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Learning in company - overview
In Germany, quality assurance in company-based training takes place via a broad range of instruments at all three VET levels – the system level, the intermediate level and the company level, whereby training quality is also secured via interaction between the levels. The following figure will give you an overview about this multi-level system.
Learning in company
Learning at vocational school
Digression: Learning at vocational school
In dual training in Germany, learning takes place at the company and at the vocational school. The way in which quality is assured at the learning venue of the school is briefly outlined below. This brochure is, however, primarily directed at quality assurance mechanisms in company-based training.
Vocational education and training in the Federal Republic of Germany takes account of the particular characteristics of a federal system. The cultural sovereignty of the federal states means that the vocational school system falls within their area of responsibility.
The main task of the vocational schools is to impart specialist theoretical knowledge for the respective occupation. They also offer general subjects such as foreign languages, German, PE and religious studies. (...) read more
Learning in extra-company learning venues
Learning in extra-company learning venues
If a company is unable to impart all training contents at its own training venues, training measures may be conducted at an inter-company vocational training centre or via collaboration with other partners.
Inter-company vocational training centres provide additional support to companies which cannot cover all training contents by dint of their specialisation. This provides a vehicle via which the ability of small and medium-sized companies to provide training can be ensured. Inter-company vocational training centres are funded by the BMBF and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The chambers and their organisations usually act as providers. The chambers are also able to set up their own inter-company vocational training centres. (…) read more
Coorporation between learning venues
Cooperation between companies and vocational schools
Although the relevant legislation stipulates that learning venues are required to work together in the implementation of training (Section 2 Paragraph 3 BBiG), it does not define the precise form such cooperation should take. The reason for this flexibility is that a federal law is unable to set out binding provisions for vocational schools because of the way in which areas of responsibility are distributed between the Federal Government and the federal states. Vocational schools have various options at their disposal, and these need to be agreed with the companies in the region. (…) read more
Suitability of training staff
Trainers must be personally suitable. Those deemed not to be suited are persons who are not permitted to employ children or young people or who have breached the BBiG and its relevant provisions (Section 29 of the BBiG). These are persons who have been convicted in law of certain criminal acts and misdemeanours. Personal aptitude on the part of trainers ensures that their moral attitude and values system are not at variance with youth protection or with the need to comply with the relevant regulations. Persons who may jeopardise the implementation of training or represent a risk to the young people themselves are excluded. (…) read more
The training contract
The training arrangements commence with the conclusion of a training contract and registration of the contract with the competent body. The contractual partners are the trainees and the parties providing training. Parties providing training are defined as parties which recruit other persons for the purpose of vocational education and training. They should be differentiated from those who actually deliver the training in practical terms. These may be the parties providing training themselves or trainers to whom they have assigned the task.
The rights and duties of parties providing training and trainees during training are set out in the BBiG. The keeping of a record of training is accorded a particular role with regard to the documentation of the training process and its quality. (….) read more
Suitability of training venue
Suitability of the company providing training
Not every company is permitted to provide training. The prerequisites for successful training need to be examined in advance. A company may only offer training if both the training staff and the training venue are deemed suitable. If necessary, training may take place at an inter-company vocational training centre or in cooperation with other companies and providers. The company training plan must include the content and time structure of training at the respective learning venues. Stipulation of suitability and monitoring of ongoing compliance with the statutory provisions lie within the area of responsibility of the relevant chamber. (…..) read more
Representation of interests
Representation of interests
If a company has a works council, this body will monitor compliance with the statutory provisions and collective wage agreement regulations that protect the interests of employees (Section 80 of the German Labour and Management Relations Act – BetrVG). Pursuant to Section 60 of the German Labour and Management Relations Act, companies which have at least five employees under the age of 18 or at least five workers who are completing vocational education and training and are aged under 25 are required to elect bodies to represent young people and trainees. The works council has a right of co-determination with regard to the implementation of companybased training measures (Section 96–98 BetrVG). It must involve the body representing young people and (…) read more
The record of training
The BIBB Board Recommendation of 9 October 2012 stipulates rules for the keeping of training records. This type of documentation of the training process encourages trainees to reflect on the course of training. Time and content sequence of training in the company and at the vocational school becomes transparent and demonstrable for the parties involved and for the competent body. To the extent that the duty to keep a record of training is explicitly stated in the training regulations, the presentation of such a record to the examination board is a prerequisite for admission to the final examination. (…..) read me
The company training plan
The training process should be based on the training regulations and general training plan and be categorised in such a way so that the time sequence and the content structure of the vocational education and training become visible. The training plan takes account of general company conditions and of individual facts and circumstances. If parts of training take place outside the training venue, they must be arranged so as to ensure that company-based and extra-company measures intermesh in a useful way and build upon each other.
