The quality assurance of the in-company part of the training takes place on all levels. The Vocational Training Act sets the legal frame. An essential component is the institutionalized involvement of the social partners. The quality assurance of the school part is the task of the Federal States.

Quality assurance at system level

The Vocational Training Act respectively the Trade and Crafts Code highly regulate the in-company training. They define the overall objectives of the apprenticeship, set the frame for the in-company training and regulate the involvement of social partners.

Training regulations establish nationwide minimum standards for each occupation that have to be met by all training companies. They are elaborated together with professional experts nominated by the social partners and have the force of law.

The social partners are involved in the governance of the system on all levels following the principle of equal participation (see social partners).

The amended Vocational Training Act from 2005 explicitly assigns the task to work towards a continuous development of quality in vocational education and training to the Vocational Education and Training Committees of the chambers.

Quality assurance for the in-company training

Quality assurance of the in-company training is set along the legal requirements. Accordingly a training company has

  • to prove its suitability as a training place;
  • to elaborate an in-company training plan for each apprentice based on the training regulation of the occupation;
  • to employ an in-company trainer with the required personal and professional qualifications (the latter is proved via an examination at the responsible chamber) and
  • to assure that the apprentice keeps a record book.

Those requirements are controlled by the chamber in charge which also advises the companies on all training issues. The final examination is taken by an independent committee of the chamber involving employer, employee and vocational school representatives. This external examination is an important aspect of quality assurance.

Many companies have internal quality assurance systems. Besides there exists a range of specific instruments for the quality assurance of the in-company training, e.g. regular self-assessment of the apprentices.

From 2010 on there was a three year pilot project initiative on “Quality development and assurance in in-company vocational education and training” financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It was aimed especially at small and medium enterprises in order to tackle the question of quality systematically and consistently.

Quality assurance at the vocational schools

The quality assurance of the school part is the task of the Federal States. The framework curriculum is usually either directly adopted by the individual Federal States or adapted into state-specific curricula for the vocational schools. During the last years almost all Federal States started projects or initiatives to improve the quality at the (vocational) schools.