Technical Notes

I. Background
 
Pursuant to Republic Act 10625, also known as the 2013 Philippine Statistics Act, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to prescribe and maintain uniform statistical standards and classification systems to harmonize and ensure comparability of government statistics based on international standards/guidelines, such as the United Nations international standard classification systems. 
 
One of the national standard classification systems being maintained by the PSA is the Philippine Standard Classification of Education (PSCED). The PSCED is a detailed classification of all educational levels in the Philippine educational system. It is based upon two principal criteria, namely (1) level of education, and (2) subject-matter content of the study. It is patterned after the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the purpose of assembling, compiling, and presenting education statistics, both nationally and internationally. 
 
So far, the Philippines has prepared the following classifications of education patterned after the corresponding international standard classifications of education:
 
Philippine Standard Classification of Education
International Standard Classification of Education
1994 PSCED
1997 PSCED
1976 ISCED
2008 PSCED 1997 ISCED

 

II. 2017 Philippine Standard Classification of Education
 
The 2017 PSCED is the latest version of the PSCED which is aligned after the 2011 ISCED and 2013 ISCED Fields of Education (ISCED-F) developed by UNESCO.
 
The first draft of the 2017 PSCED was initially prepared by the PSA through the Statistical Classifications Division (SCD) of the Standards Service (SS) under the Censuses and Technical Coordination Office (CTCO). A series of consultation meetings to review the draft was conducted with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 
 
The revised draft was then reviewed by the Technical Working Group on Education Classification (TWGEC) chaired by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The TWGEC is composed of the following members: Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education (DepEd),  Department of Labor and Employment - Bureau of Local Employment (DOLE-BLE), Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM) and the PSA. The TWGEC then submitted the revised draft to the PSA Interagency Committee on Statistical Standards and Classifications (IACSSC) for endorsement to the PSA Board.
 
The PSA Board approved the 2017 PSCED through PSA Board Resolution No. 13, Series of 2017 for adoption by all concerned government agencies and instrumentalities. 
 
1. Purpose of the 2017 PSCED
 
The 2017 PSCED aims to integrate the different classification schemes used by various government agencies, education and research institutions, and international organizations. It is used for standardizing and facilitating the compilation of quality education statistics for the country as basis for educational planning, manpower training, labor market studies and other related activities. It is useful to those responsible in compiling statistics on education, either from censuses and surveys or from administrative records. 
 
It is also used in the electronic verification and certification system being developed to track progress of students upon enrollment until graduation. Most importantly, it serves as a guide for bilateral trade negotiations of the Philippines with foreign countries especially in the Mutual Recognition Agreement, which provides for labor exchange/sharing among trade partners.
 
2. Guiding Principles
 
The following criteria were used in classifying educational programs under the 2017 PSCED:
  • Complexity and specialization of educational content
  • The main subject matter, the majority of or clearly, predominant part of students’ learning time is spent
  • Theoretical knowledge content (i.e. the ideas and concepts involved and their use in explaining facts and predicting outcomes)
  • The intended use of the knowledge, skills and competencies gained
  • Phenomena, problems or entities being studied
  • Methods and techniques for learning and applying the skills and knowledge gained
  • Tools and equipment an individual learns to use or operate
3. Structure of the 2017 PSCED
 
The 2017 PSCED classifies education programs by their content using two (2) main cross-classification variables: levels of education and fields of education.
Levels represent broad steps of educational progression in terms of complexity of educational content from foundational to complex. These categories group education programs in relation to gradations of learning experiences, as well as the knowledge, skills and competencies each program is designed to impart. Levels of education are grouped as follows:
 
0 Early Childhood Education
1 Primary Education
2 Lower Secondary Education
3 Upper Secondary Education
4 Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education
5 Short-Cycle Tertiary Education or Equivalent
6 Bachelor Level Education or Equivalent
7 Master Level Education or Equivalent
8 Doctoral Level Education or Equivalent
 
On the other hand, a field is the broad domain, branch, or area of content covered by an education program or qualification. These categories are grouped based on the similarity of the subject matter. Classifying fields of education has been designed in the 2013 ISCED-F as a three-level hierarchy having 11 broad fields, 58 narrow fields, and 149 detailed fields.
 
