ASEAN officials have met recently in Malaysia to finalise the key features, underlying principles and structure of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF), which aims to promote mobility within the region and specifically supports the implementation of ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, according to the ASEAN Secretary.

This is the third meeting of the Task Force on ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (TF-AQRF), which comprises officials from ASEAN ministries of trade, labor, education and qualification agencies.

The proposed regional framework will serve the comparisons of qualifications across ASEAN Member States while at the same time support and enhance each country’s national qualifications framework or qualifications systems that are currently at varying levels of development, scope and implementation.

The AQRF could also be used as a reference of possible linkage with other regional and international qualifications systems in future.

The AQRF aims to facilitate the free flow of services by 2015 through recognition of professional qualifications as well as the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint which targets to establish national skills frameworks as an incremental approach towards an ASEAN skills recognition framework.

The Task Force is expected to meet again in early 2014 in Myanmar to finalise the AQRF and plan its phased implementation. The implementation strategy and programs will aim at the cultivation of mutual trust among ASEAN Member States in undertaking cross-border education and flow of workforce.

The Task Force activities are supported by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Work Programme (ECWP) Project on Education Training and Governance: Capacity Building for National Qualifications Framework – Phase II.-VNA