Maldives National Qualifications Framework (MNQF)

Today, the Maldivian post-secondary education sector is growing rapidly, with an increasing number of private providers entering the sector to meet the demand. Emerging from this growingimportance of post-secondary education is the concomitant requirement to assure the quality of qualifications awarded in testimony of educational attainments. Thus, the Maldives NationalQualifications Framework (MNQF) is designed to:

  • Facilitate the development of a quality assurance mechanism for the post-secondary education sector.
  • Provide a framework for recognition of qualifications offered in the Maldives and abroad.

MNQF provides a comprehensive and coherent national framework that facilitates quality improvement, quality assurance, and private sector participation in post- secondary education. MNQF also ensures that students, employers, education providers and the community at large easily understand the learning outcomes involved in various qualifications.


  1. MNQF 2009 is to be fully implemented on 1 September 2011.
  2. No student must be enrolled in a course approved under MNQF 2001 after 1 September 2011.
  3. All higher education and training programmes approved by MQA on and after 1 September 2011 will conform to MNQF 2009.
  4. Certificates of programmes that started before 1 September 2011 may be validated by MQA according to MNQF 2001.
  5. Certificates awarded for programmes completed on or after 1 September 2014 should meet the requirements of MNQF 2009.
  6. MQA may publish separate frameworks for specific professional areas in line with MNQF 2009
  7. MNQF 2009 will allow embedded programmes from level 4 and above. For example the first year of a Bachelors degree programme leading to an MNQF Level 5 diploma and the second year of study in the same programme leading to a MNQF Level 6 Advanced Diploma with the final year of studies leading to the MNQF Level 7 Bachelors Degree.
  8. Advanced standing for prior learning to a maximum of 75% may be allowed in programmes designed for MNQF 2009.
  9. In case of cross-border recognition of qualifications from higher education and training systems that do not map well onto MNQF, the Certificate Panel of MQA will study the qualifications and make a ruling on its recognition based on the following criteria:
    • a. entry qualifications
    • b. total number of learning hours
    • c. curriculum content
    • d. recognition status of the programme in the country of origin
  • Level descriptors set out the characteristic generic outcomes of every level.
  • They are intended to provide a general, shared understanding of every level and to allow broad comparisons to be made between qualifications and learning at different levels.
  • They are not intended to give precise or comprehensive statements.
  • There is no expectation that every qualification should have all the competencies in each domain.
  • Course Approval Documentation should provide a matrix that could be used to link intended learning outcomes/objectives to the level descriptors.
  • Such a matrix may be presented as follows:

  • Course Approval Documentation should provide how achievement of intended learning outcomes specified under level descriptors, will be assessed.

MNQF consists of the following features:

The qualifications recognized in the MNQF are classified in two groups: (1) Further Education and Training, and (2) Higher Education. The levels of qualifications (e.g. Certificate I and Certificates II) are differentiated based on the breadth, depth and complexity of knowledge and skills that are included in various qualifications.

All qualifications in the MNQF have a purpose and are interrelated to each other, providing for articulation from one qualification to the other by recognizing prior learning. Qualifications recognized within the MNQF will be readily understood by the public, credible and useful to the employers.

MNQF provides pathways for life-long learning. The recommended minimum credit hours and credit points for each qualification are provided. The length of time it would normally take to complete a course leading to each qualification is expressed in weeks and academic years.

The learners will be able to obtain qualifications that are:

  • Recognized by employers, educational institutions and the general public.
  • Transferable for various other courses the learner may take in the future.
  • Able to provide greater choice and flexibility in what, where and how to learn.

For the employers, the MNQF would mean:

  • Assurance of the quality of qualifications.
  • Education and training that are relevant for the industry.
  • Increased availability of skilled and adaptable employees.

The course providers will benefit from MNQF by being able to:

  • Validate the quality of their courses and certificates.
  • Offer standards-based training with measurable outcomes.
  • Provide training for nationally-recognized qualifications.
  • Transfer academic credits between qualifications and institutions.
  • Expand the range of programmes offered.
  • Benefit from external monitoring that leads to quality improvement.