Broad
Field
Narrow
Field
Detailed
Field
     Description
0     Generic programmes and qualifications
  0 0 Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
  1 11 Basic programmes and qualifications
  2 21 Literacy and numeracy
  3 31 Personal skills and development
  9 99 Generic programmes and qualifications not elsewhere classified
1 11   Education
    110 Education not further defined
    111 Education science
    112 Training for pre-school teachers
    113 Teacher training without subject specialisation
    114 Teacher training with subject specialisation
    119 Education not elsewhere classified
  18 188 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving education
2     Arts and humanities
  20 200 Arts and humanities not further defined
  21   Arts
    210 Arts not further defined
    211 Audio-visual techniques and media production
    212 Fashion, interior and industrial design
    213 Fine arts
    214 Handicrafts
    215 Music and performing arts
    219 Arts not elsewhere classified
  22   Humanities (except languages)
    220 Humanities (except languages) not further defined
    221 Religion and theology
    222 History and archaeology
    223 Philosophy and ethics
    229 Humanities (except languages) not elsewhere classified
  23   Languages
    230 Languages not further defined
    231 Language acquisition
    232 Literature and linguistics
    239 Languages not elsewhere classified
  28 288 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving arts and humanities
  29 299 Arts and humanities not elsewhere classified
3     Social sciences, journalism and information
  30 300 Social sciences, journalism and information not further defined
  31   Social and behavioral sciences
    310 Social and behavioral sciences not further defined
    311 Economics
    312 Political sciences and civics
    313 Psychology
    314 Sociology and cultural studies
    319 Social and behavioural sciences not elsewhere classified
  32   Journalism and information
    320 Journalism and information not further defined
    321 Journalism and reporting
    322 Library, information and archival studies
    329 Journalism and information not elsewhere classified
  38 388 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving social sciences, journalism and information
  39 399 Social sciences, journalism and information not elsewhere classified
4     Business, administration and law
  40 400 Business, administration and law not further defined
  41   Business and administration
    410 Business and administration not further defined
    411 Accounting and taxation
    412 Finance, banking and insurance
    413 Management and administration
    414 Marketing and advertising
    415 Secretarial and office work
    416 Wholesale and retail sales
    417 Work skills
    419 Business and administration not elsewhere classified
  42 421 Law
  48 488 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving business, administration and law
  49 499 Business, administration and law not elsewhere classified
5     Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics
  50 500 Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics not further defined
  51   Biological and related sciences
    510 Biological and related sciences not further defined
    511 Biology
    512 Biochemistry
    519 Biological and related sciences not elsewhere classified
  52   Environment
    520 Environment not further defined
    521 Environmental sciences
    522 Natural environments and wildlife
    529 Environment not elsewhere classified
  53   Physical sciences
    530 Physical sciences not further defined
    531 Chemistry
    532 Earth sciences
    533 Physics
    539 Physical sciences not elsewhere classified
  54   Mathematics and statistics
    540 Mathematics and statistics not further defined
    541 Mathematics
    542 Statistics
  58 588 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving natural sciences, mathematics and statistics
  59 599 Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics not elsewhere classified
6 61   Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
    610 Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
    611 Computer use
    612 Database and network design and administration
    613 Software and applications development and analysis
    619 Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not elsewhere classified
  68 688 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
7     Engineering, manufacturing and construction
  70 700 Engineering, manufacturing and construction not further defined
  71   Engineering and engineering trades
    710 Engineering and engineering trades not further defined
    711 Chemical engineering and processes
    712 Environmental protection technology
    713 Electricity and energy
    714 Electronics and automation
    715 Mechanics and metal trades
    716 Motor vehicles, ships and aircraft
    719 Engineering and engineering trades not elsewhere classified
  72   Manufacturing and processing
    720 Manufacturing and processing not further defined
    721 Food processing
    722 Materials (glass, paper, plastic and wood)
    723 Textiles (clothes, footwear and leather)
    724 Mining and extraction
    729 Manufacturing and processing not elsewhere classified
  73   Architecture and construction
    730 Architecture and construction not further defined
    731 Architecture and town planning
    732 Building and civil engineering
  78 788 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving engineering, manufacturing and construction
  79 799 Engineering, manufacturing and construction not elsewhere classified
8     Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary
  80 800 Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary not further defined
  81   Agriculture
    810 Agriculture not further defined
    811 Crop and livestock production
    812 Horticulture
    819 Agriculture not elsewhere classified
  82 821 Forestry
  83 831 Fisheries
  84 841 Veterinary
  88 888 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary
  89 899 Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary not elsewhere classified
9     Health and welfare
  90 900 Health and welfare not further defined
  91   Health
    910 Health not further defined
    911 Dental studies
    912 Medicine
    913 Nursing and midwifery
    914 Medical diagnostic and treatment technology
    915 Therapy and rehabilitation
    916 Pharmacy
    917 Traditional and complementary medicine and therapy
    919 Health not elsewhere classified
  92   Welfare
    920 Welfare not further defined
    921 Care of the elderly and of disabled adults
    922 Child care and youth services
    923 Social work and counselling
    929 Welfare not elsewhere classified
  98 988 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving health and welfare
  99 999 Health and welfare not elsewhere classified
10     Service
  100 1000 Services not further defined
  101   Personal services
    1010 Personal services not further defined
    1011 Domestic services
    1012 Hair and beauty services
    1013 Hotel, restaurants and catering
    1014 Sports
    1015 Travel, tourism and leisure
    1019 Personal services not elsewhere classified
  102   Hygiene and occupational health services
    1020 Hygiene and occupational health services not further defined
    1021 Community sanitation
    1022 Occupational health and safety
    1029 Hygiene and occupational health services not elsewhere classified
  103   Security services
    1030 Security services not further defined
    1031 Military and defence
    1032 Protection of persons and property
    1039 Security services not elsewhere classified
  104 1041 Transport services
  108 1088 Inter-disciplinary programmes and qualifications involving services
  109 1099 Services not elsewhere classified
99 999 9999 Field unknown
 
