Governance of vocational and professional education and training

According to the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act, vocational and professional education and training is the joint responsibility of the Confederation, the cantons and professional organisations:

  • Confederation

    The Confederation, represented by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), is in charge of strategic governance and development of vocational and professional education and training. Its responsibilities include, among others: legislation, enactment of VET ordinances, recognition of examination regulations and PET programmes, quality assurance and further development of the vocational and professional education and training system and encouragement of innovation. The Federal Commission for Vocational and Professional Education and Training (EBBK) advises the SERI on issues such as the development and coordination of vocational and professional education and training. The Confederation is in charge of initial education and training and continuing education and training of VET/PET professionals (VET trainers, VET, PET and CET teachers etc.). The Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET) is the Confederation's competence centre for teaching VET/PET professionals and for research and development in the VET/PET field.

  • Cantons

    The cantons contribute to the further development and governance of vocational and professional education and training. They are responsible for the implementation of federal legislation and supervise vocational and professional education and training. The cantons' responsibilities in the field of VET include among others, apprenticeship marketing. The various tasks are usually performed by the cantonal VET/PET offices, which are subordinated to the cantonal departments of education or, in seldom cases, the cantonal departments of economics. At the intercantonal level, the heads of VET/PET offices form the Conference of Swiss VET/PET Offices (SBBK), which supports coordination and cooperation in vocational and professional education and training and thus also the implementation of federal law in the cantons and regions. The SBBK is a specialist agency within the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). The cantons are responsible for operating cantonal centers for occupational, educational and career guidance. The Swiss Service Centre for Vocational Training, Study and Career Counselling (SDBB) has been established since 2007. It offers services for occupational, educational and career guidance, the cantons have legally to provide for by the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act. The cantons (as well as private bodies) run the VET/PET institutions.

  • Professional organisations

    The professional organisations include trade associations, industry organisations, social partners, other responsible organisations and VET/PET providers and businesses and private individuals. The professional organisations define the content and objectives of VET/PET programmes, define the national qualification procedures, organise inter-company courses within VET and provide PET programmes. In vocational education and training (VET), businesses and private individuals provide apprenticeships. Their participation in VET/PET programmes is voluntary.

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Last update of this page: 11.12.2017

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