Market qualification may be included in the Integrated Qualification System (IQS) at the request of entities engaged in organised activities in the field of economy, labour market, education or training. Those could include: a trading company, a training institution, an organization that brings together entrepreneurs from a particular industry, an association of producers, a sports union, an association etc.
An interested entity (institution, organisation) submits an electronic application, containing a detailed description of the qualification, to the Minister in charge of the qualification through the Integrated Qualifications Register. The application should be processed by the minister in charge within four months. Under the IQS Act, the time limit can be extended by four months on a one-off basis. The application is subject to a fee of PLN 2000.
At all stages of processing the application, the Minister and the specialists/experts reviewing the application are required to work closely with the applicant.
Upon receipt of the application, the Minister in charge takes the following steps:
1. Consultation with the interested parties
On the IQS portal the Minister publishes the announcement about the start of consultations and the possibility of submitting opinions. The purpose of the consultations is to inform publicly about the initiation of the procedure for the inclusion of a qualification in the IQS and to obtain the opinion of the interested parties.
2. Acquisition of expert opinions
After the consultations, the Minister asks experts for an opinion on the socio-economic need to include the proposed qualification in the IQS. On the basis of these opinions, the Minister decides on the merits of further procedure.
3. Assessment of the application
The Minister makes the final assessment of the proposal. The following are taken into account:
- assessment of the learning outcomes required for the qualification in respect of tasks undertaken by the persons with the qualification concerned, as well as the assessment of validation requirements;
- desirability of including the market qualification in the IQS understood as its compatibility with social needs, labour market needs and employers expectations;
- suitability of the requirements for obtaining a particular qualification to objective circumstances and the possibility of achieving learning outcomes within the foreseeable time;
- similarity of the market qualification to the qualifications already included in the IQS.
In the event of the negative outcome of the application, the Minister informs the applicant of the refusal and provides a justification. The Minister's decision is not open to administrative appeal.
4. Assigning level of the Polish Qualifications Framework (PQF)
The Minister appoints a panel of experts to compare the learning outcomes required for a particular qualification with the characteristics of PQF levels and provides the Minister with a binding recommendation on the assignment of the PQF level. The recommendation also includes - corrected in consultation with the applicant - a description of the required learning outcomes.
The Minister submits the recommendation of experts to the Council of Stakeholders of the IQS for opinion. If the opinion is positive, then the Minister assigns the PQF level to the qualification concerned. Otherwise, the panel of experts draws up a second recommendation in which it refers to the opinion of the Council. This recommendation is final
5. Preparation of an announcement on the inclusion of the qualification in the IQS
The Minister prepares the contents of the announcement on the inclusion of qualifications in the IQS. The announcement is published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Republic of Poland ("Monitor Polski"). On the date of the publication of the announcement, the market qualification is considered to be included in the IQS.
Note: The market qualification included in the IQS becomes operational only when the Minister selects an external quality assurance entity (EQAE) assigned to at least one awarding body authorised to award that qualification.