The classification of fields of education is mainly intended for use at the tertiary level of education (Levels 5, 6, 7, and 8) and for vocational education and training programs and qualifications at the secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels (levels 3 and 4).
 
4. Coding System
 
For convenience in obtaining aggregates at each level, the code number in the 2017 PSCED is so designated that:
 
First level (Level) - Levels of Education are represented by the first digit
 
Second level (Broad Field) - Broad fields are represented by the second and third digits for Levels 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8
 
Third level (Narrow Field) - Narrow fields are represented by the fourth digit
 
Fourth level (Detailed Field) - Detailed fields are represented by the fifth digit
 
For example:
 
The main subject matter of a program or qualification determines the field of education into which it is classified. For practical purposes, the main subject matter of a program or qualification is determined by the detailed field in which the majority (i.e. more than 50%) or clearly predominant part of students’ intended learning time is spent. Where there is insufficient information available to determine the relative shares of intended learning time, the program or qualification is classified in the detailed field listed first in its title.
 
Where a main subject cannot be identified because the program or qualification covers several detailed fields, or even several narrow or broad fields, in which none dominates, the program or qualification is classified                     in an interdisciplinary category. As opposed to grouping all inter-disciplinary programs under one category in the 2008 PSCED, each broad field has an              inter-disciplinary program category; the “leading subject rule” is used to determine the broad field into which the interdisciplinary study is classified. Such programs are classified by using “8” at the narrow and detailed field levels within the leading broad field as “Interdisciplinary programs or qualifications involving the broad field”.
 
Supplementary codes are used when processing data not covered in the classification structure. Cases “not further defined” are programs or qualifications not adequately or sufficiently described than that known at a higher level of the classification. Such cases are designated by the use of one or more “0” at the end of codes at the narrow or detailed fields (as appropriate).
 
