Educational standards

The national educational standards aim to harmonise the objectives of compulsory education throughout Switzerland. They also constitute a basis for evaluating the quality of the education system in compulsory education. In the future, the educational standards (national fundamental competences) are being evaluated by the Swiss education monitoring.


The Intercantonal Agreement on Harmonisation of Compulsory Education (HarmoS Agreement) is the legal basis for the development and application of national educational standards.

The HarmoS Agreement specifies two types of educational standards:

  • Performance standards (article 7 paragraph 2 a) describe subject-related skill levels to be achieved by the pupils. They are measurable and testable. Performance standards have been developed in the form of fundamental competences for 4 subjects (language of instruction, foreign languages, mathematics and natural sciences). The fundamental competences describe basic abilities, competences and knowledge that the pupils must achieve at a given time during compulsory education. Fundamental competences are minimum requirements, which should be met by most pupils. The fundamental competences are objectives for one part of school education; all educational objectives are specified in the linguistic regions' curricula.

  • Other standards (article 7 paragraph 2 b) describe learning contents (content standards) or conditions for implementation in teaching or the facilities and resources made available for learning (opportunity to learn standards).

Introduction of the current national fundamental competences is a process spanning several years, depending on the development of the linguistic regions' curricula. Work towards this end is underway. Standards for other subjects can also be developed

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Last update of this page: 27.08.2018

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