FAQ


When will my vocational or professional qualification be referenced?

Newly referenced qualifications are published twice each year, in January and July. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) maintains an alphabetical list of referenced qualifications. Also, the corresponding certificate supplements and diploma supplement templates for all referenced qualifications can be found in the Official List of Vocational and Professional Qualifications.

The exact date when a specific qualification is referenced depends on when the sponsoring professional organisation submits the referencing application.


Are all professional qualifications awarded by a professional education institution assigned to reference level 6 in the NQF VPQ?

Not necessarily. All professional qualifications are assessed on a case-per-case basis and different reference levels may be assigned to each one. However, all of the PEI professional qualifications assessed thus far have indeed been assigned to reference level 6 in the NQF VPQ.


If my professional qualification has been assigned to reference level 6 in the NQF VPQ, does that mean that I can now call my qualification a Bachelor’s degree?

No. Referencing of a given professional qualification to the NQF VPQ does not entitle the holder to use the title of a higher education qualification. Only vocational and professional qualifications are referenced to the NQF VPQ, not higher education qualifications. If your professional qualification has been assigned to reference level 6 in the NQF VPQ, then this only means that this qualification has that same reference level in the EU’s European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF-LLL). Your professional qualification is not transferrable to the higher education system. Holders of a professional qualification therefore do not automatically become holders of a Bachelor’s degree.


Does the referencing of my vocational or professional qualification have any influence on admission to other education and training pathways?

No. The NQF VPQ is merely an instrument designed to create transparency. Its main purpose is actually to help potential employers abroad to better assess Swiss qualifications and gain a general idea of how these qualifications are positioned within their own education system. It is always the education institution itself that decides whether to admit a prospective student. General information about admission requirements within the Swiss higher education sector (i.e. cantonal universities, federal institutes of technology, universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education) can be found on the swissuniversities website: www.swissuniversities.ch, under ‘Services’.


Does a holder of a given professional qualification – e.g. awarded by a professional education institution and assigned to reference level 6 in the NQF VPQ – also have to take some sort of examination to obtain advanced placement in a study programme at a Swiss university of applied sciences?

As part of the Swiss higher education sector, each university of applied sciences is free to decide whether to admit holders of a professional qualification and under what conditions. Swissuniversities has co-authored a best practices document with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KFH). This document specifically addresses the case of individuals who obtained their professional qualification from a professional education institution and who now wish to enrol in an undergraduate study programme at a Swiss university of applied sciences. This best practices document and general information about admission requirements within the Swiss higher education sector (i.e. cantonal universities, federal institutes of technology, universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education) can be found on the swissuniversities website: www.swissuniversities.ch, under ‘Services’.

https://www.sbfi.admin.ch/content/sbfi/en/home/bildung/mobilitaet/nqf-vpet/faq.html