EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

National Catalogue for Qualifications (CNQ)

Phase: Anticipation
  • Recognition of informal and non-formal training
Zuletzt geändert: 03 August, 2021
Ursprünglicher Name:

Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações (CNQ)

Englischer Name:

National Catalogue for Qualifications (CNQ)


The instrument relates to 274 vocational qualifications from 39 educational and training area addressed at young people and adults aged over 18 with a non-higher level of qualifications.

Main characteristics

The National Catalogue of Qualifications (CNQ) is a tool for the strategic management of national qualifications at all levels, except for higher level. Furthermore, it promotes regulation of training offers for double certification (which means the recognition of skills, via a diploma, of competencies, to perform one or more occupational activities and to qualify for entry into higher education courses). It fosters efficiency in public funding for qualification initiatives, as the design of curriculum and the adjustment of training contents to the competencies required by the labour market in several occupational activities is done through the CNQ. It is an integral part of the National Qualifications System (Decree-Law 396/2007 of 31 December). 

The CNQ provides for each qualification an occupational profile, a training reference, a Recognition of Informal and Non-Formal Training (Sistema de Reconhecimento, Validação e Certificação de Competências, RVCC) reference (academic and vocational), a list of training and a framework of recognition, validation and certification of competencies (academic and vocational). 

The CNQ has sectoral councils which are local working groups with technical and advisory competences, created by the National Agency for Qualification to participate in the updating and development of the catalogue. Some of the function are:

  • Identify the developments in the different economic sectors of activity;
  • Identify qualifications and competences needs;
  • Present suggestions to update/develop the catalogue;
  • Facilitate and support the processes of articulation/cooperation among relevant entities as far as qualifications are concerned in each sector of activity.


  • National funds
  • European funds
  • European Funds (ESF)

Involved actors

National government
The sectoral councils (Conselhos Sectoriais) include, among their members, specialists appointed by the ministry for the respective activity sector.
Regional/local government
The sectoral councils include, among their members, training entities with greater local or regional specialisation.
Public employment services
The National Catalogue for Qualifications is coordinated by the National Agency for Qualification and Professional Education (Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e Educação Profissional I.P., ANQEP).
Employer or employee organisations
The sectoral councils include, among their members, trade unions and employer associations of the corresponding activity sectors.
Supported by Social Inclusion and Employment Operational Programme (Programa Operacional Inclusão Social e Emprego, POISE). The sectoral councils integrate reference companies and independent experts.


No information available.


According to the National Agency for Qualification and Professional Education (Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e Educação Profissional I.P., ANQEP) CNQ covers the strategic and relevant qualifications for the country’s economic and social growth, as well the competitiveness of companies. It has gradually been creating alternative responses to sectoral, regional and local specifications with the creation of different sets of optional short duration training units, which are designed to meet local and regional needs. This facilitates the identification of training needs and the adequacy of responses to such needs.


No information available.


No information available.
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