In May 2021, the QTEDU consortium published the first version of the European Competence Framework for Quantum Technologies. The Competence Framework aims to map the landscape of competences and skills in quantum technologies, establishing a common language that facilitates communication and cooperation between different stakeholders in the education ecosystem.

A starting point for education and training

The framework is intended as a starting point for planning and structuring a wide range of education and training projects in quantum technologies, such as university masters’ programmes, industrial workforce training programmes or educational research initiatives. The structure of the framework is inspired by DigCompEdu, the Digital Competence Framework for Trainers, which was used as a template.

While version 1.0 of the Competence Framework presents an overview of what can be taught, the next version will also include the different skill levels that can be achieved when learning each competency and skill in quantum technologies, as well as job profiles with different orientations.

QTEdu used a bottom-up approach to compile this competency framework, i.e. they conducted a three-round Delphi study over the past year with many QT community participants. Details of the methodology are described in a separate text. The study and its first results are presented in the Quantum Flagship Newsroom. In addition, the results were refined by conducting expert interviews for each strand. In the future, the Competence Framework will be regularly updated as the area of quantum technologies evolves. The framework is a living document and welcomes proposals for additions and corrections at any time.

In the long term, QTEdu envisages a European quantum education community characterised by adaptability, growth and synergies between all relevant stakeholders. Here, the Competence Framework plays a key role in providing a common language and a point of reference. It is thus conceived as an ecosystem where institutions can seamlessly reinforce their efforts with appropriate modules, and students can mix and match their education and training to meet their needs.

Bottom-up development

The publication of a Methodology and Version History by the European Commission provided a complete overview of the documentation process and the steps taken to arrive at the framework version 1.0.
The Competency Framework for quantum technologies was developed by QTEdu through a bottom-up approach with a wide range of stakeholders. Between summer 2020 and spring 2021, input for the framework as well as predictions around the future quantum workforce were collected in an iterative study, and the results were refined by conducting expert interviews for each domain. 
A three round Delphi study was carried out in the last year with participants from the QT Community. In order to refine the results, expert interviews were carried out in each area of competence. The framework is intended to be a living document that reflects the current state of the field and will be regularly updated in line with developments in quantum technologies.

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