skills and abilities of qualified nationals.
- International alignment: The consistency of the Framework’s main characteristics with those of other regional and international frameworks assures its collective alignment resulting in recognition of common features and specifications that lead to mutual reliability and to providing graduates with a range of national and international educational, training and employment opportunities.
- Equity and equality: The Framework seeks to achieve equitable opportunities for graduates of educational and training institutions and recruitment agencies, resulting in increasing learners’ levels of confidence and ensuring they benefit from equal life-long learning and training for all opportunities, including individuals with disabilities.
- Increase confidence in qualified nationals: The Framework increases employers’ confidence in graduates’ knowledge, skills, values, and labor market requirements.
- Alignment with development and labor market requirements: The framework is structured around knowledge, skills, and values aligned with national development requirements. These requirements are incorporated in learning outcomes specifications to ensure the building of comprehensive national characters that are aligned with developmental requirements and labor market needs.
- Qualifications comparison tool: The NQF performs as a tool for comparing relevant national qualifications, issued by all official educational and training institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with international equivalents, resulting in enhanced mobility opportunities for individuals through different educational institutions and acquiring recognition of their qualifications.