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Factsheet for measure PT-2009-30/2497 – measures in Portugal

National Catalogue for Qualifications

Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações (CNQ)

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 23 July 2009
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Paula Carrilho (CESIS)
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 20 October 2022)

Background information

National Catalogue for Qualifications is an integral part of the National Qualifications System (Decree-Law 396/2007 of 31 December). The Ordinance 781/2009 of 23 July established the structure and organisation of the National Catalogue for Qualifications. 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.

Content of measure

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. 

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 functions 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.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Local / regional government
Public employment service
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), National Catalogue for Qualifications, measure PT-2009-30/2497 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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