There are two federally recognised formal initial VET qualifications in Switzerland, the Federal VET Diploma for 3-year and 4-year VET programmes and the Federal VET Certificate for 2-year VET programmes. Federal diplomas and certificates are awarded after successful completion of the qualification procedure at the end of the apprenticeship. Intermediary examinations and grades are displayed in reports from the vocational school. The Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB) is an additional examination to attain direct access to Universities of Applied Sciences.

The qualification procedure (Qualifikationsverfahren) usually marks the end of the apprenticeship. The final exam as a rule includes the following qualification areas: practical skills, occupational competences and general education. Additionally, the grade for practical experience (Erfahrungsnote) from the vocational school lessons as well as the grades for practical experience from the branch courses and the host company are calculated into the final mark. The final grade for the apprentice displays the median of the weighed grades of all the subjects covered in the final ex-amination and the grade awarded for practical experience.

3-year or 4-year VET programmes lead to a Federal VET Diploma. 2-year VET programmes lead to a Federal VET Certificate. Learners enrolled in a 3-year or 4-year VET programme for the Federal VET Diploma can take an additional preparatory course for the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB) Examination, which they can take as soon as they finish their apprenticeship.

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is currently conducting a project in order to simplify the qualification procedures for all VET qualifications on a systematic level. The project aims to introduce defined benchmark figures to the qualification procedures as well as pre-defined building blocks (QV Elemente, qualification procedure elements) for the qualification pro-cedures. This toolbox concept (QV Baukasten) will reveal the interplay between the elements of the qualification procedure such as the areas of qualification, the grade for practical experience and the minimum standards. An overview of the possible forms and instruments to conduct an exam will be available. The public-private partnership (PPP) of VET will define binding as well as recommended benchmarks for the design, the implementation and conduction of the qualification procedure.

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