JAKARTA, 10 February 2017 – The first meeting of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee was held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 9 to 10 February to discuss work plans and priorities for the next two years, including identifying interested ASEAN Member States who will undertake the referencing process to the AQRF.

“The AQRF is a valuable translation tool that will enable comparison of qualifications across the ASEAN Member States. Not only does AQRF help us understand, within a lifelong learning framework, the education and training systems of the Member States but it also facilitates recognition of qualifications across the region for purposes of student and worker mobility,” said Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon Bautista, former Chairperson of the AQRF Task Force.

The establishment of the AQRF Committee as a formal ASEAN body is an important milestone in the region’s efforts towards strengthening the ASEAN Community. The creation of the AQRF Committee to implement the framework follows the endorsement of the AQRF Governance and Structure document by the ASEAN Labour Ministers, ASEAN Education Ministers and ASEAN Economic Ministers in 2016.

The AQRF Committee serves as a high-level executive committee responsible for considering referencing reports submitted by each participating ASEAN Member State.  The Committee is also responsible for promoting lifelong learning and quality assurance processes, addressing emerging regional and international qualifications framework issues, and capacity building.

“In many ways, the AQRF is also catalyzing the review, reform and continuous improvements of countries’ qualifications system.  At the end of the day, we look at the AQRF and the AQRF Committee to build a zone of trust in the qualifications of ASEAN citizens,” added Dr. Bautista on the impact of AQRF to the region.

The AQRF was developed between 2013 and 2014 by a Task Force supported by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP).  The Framework was endorsed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers and ASEAN Education Ministers in 2014, and by the ASEAN Labour Ministers in 2015.  In 2016, AECSP renewed its commitment to support AQRF implementation until June 2018.

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