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1. Qualifications Standards:

The NFQ is significant for NCEF graduates in the international context as qualifications (awards) in the NFQ are recognised in Ireland and abroad.

In 2005 EU ministers adopted a Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area known as the Bologna process. The three main rationales behind the framework were to ensure 1. International transparency of qualifications, 2. International recognition of qualifications and 3. International mobility of learners and graduates.  


In November 2006, Ireland became the first European country to verify the compatibility of the NFQ with the Bologna Framework. The NFQ was referenced to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) in June 2009. This means that qualifications in the NFQ can be looked at to decide how they compare to those of other countries. Qualifications in the NFQ are thus more widely recognised and easily understood abroad.

The NCEF qualifications are placed as follows on the EQF:

  • Year 1: Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness (CEHF), Level 5

  • Year 2: Higher Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness (HCEHF), Level 5

  • Year 3: Diploma in Exercise and Health Fitness (DEHF), Level 6

  • Year 4: BSc. Degree in Exercise and Health Fitness,  Level 6

International Recognition

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