This NQA Glossary defines in a clear and operational language the key terminology relevant to the understanding and application of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for the United Arab Emirates. This English-Arabic reference source has been developed in line with the latest international use of the terminology, yet it fulfills the practical needs and context of the UAE education and training system in general, and those of the NQF in particular.

Since its approval by the UAE Cabinet Decision No 22 of 2013, the NQF (QFEmirates) has become the corner stone and the mandatory requirement for all policies and procedures relevant to the education and training system in the UAE.

As such, the NQF has introduced various new concepts and procedures applied to UAE education and training and within the three sectors (General, Higher, and Vocational Education and Training). This has included the introduction of new terminology to describe new concepts and/or processes.

Therefore, the National Qualifications Authority (NQA) is pleased to produce and disseminate this glossary to bring consistency to the use of terminology and to avoid any ambiguity that may arise in future.

No. Term Definition
1 Advanced Standing The granting of credits (of a program/course/ semester) indicating that the learner is deemed to have satisfied the requirements for which the credits have been awarded. It may include exemption where applicable.
2 Application Units Unit Standards requiring practical demonstration in the workplace or approved simulated environment, of the application of knowledge and skills in a workplace context. See also Unit Standard.
3 Applied Qualifications and Programs A qualification or program that prepares learners for technical, career-specific fields of employment, through emphasis on knowledge, skills and competences relevant to the workplace. This emphasis is reflected in the teaching and learning strategies, time spent in the workplace environment, assessment methods, industry engagement, and the relevant experience of instructors.
4 Accreditation of a Qualification The quality assured process through which the qualification regulator/awarding body confirms that a qualification/program conforms to the standards of the NQA.
5 Appeal ​A formal process by which an individual learner or institution may 'challenge' a regulator or an awarding body on the outcome of a decision affecting that individual learner or institution.
6 Vocational Education and Training Awarding Bodies Entities approved by VETAC that are responsible for registering and assessing VET providers which come under their jurisdiction. They manage, based on the standards, criteria, procedures, and policies developed by VETAC, the process of issuing NOSS-based qualifications and the implementation of these, the standards, criteria, procedures, and policies by the relevant VET providers.
7 VETAC ​Vocational Education and Training Awards Council: A federal regulatory and supervisory body which reports to the NQA and is responsible for setting VET strategies, approving VET awarding bodies, managing and quality assuring the process of awarding VET qualifications based on standards, criteria, procedures, and policies developed by the Council and approved by the NQA.
8 Accreditation of an Education and Training Provider (ETP) A formal, and transparent, quality assured process, based on internationally accepted standards, through which an organisation is granted approval to deliver education and training qualifications.
9 Alignment ​The process whereby a qualification, usually developed or issued by a foreign entity, is mapped to a defined level of the NQF to demonstrate that the learning outcomes of that qualification match the learning outcomes of the defined NQF level.
10 Access and Equity The policies and approaches to ensure education and training are responsive to the diverse needs of individual learners, including individuals who face barriers due to age, gender, cultural difference, disability, language, literacy and numeracy, and any other potential learners who are experiencing barriers in relation to access, participation and achievement of outcomes.
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