African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF)
The ACQF is the largest Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF) to date, with its goal being to coordinate qualifications from 55 African countries and 8 regional communities. They needed a website to promote the development of the framework and give them a secure home for all their materials. Check out what our team at Juizi built for them: https://acqf.africa/
Goals and requirements
A qualifications framework is a formal structure for qualifications and learning levels so that they can be comparable, transparent, and held to a certain level of quality. With its goal to coordinate 55 African countries and 8 regional communities, the ACQF is not only the largest RQF to date, but it is also the only RQF that interacts with 2 different levels: national and regional qualifications frameworks.
The main tasks of the website were to promote the development of the ACQF framework, give them a secure home for the materials they’ve been gathering (and there are a lot), and provide a structure for stakeholders and contributors to see and understand the resulting framework as it evolves.
The initial development happened between 2019 and 2022, but websites are living creatures, so it is ongoing until the framework is complete. While we were developing the website, they were developing outputs including policies, guidelines, a feasibility analysis, learning programmes, and research on existing African qualification systems. A lot of this content is still changing.
The website did have some serious objectives. It had to:
- Contribute to comparability, quality and transparency of qualifications
- Facilitate recognition of diplomas and certificates
- Support the creation of an African education and qualifications space;
- Promote cooperation between existing and evolving qualifications frameworks in Africa and worldwide.
The scale of this project was incredibly exciting.
It was a big project, so we approached it through a series of sprints with specific goals that we set. We worked very closely with the project coordinator, setting goals, testing functionality, and assessing progress. As she had been with this project since its inception, her wealth of knowledge was incredible to see.
She was wonderful to work with and helped keep the project on track and moving swiftly. It is always great to have such a team player as a client, it always leads to better outcomes.
Initial development included layers of development running concurrently: all built on the Plone platform. We designed and developed the front-end that included some standard Plone functionality (privacy settings, content layering, standard content types, etc), but systematically added the custom-built functionality as it was finalised, tested and populated with data.
An example of the custom functionality we built was a very nifty inventory tool to start tracking the framework as it is being assembled. This tool essentially adds specifications per level which allow a country to correlate their own levels in similar terms and specifications. All in the interest of moving towards levels that align for an easier way of comparing different qualifications across borders.
We built a secure, intuitive, and user-friendly platform which is helping the ACQF update key details of their developing qualifications framework, as well as lay the groundwork for a framework that compares different African countries' qualifications frameworks not only to each other but to other qualifications frameworks around the world.
With the help of Juizi, the ACQF website supports comparability, quality, and transparency of qualifications and supports people’s lifelong learning. With the global village becoming smaller and smaller every day, this is becoming increasingly important.
Feedback from the project coordinator (eventually echoed by other stakeholders and contributors), was that the website not only delivered but even surpassed their expectations. We listened to what was needed and helped grow their vision into something that does the job very well.
The project is still growing and evolving, with more data from the 55 countries and 8 regions being added, and as more data comes in, more needs come to light, and more stakeholders get involved, Juizi will continue to grow and evolve the website.
“After the long and arduous journey of creating and collecting content, the building of the ACQF website itself was just a pleasure. [...] We found it all to be a most engaging, educational and enjoyable experience. [...] The ACQF web platform was constructed specifically for us and working with Plone turned out to be even easier than expected. We are very pleased to have a website that presents our content beautifully while also engaging our audience. Feedback from our partners, stakeholders and experts on the ACQF website has been incredibly positive. Juizi helped us build a site that works for us." - Eduarda Castel-Branco, ACQF project coordinator