The Croatian Qualifications Framework (CROQF) is a framework which sets every qualification acquired in Croatia at its place. The central element of the CROQF are the learning outcomes or, in other terms, competences acquired by the individual through the learning process and proved after the learning process, where the learning process itself is not crucial, as the learning outcome is assessed. The place of each qualification acquired in the Republic of Croatia is set by the level of the learning outcomes belonging to that qualification. The placement of qualifications at respective levels allows the comparison and linking of different qualifications.
The placement of qualifications acquired in Croatia at respective levels determines their relation but it also enables the linking of Croatian qualifications' levels to the levels of the European Qualifications Framework and the levels of the Qualifications framework of the European Higher Education Area thus enabling the visibility of qualifications acquired in Croatia on Croatian and the European labour market.
Since the central element of the CROQF are the learning outcomes, and not the way in which they were acquired, the CROQF sets basis for the development of recognition of prior learning (RPL), or in other words, enables the development of recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning, along with the compulsory introduction of quality assurance system and clear quality assessment procedures.
The CROQF introduces qualifications standards. While the same qualification can be acquired at different educational institutions and through different educational programmes, there are certain standards in terms of defined learning outcomes that a qualification needs to have. Educational programmes need to be in line with the qualifications standards which would mean that they lead to the acquirement of leaning outcomes that are defined by a respective qualification standard.
Apart from the qualifications standards, the CROQF introduces occupational standards as well. An occupational standard is a document which contains clearly defined competences required for a certain occupation. It is created through a clearly prescribed methodology and collected data by which the competences for a certain occupation have been defined and analyzed.