Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS)

Project completed

In Nepal, 500’000 youths enter the labour market yearly but remain un- or underemployed. The project will support the Ministry of Education to establish a National Vocational Qualifications Framework and a corresponding NVQ Authority to manage it. Learners and workers, especially from disadvantaged groups, will benefit from an improved vocational training qualification and skills certification system, thus increasing their chances for sustainable and decent employment.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Vocational training
Tradepolicy & market system
Labour migration
01.02.2014 - 31.12.2020
CHF  5’221’000

Every year 500’000 youths enter the labour market, 80% of whom are unskilled, have not finished high school and are thus denied equal opportunities in the employment system. In the absence of available formal vocational training, many youths work as unskilled labourers, remain un- or underemployed or choose to migrate for better employment. Those who are employed acquire skills through informal training beforehand or on the job. Against this background, skills testing offers candidates an assessment and official certification of competencies, irrespective of where and how these competencies were gained.

Through the National Skill Testing Board (NSTB), a system of vocational qualifications is emerging. The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy approved in 2012 now stipulates the establishment of a National Vocational Qualifications Framework and the transformation of the NSTB into a National Vocational Qualifications Authority (NVQA) to manage it.



The overall goal of the project is to achieve systemic changes in the TVET system that will enable women and men including disadvantaged groups to get access to increased employment and self-employment and to perform at higher productivity levels.

This, in turn, shall lead to higher income, enhanced livelihood and resilience, and thus combat poverty and promote inclusive growth


Target groups

The primary target group includes the learners, job seekers and workers. Besides them, employers and small businesses, training providers (non-formal TVET sector), training companies (on-the-job training, apprenticeship), and the staff of the emerging NVQA themselves are the secondary beneficiaries

Medium-term outcomes
  1. NSTB successfully manages the emerging Vocational Qualifi­cations Frameworks (VQF) and is prepared for its transformation into a NVQA
  2. Nepalese youths, especially from the disadvantaged groups, are better employable in the labour market or in self-employment



Expected results:  

  • NSTB’s services and outreach are improved
  • A comprehensive NVQF  with the TVET pathways in two sectors is put into practice
  • Transformation of NSTB into NVQA designed and initiated
  • Youths benefit from the newly established and nationally recognized Vocational Qualifications Framework.
  • Youths working in the informal sector benefit from the system of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Migrant returnees  benefit from the system of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


Results from previous phases:  

The Baseline study on the capacity, the financial management, the quality of the delivered services, and the perception of the NSTB employees was conducted. Its findings directly informed the planning and implementation strategy at macro, meso and micro level which is outlined in the Project Document. The Project Document was shared with the stakeholders from the TVET and private sector; the main stakeholders confirmed their support to the project and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) communicated its willingness to finance the planned building for the NSTB/NVQA.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Central State of South East
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • Swisscontact

Other partners

Private sector service providers

Coordination with other projects and actors

Other donor funded TVET projects. Synergies with other Swiss projects/programs  such as  SaMi, ENSSURE, NASDP, NAMDP, MSFP

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’221’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’555’789
Project phases Phase 2 16.07.2020 - 15.07.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.02.2014 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)