Federal and advanced PET Diploma Examinations

Key terms: Vocational and professional education in Switzerland / Copenhagen Process / Governance of vocational and professional education and training

The Federal PET Diploma Examinations and Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations are geared towards professionals with several years of professional experience who wish to deepen their knowledge or to prepare themselves for a leadership role. In total, around 240 recognised Federal PET Diploma Examinations and 170 Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations are offered. However, the majority apply to a limited number of professions. The Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations – traditionally called Meisterprüfungen (master examinations) in the commercial-industrial domain – are more demanding than the Federal PET Diploma Examinations.

The Confederation, via the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), recognises the examination regulations which are drawn up by professional organisations. An examination regulation governs the terms of admission to the individual examinations, the occupational profiles, the skills that must be achieved, the qualification processes and the corresponding titles protected by law. Within each industry, only one Federal PET Diploma Examination and one Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examination are approved by the Confederation for each specific field. Preparatory courses for Federal PET Diploma Examinations and Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations are neither regulated, nor compulsory. Professional organisations conduct the federally regulated examinations once or twice each year. They lead to federally recognised titles.

Terms of admission

Admission to the Federal PET Diploma Examinations is generally granted to those who have at least completed a three-year or four-year vocational education and training programme and can provide evidence of a number of years of working experience. The same applies to the Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations, although sometimes a Federal PET Diploma Examination must be passed first. The terms of admission are set out in the various examination regulations.

Graduation and organisation of education and training

The preparations for the examinations are not regulated. Candidates usually attend preparatory courses, which are provided either by public or private educational institutions, or by professional organisations. As these courses are not state-regulated, they are not supervised by the state. The content and programme are based on the stipulations of the examination regulations. The courses are completed in combination with occupational work and last between two and four semesters. Preparation can also occur by means of self-directed study.

Those who pass Federal PET Diploma Examinations receive a Federal PET Diploma. The suffix «with Federal PET Diploma» is added to the job title (e.g. Computer Scientist with Federal PET Diploma). Those who pass Advanced Federal PET Diploma Examinations receive a federally recognised Advanced Federal PET Diploma. Either the prefix «dipl.» is added to the respective job title (e.g. dipl. Graphic Designer) or the suffix «with Advanced Federal PET Diploma», e.g. Food Technologist with Advanced Federal PET Diploma), or else «Meister» (Master, e.g. Gärtnermeister = Master Gardner). The Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences has issued recommendations on the admission of graduates of tertiary level B professional education and training to Bachelor's degree programmes at universities of applied sciences.

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Last update of this page: 25.08.2017