Generally, the cantons are responsible for education in Switzerland. However, vocational and professional education and training is regulated by the Confederation in cooperation with the cantons. They are represented on national level through the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) represents the Confederation in the case of VPET.

Furthermore ,the private sector contributes substantially to the VPET-system by defining training contents, offering apprenticeship-positions and contributing to the financing of the system. The public authorities regulate their contribution.

VET accreditation

Companies have to be qualified in order to offer an apprenticeship position and to agree on apprenticeship contracts with learners. Therefore, they have to pass an accreditation process. Cantonal VET offices are in charge of issuing these accreditations. The companies submit an application to offer apprenticeship positions in a given occupation. The cantonal VET office examines the application and a cantonal VET inspector visits the company. The VET trainer at the firm must holdthe corresponding Federal VET Diploma (or similar as defined) and have attended the training course for VET trainers (40 lessons). The cantonal VET inspector checks whether the VET professional at the host company is qualified as VET trainer. The relevant criteria are described in the VET ordinance of the specific VET programme. The Confederation (SERI) issues this ordinance. The host company also has to prove that its infrastructure is adequate for offering an apprenticeship and that the premises of the host company suit the training of the practical content of the apprenticeship. After the visit of the VET inspector, the company receives VET accreditation for the specified occupation. Henceforth, the company may advertise its open apprenticeship positions in the cantonal apprenticeship register (LENA).

Materials/Links:

• VET accreditation (Example of Canton Aargau)
Cantonal apprenticeship register LENA (Example canton Aargau)