Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes




core definition

Qualification is the award to which a formal programme of study contributes.

explanatory context


analytical review

Vlãsceanu et al. (2007, p. 67) define qualification as:

Any higher education award (degree, diploma, or other type of formal certification) issued by a competent, registered authority attesting the successful completion of a course programme. It covers a wide variety of higher education awards at different levels and across different countries (e.g., the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, the Doctorate, etc.). A qualification is important in terms of what it signifies: competencies and range of knowledge and skills. Sometimes it is equivalent to a license to practice. It is often synonymous with credential.


Adam (2004, p. 27) defines qualification as:

…units of recognised outcome of learning

University of Canterbury - Christchurch, New Zealand ( undated) states:

A qualification is the successfully completed outcome of a programme of study that allows you to graduate.

Tissot (2003, p. 97) defines qualification as:

the requirements for an individual to enter, or progress within an occupation.

associated issues


related areas

See also


qualifications framework


Adam, S., 2004, Using Learning Outcomes, Report for United Kingdom Bologna Seminar 1-2 July 2004, Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh Conference Centre) Edinburgh. Scotland.

Tissot, P., 2004, Terminology of vocational training policy. A multilingual glossary for an enlarged Europe. Luxembourg: EUR-OP.

University of Canterbury - Christchurch, New Zealand , undated, Key terms explained, available at, accessed 7 September 2012, not available 30 June 2019.

Vlãsceanu, L.,  Grünberg, L., and Pârlea, D., 2007,  Quality Assurance and Accreditation: A Glossary of Basic Terms and Definitions ( Bucharest , UNESCO-CEPES) Revised and updated edition. ISBN 92-9069-186-7, available at, accessed 19 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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