The Diploma Supplement identifies the level and function of a qualification, as well as the results attained. It reports on the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies pursued and successfully completed. Thus, it contains a precise description of the academic career and the competences acquired by the holders during the study period; and an objective description of their achievements and competences. In combination with the credential itself, the Supplement should provide sufficient information to enable making a judgement about the qualification and whether it is appropriate for the purpose it is meant to, for example employment or the right to practise a profession.

The Diploma Supplement gives details of each of the individual elements or parts of the qualification and their weighting. To this aim, actual marks and/or grades obtained in each major component of the qualification are listed. These should also cover all examinations and assessed components or fields of study offered in examination, including any dissertation or thesis, with an indication if the latter were defended or not. Where possible, the total student effort required should be described in terms of credits, and the credit system should be de-scribed. European countries should translate the workload required for the qualification into the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System.

In the third cycle, the Diploma Supplement becomes essential whenever the candidate has followed structured doctoral studies involving a taught component or encompassing mobility initiatives. In an analogous setting, it is a most advantageous way for systematising the results of joint degrees. Under all these circumstances the learning outcomes outreach by far the thesis and the subsequent expertise in a well-defined scientific area, since they include a varying number of transferable competences, namely core research skills along with personal and professional proficiency. As a matter of fact, the question arises the more often among stakeholders as to what type and level of knowledge, skills and mind-settings an early-stage researcher has acquired during his doctoral years. A Diploma Supplement completed by a portfolio would definitely increase transparency and foster employability.

Taking into account that the Diploma Supplement is a flexible, non-prescriptive tool, capa-ble of adaptation to local needs, it should be considered to which degree and under what circumstances it is beneficial for young scientists, who are about to be awarded the doctoral degree.

In this context, and in order to facilitate Diploma Supplement issuance even the case of non-structured doctoral studies in chemical sciences, explanatory remarks to the Diploma Supplement model are proposed in form of footnotes, based on the above-cited concepts and on a large number of actual examples.

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