The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) was established in 2008 as a communication tool for the labour market of the member states, allowing employers and employees to use qualifications regardless of the manner and the country in which they were obtained.
The Sectoral Qualifications Framework for Banking (SQFB) is an industry interpretation of the Polish Qualifications Framework (PQF). The Polish Qualifications Framework, just like the European Framework, is an 8-level structured description of requirements pertaining to knowledge, skills and social competencies. The PQF sets levels for all qualifications, regardless of how, where and when they were obtained. In the Sectoral Qualifications Framework for Banking, universal descriptions from the PQF have been translated into a language specific for the banking sector. The SQFB describes 5 levels, from 3 to 7 of the PQF, inclusive. These were deemed the most representative for the qualification levels functioning in the banking sector. With each higher SQFB level assigned to the qualification, the qualification holder represents:
The sectoral framework organises qualifications and makes it easier to compare them with each other, as well as referring to the needs of specific people, workplaces and entire organisations. In other words, the SQFB:
The SQFB was established as part of a project run by the Warsaw Banking Institute, in partnership with the Bank Association, commissioned by the Educational Research Institute. Preparations and consultations for the Sectoral Framework included representatives of nearly 20 banks, higher education institutions, training companies, as well as the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Those participating at the final SQFB conference declared in their
statement: "In the belief that banking qualifications
at the SQFB level:
we support the idea of implementing a Sectoral Qualifications Framework for Banking
in Poland as a practice of managing employee development in banks."
There is a chance that the Sectoral Qualifications Framework for Banking could become an element of the Integrated Qualifications System implemented in Poland under the Act that entered into force on 15 January 2016. The Act organises the system of professional qualifications in Poland by introducing comprehensive solutions regarding qualifications granted outside higher education and the education system (e.g. by training companies). One of the tasks of the Sectoral Council for Competencies in the Financial Sector is the inclusion of the Sectoral Qualifications Framework and selected sectoral qualifications in the Integrated Qualifications System, which will at the same time ensure that Polish sectoral qualifications are linked with the European market.