National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)


The National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) organizes qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude. These levels are defined in terms of learning outcomes which the learner must possess regardless of whether they were acquired through formal, non-formal or informal learning. In that sense, the NSQF is a quality assurance framework. It is, therefore, a nationally integrated education and competency based skill framework that will provide for multiple pathways, horizontal as well as vertical, both within vocational education and vocational training and among vocational education, vocational training, general education and technical education, thus linking one level of learning to another higher level. This will enable a person to acquire desired competency levels, transit to the job market and, at an opportune time, return for acquiring additional skills to further upgrade their competencies.

The key elements of the NSQF provide:

  • national principles for recognising skill proficiency and competencies at different levels leading to international equivalency
  • multiple entry and exit between vocational education, skill training, general education, technical education and job markets
  • progression pathways defined within skill qualification framework
  • opportunities to promote lifelong learning and skill development
  • partnership with industry/employers
  • a transparent, accountable and credible mechanism for skill development across various sectors
  • increased potential for recognition of prior learning

The objectives of the NSQF are to provide a framework that:

  • Accommodates the diversity of the Indian education and training systems
  • Allows the development of a set of qualifications for each level, based on outcomes which are accepted across the nation
  • Provides structure for development and maintenance of progression pathways which provide access to qualifications and assist people to move easily and readily between different education and training sectors and between those sectors and the labour market
  • Gives individuals an option to progress through education and training and gain recognition for their prior learning and experiences
  • Gives individuals an option to progress through education and training and gain recognition for their prior learning and experiences
  • Supports and enhances the national and international mobility of persons with NSQF-compliant qualifications through increased recognition of the value and comparability of Indian qualifications