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The Directorate of National Framework Operations (DFO)​

The Directorate of National Framework Operations (DFO) within the General Directorate of National Qualifications Framework & National Examinations (GDQ) of Education & Training Quality Authority (BQA), which was established by Royal Decree (32, 2008), started its operations after the responsibility of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) was assigned to BQA among its other responsibilities by Royal Decree (83, 2012). The core responsibility of the DFO is to administrate and maintain the NQF in line with the NQF General Policies. 

Directorate of National Framework Operations (DFO), which is responsible to:
·   set, operate and follow-up a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to achieve the Directorate’s strategic plans in line with the BQA vision and overall Strategy
·  review, evaluate and update the NQF in line with the international development and practices, and prepare the necessary reports on the NQF periodic studies and reviews of the NQF overall performance
·   prepare and implement plans for placement of the national qualifications and institutional listing of education and training institutions onto the NQF from vocational and training institutions to general education and up to higher education, and follow-up the qualifications that have been placed
·  receive and review requests for institutional listing and placing the national qualifications as well as analyze the results and publish them in accordance with the applicable regulations and instructions
·    verify and validate the qualifications, assess learning outcomes to place the national qualifications on the NQF.
·    ​set and update policies, standards, regulations, mechanisms, controls and supporting forms from the culture for  lifelong learning and educational and vocational guidance and transfer credit hours and transition between paths education and training
· ​reference the NQF with other regional and international qualifications framework through the signing of  memoranda of understanding and agreement, and propose mechanisms from referencing and do the necessary           studies
·   contribute effectively to the development of the GCC qualifications framework system in coordination with the   GCC states and through the General Secretarial of the Council
·     alignment of the foreign qualifications to the NQF levels
·  produce NQF educational brochures and materials to define and spread the culture of lifelong learning, and approve the learning outcomes in the development of national qualifications and linking them with the needs of the labour market
·  provide technical support for all education and training institutes through the provision of consultancy, conduction of workshops and training of the qualifications-related staff of education and training institutions on the recognition of lifelong learning and provide them with guidance.
Institution Listing
A process by which the DFO ensures that an institution has established proper formal arrangements to maintain the standards of their national qualifications placed on the NQF.
                Institutional Listing Standards:
1.       Access, Transfer and Progression
2.       Qualification Development, Approval and Review
3.       Assessment Design and Moderation
4.       Certification and Authentication
5.       Continuous Quality Improvements
Qualification Placement
The process of placing a national qualification on the NQF after fulfilling the validation standards.
The Eligible Qualifications for the NQF placement must:
  • have a valid licence/approval issued by the appropriate regulatory body  (e.g. Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, Higher Education Council, etc.)
  • be developed and delivered in the Kingdom of Bahrain
  • be internally quality assured within the institution
  • comprise at least ten notional learning hours
  • meet the NQF qualification design requirements
Validation standards:
The process to ensure that a qualification is credible and fit-for-purpose, according to specified validation standards.
Qualifications are validated using the following standards:
1.       Justification of Need
2.       Qualification compliance
3.       Appropriateness of qualification design, content and structure
4.       Appropriateness of assessment
5.       Appropriateness of NQF levels and credit values

Alignment of Foreign Qualification

The process of comparing and evaluating a foreign qualification against the NQF levels.

 The Eligible Qualifications for the NQF Alignment must:

  • The Qualification is a foreign qualification that needs to be written in learning outcomes, expressed in units/courses/modules, assessed, quality assured and certified.
  • The Qualification is in compliance with the concerned regulatory body requirements, where applicable.
  • The Qualification and/or its Provider(s) within Bahrain passed the latest BQA Quality Assurance Review, where applicable.
  • The Qualification is delivered in the Kingdom of Bahrain by at least one Provider that falls under the BQA remit.

Alignment of Foreign Qualifications Standards:

  1. Ownership of the Qualification
  2.  Justification of Need
  3.  Quality Assurance
  4.  NQF level and Credit alignment ​
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