How to set the proper EQF level?
The EU Curriculum for FCN proposed by the ENhANCE Project targets graduated nurses (with at least EQF6), aiming to take them towards EQF7. Thus, it aims to award EQF7 level certifications through at least 60 ECTS, although it supports the design of curricula awarding more or fewer credits.
N.B: Each academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS and in each semester 30 ECTS.
A preliminary step for the localization of the curriculum is the DEFINITION OF THE EQF/NQF LEVEL OF THE LOCALIZED CURRICULUM and the relative NUMBER OF AWARDED CREDITS.
This should be done considering national regulations and institutional and other (e.g. labour market) requirements and depending on how many ECTS points you can deliver. The choice should be in line with the local context and there are several aspects to be considered, such as:
- the FCN qualification should always lead to a degree or certificate;
- the FCN qualification should be a stand-alone qualification;
- the FCN qualification should leave the option to continue the studies in case the FCN curriculum does not provide enough ECTS to reach a degree.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE LOCALIZED CURRICULA.
1. THE CURRICULUM IS DESIGNED ON EQF7 AWARDING 60 ECTS
This approach is feasible:
A. in countries where a 60 ECTS Second Cycle Degree that leads to EQF7 already exists (e.g. Italy, Spain, and Sweden) and the qualification can be linked to EQF7 via the NQF.
B. in countries where a 60 ECTS Second Cycle Degree does not exist; in this case, the curriculum:
B1. can be designed addressing EQF7 (meaning the LO reflect EQF7) but it will award a certificate of continuous training; the level and the content of the FCN courses should be mentioned in the certificate and a list and a description of LOs should be included (similar to a diploma supplement) for transparency reasons.
B2. can be delievered in the form of a Second Cycle Degree awarding on the whole 90-120 ECTS; in this way, the curriculum is integrated into similar study programs or extended by other LOs. FCNs will still receive a certificate and then will be able to continue the studies and gain more ECTS points.
2. THE CURRICULUM IS DESIGNED ON EQF7 AWARDING MORE THAN 60 ECTS
This approach is similar to 1.B2, but the curriculum covers more than 60 ECTS.
N.B.: If you select all the LOs described in the Curriculum and you address each of them at an advanced level, the maximum number of ECTS which could be awarded according to the Flexibility Table is 97,5 ECTS.
3. THE CURRICULUM IS DESIGNED ON EQF6 AWARDING LESS THAN 60 ECTS
This approach is feasible:
A. in countries where the curriculum cannot be designed on EQF7 (for strategic/institutional reasons: maybe the institution already offers similar modules on EQF6 that can be easily transformed to suit the FCN curriculum); in this case, the curriculum will lead to a certificate of continuous training; the level and content of the FCN courses should be mentioned in the certificate and a list and description of LOs should be included (similar to a diploma supplement) for transparency reasons;
B. in countries where similar/comparable qualifications are on EQF6 and where these are delivered in the form of a Bachelor’s Degree (EQF6, 180-240 ECTS); the curriculum can be integrated into similar study programs or extended by other LOs; FCNs will still receive a certificate and then be able to continue the studies and gain more ECTS.
WHEN LOCALIZING YOUR CURRICULUM USING THE TOOLS PROVIDED BY THE PROJECT, you may:
- define a curriculum that doesn’t reach 60 ECTS: in this case, you have adapted the general EU Curriculum by selecting a subset of LOs from the list and/or by addressing many LOs at basic level; awarding less than 60 ECTS means that the final course won’t be able to certify an EQF7; since the target users of the EU Curriculum are supposed to be EQF6, their EQF level will remain the same;
- define a curriculum that goes beyond 60 ECTS: in this case, you have adapted the general EU Curriculum by selecting more LOs than advised and/or by addressing them in an advanced way; awarding more than 60 ECTS doesn’t mean to reach an EQF higher than 7, although the localized curriculum may be integrated in a Second Cycle Degree with 120 ECTS (two academic years).
Adapting the ENhANCE Curriculum to EQF6 (CASE 3) affects substantially the Curriculum itself, since the formulation of Learning Outcomes requires a modification, too. Since the description of Learning Outcomes should take into account the specific level of knowledge, skills and responsibility/autonomy identified by the European Qualification Framework (https://europa.eu/europass/it/description-eight-eqf-levels), the curriculum should be thoroughly revised not just in terms of number of LOs and ECTS but also the way in which LOs are stated and phrased.
IF YOU HAVE TO ADAPT YOUR CURRICULUM TO EQF6 TAKE A LOOK AT THIS PRACTICAL GUIDE AND EXAMPLES
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