On the other hand, cases “not elsewhere classified” are programs and qualifications where the particular detailed field is known and adequately described but is not explicitly provided for in the classification. Such cases are designated by the use of “9” at the detailed field level of the classification (i.e. as the last digit).
 
During data collection, where the field of study is completely unknown, a code of ‘9999’ can be assigned or, in surveys which are limited to the narrow or broad field levels only, ‘999’ or ‘99’ respectively.
 
5. Changes Adopted in the 2017 PSCED
 
The following changes were adopted and incorporated in the 2017 PSCED:
 
A. On Educational Levels:
  1. Level 0 “Early Childhood Education” covers early childhood education for all ages, including very young children. Programs are divided into two categories depending on the level of complexity of the educational content. Early childhood educational development programs, introduced as a new category in 2011 ISCED, are generally designed for children younger than 3 years. On the other hand, Pre-primary education corresponds to Level 0 “Pre-Primary/Pre-School Education” of the 2008 PSCED.
     
  2. Level 3 “Upper Secondary Education” was adopted due to the enactment of Republic Act No. 10533, otherwise known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, wherein the basic education program in the Philippines was expanded to include two years of Senior High School.
     
  3. Level 4 “Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary/Technical-Vocational Education” was split into Level 4 “Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education” and Level 5 “Short-Cycle Tertiary Education or Equivalent”. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses and programs spans several PSCED Levels (Levels 3 to 5) due to the institutionalization of Republic Act No. 10647 otherwise known as the Ladderized Education Act of 2014. This Act give students the option to choose when to enter and exit the educational ladder and provide a qualification equivalent to the knowledge and skills gained. 
     
  4. Level 6 “Second Stage of Tertiary/Post-Graduate Education” was split into Level 7 “Master Level Education or Equivalent” and Level 8 “Doctoral Level Education or Equivalent”.
B. On Fields of Education and Training
  1. Field 09 “Personal Development” was renamed as Narrow Field 03 “Personal Skills and Development”.
     
  2. Field 22 “Humanities” was split into Narrow Fields 022 “Humanities (except languages)” and 023 “Languages”.
     
  3. Broad Group 3 “Social Sciences, Business and Law” was split into Broad Fields 03 “Social Sciences, Journalism and Information” and 04 “Business, Administration and Law”.
     
  4. Broad Group 4 “Science” was split into Broad Fields 05 “Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics” and 06 “Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)”.
     
  5. Field 42 “Life Sciences” was split into Narrow Fields 051 “Biological and Related Sciences” and 052 “Environment”.
     
  6. Field 62 “Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery” was split into Narrow Fields 081 “Agriculture”, 082 “Forestry”, and 083 “Fisheries”, and parts relating to natural parks and wildlife was transferred to Narrow Field 052 “Environment”.
     
  7. Most of Field 85 “Environmental Protection” was transferred to Detailed Field 0712 “Environmental Protection Technology” under Narrow Field 071 “Engineering and Engineering Trades”, and parts relating to community sanitation and labor protection and security became a new Narrow Field 102 “Hygiene and Occupational Health Services”.
     
  8. Programs and courses were provided as examples of the Detailed Fields.
     
  9. New programs and courses refer to those emerging courses and programs which are not found in the 2008 PSCED but are now being offered by schools, hence, were added in the 2017 PSCED. 
     
  10. Courses/Programs that are not regularly offered by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Training Institutions were not included in the 2017 PSCED but were cited in the annexes for reference. 
     
  11. Merged or Renamed programs and courses refer to those similar courses that are being offered by different schools using different titles which are combined in one standard program/course in the 2017 PSCED.
     
  12. The 2017 PSCED took into account the institutionalization of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF). The descriptions of the educational levels of the 2017 PSCED were mapped with the descriptors of the PQF.
     
  13. The concepts and definitions used in the 2017 PSCED are also aligned and consistent with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9155 “Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001” and Republic Act No. 10687 “Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Act”.