In Malta the three major public entities that award qualifications are the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), the University of Malta, and MCAST.
The Institute of Tourism Studies is an autonomous and self-regulating institute that provides further and higher education programmes of a high standard in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The signing of the Protocol for the alignment of qualifications to the Malta Qualifications Framework between the Institute of Tourism Studies and the Malta Qualifications Council (MQC) was made in November 2007.
The protocol was signed by Mr Charles Mizzi, former Chairman of the Malta Qualifications Council, and Mr Reginald Abela, former Chairman of the Board of Governors at ITS. The Hon. Louis Galea, former Minister of Education Youth and Employment, presided over the ceremony.
The ceremony was also attended by Dr. James Calleja, former Chief Executive Officer of MQC, now Director General of CEDEFOP, and other members of the Malta Qualifications Council, Mr Teddy Camilleri, former Deputy Director General at ITS, members of staff and students at ITS.
Thanks to the signing of this protocol holders of qualifications from ITS achieved easier access to the labour market since their qualifications were aligned within the European Qualifications Framework, the Dublin descriptors for Higher Education, and standards published by Maltese authorities.
The Malta Qualifications Council [MQC] was the national accrediting agency for the development, assessment, certification and accreditation of qualifications other than those in compulsory education and degrees. All these functions have now been taken over by the National Commission for Further & Higher Education.
Following the launch of the Malta Qualifications Framework, MQC embarked on an alignment process which will saw all state institutions’ foreign qualifications (particularly those accredited by QCA) aligned to the NQF by September 2008; parallel to this process, by September 2008 two sectors had the full occupational standards ready for publication; these were the IT and Hospitality sectors.