MANILA, 13 July 2017 – The second meeting of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee was held in Manila, Philippines from 12 to 13 July to discuss the important role of quality assurance in the process of referencing National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs) of participating ASEAN Member States to the AQRF.

The AQRF is a mechanism that enables comparison and eventual recognition of education qualifications across participating ASEAN Member States for student and worker mobility. The AQRF Committee is responsible for considering referencing reports submitted by each participating ASEAN Member State, promoting lifelong learning and quality assurance processes, addressing emerging regional and international qualifications framework issues, and capacity building.

“The second Technical Workshop and Meeting on ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework is very relevant, meaningful, timely to all ASEAN Member States to work together, to integrate qualifications, and to make sure that each member country stands alongside with other member countries,” stated Secretary Leonor Briones of the Philippine Department of Education in her welcome remarks.

Following up on its first meeting in February 2017, the AQRF Committee centred the technical discussions on quality assurance, an important element in the referencing process. Specifically, the discussions explored ways to facilitate self-assessment of Member States’ own quality assurance systems to contribute in the development of the referencing report of interested Member States. In the referencing report, Member States would describe how they conduct a systematic review of its educational programmes to ensure that acceptable standards of education and infrastructure are maintained.

The Chairperson of the AQRF Committee Mr. Julaihi Bin Mohamad, explained that noting one of the key objectives of the AQRF is to build the zone of trust in qualifications issued across ASEAN, the AQRF is supported by a set of agreed quality assurance principles.

The meeting also serves as a platform for sharing of experiences and best practices, as well as identifying challenges in the referencing process and how to overcome them. A total of 38 officials from six relevant Philippine agencies along with 43 officials from ASEAN Member States, Australia, and New Zealand representing the education, labour, and economic sectors attended the meeting.

The event was hosted by the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council, Government of the Philippines in coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat with support from the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Program.