Discovering the hidden potential of level 5 qualifications

In a recent briefing note, the CEDEFOP pinpoints the relevance and appeal, but also the challenges offered  by EQF level 5 qualifications.

In fact, on the one side, EQF level 5 qualifications appeal to learners as they open up prospects on several fronts – immediate employment, career advancement, and further learning. At the same time, their focus on advanced technical and managerial skills makes them valuable to employers.

But, on the other side, their complexity and diversity is greater than previously assumed, and where they fit within education and training is not always clear. Finally, level 5 qualifications’ position in relation to initial vocational education and training is of critical importance and requires further investigation.

For sure, level 5 qualifications can function as a bridge between educational sectors, allowing learners to enrich their educational and professional profiles from varied sources. More, they respond to several challenges Europe currently faces, like:


a growing need for advanced technical and managerial skills;


a combined labour market orientation with progression opportunities to/within higher education;


a need to foster the importance of vocationally- and professionally-oriented qualifications in tertiary, higher education and training;


giving access to adult and non-traditional learners in a true LLL perspective;


access to further training through validation of work experience and non-formal and informal learning;


supporting work-based learning;


offering specialisation geared to the labour market;


demonstrating VET’s value at all qualification levels, thus helping people see vocational pathways as opening rather than restricting professional and educational options.