In its recommendation of 28 March 1972 on the content and time structure of vocational education and training, the Federal Committee for Vocational Education and Training emphasised the role of the training plan as an integral part of the training contract. Alongside a duty to itemise training places and training materials, the recommendation also lists criteria for content and time structure. (…) red more
Duration of Training
Shortening and extension of the period of training
Early admission to the final examination and shortening or extension of the duration of training are possible upon application in order to take account of the particular prerequisites of gifted or disadvantaged trainees. Decisions regarding applications submitted lies within the area of responsibility of the chambers and are made in accordance with the BIBB Board Recommendation of 27 June 2008.
The chamber is required to reduce the vocational training period if the applicant can credibly demonstrate that goal of initial vocational training can be expected to be attained within the shortened period. Such an application must be jointly submitted in writing by the party providing training and the trainee. Application should be made to the chamber at the time of conclusion of contract if possible and no later than one year before the end of the training period. Abbreviation of training may be justified up to a period of (…) read more
Although regulatory competence for vocational education and training and therefore also for VET quality fundamentally rests with the state, it intervenes in the company-based part of training only to a very limited extent. Participation by stakeholder groups is particularly strongly pronounced in vocational education and training. The nature of this involvement is legally regulated. This is an area where company commitment to training, state regulatory competence, employees’ rights of co-involvement and co-determination and the significance of academic research expertise all come together. A further aspect is the fact that the federal states have the right of sovereignty over the educational system and therefore regulate the school-based part of training whilst the Federal Government exercises its competence in the company-based element. Forms of cooperation and provisions for collaboration in the regulation and monitoring of VET are required for this purpose. (...) read more
Guidance and monitoring by competent bodies
Guidance and monitoring by competent bodies
The chambers employ training advisors in order to carry out their tasks in vocational education and training. These advisors usually work on a fulltime basis, although part-time and volunteer staff may also be appointed. Advisors need to fulfil trainer aptitude requirements and demonstrate several years of occupational experience. All interested parties must be notified of their appointment and or their area of responsibility. (…) read more
Trade and professional associations
Trade and professional associations
Many stakeholders closely associated with the regional or sector-specific training system also act at this level. The main bodies involved are trade unions, trade and industry organisations and employers’ and professional associations. They are involved in planning the system via surveys, official statements, studies and further quality enhancement measures and assume a function as an intermediate between training practice and the system level.(…) read more
Organisation of examinations
Final examinations are conducted in the recognised training occupations with the aim of identifying the acquisition of occupational proficiency (berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit). Candidates are required to demonstrate mastery of the necessary occupational skills, possession of the required oc62
cupational knowledge and competences and familiarity with the teaching material imparted via teaching at the vocational school. Both training contents and examination requirements are standardised and thus represent an essential quality characteristic of the dual system. (…..) read more
Vocational guidance and support
Guidance for companies and trainees
The chambers employ training advisors in order to carry out their tasks in vocational education and training. These advisors usually work on a fulltime basis, although part-time and volunteer staff may also be appointed. Advisors need to fulfil trainer aptitude requirements and demonstrate several years of occupational experience. All interested parties must be notified of their appointment and or their area of responsibility. (…..) read more
Research and development
VET research and development
Every reliable quality assurance system requires ongoing monitoring to ascertain whether modifications are needed because of changes to general conditions. Within this context, continuous research is also necessary within vocational education and training in order to achieve timely recognition of developments in the economy and society and of the resultant requirement for adaptation in the vocational education and training system.
The findings thus gleaned facilitate the development of evidence-based solutions for the challenges in the field of company-based training within the dual system. BIBB has a particular role to play in this regard. Vocational education and training research forms part of its statutory remit (Section 90 Paragraph 2 BBiG). This encompasses the clarification of the basic principles underlying vocational education and training, observation of domestic, European and international developments, identification of requirements regarding the contents and aims of VET, preparation of further developments in vocational education and training in respect of changes to economic, societal and technical needs, the promotion of instruments and procedures for the imparting of VET and knowledge and technology transfer (Section 84 BBiG). (…..) read more
Vocational education and training reporting
Regular reporting is required in order to gain knowledge of the respective status or of the general conditions of achievable quality in company-based training. Section 86 of the BBiG states: “The Federal Ministry of Education and Research shall constantly track developments in vocational education and training and shall submit a corresponding report (Report on Vocational Education and Training) to the Federal Government by 1 April each year. The Report shall describe the current state and probable further development of vocational training. If there are indications that a regionally and sectorally balanced supply of initial training places may be at risk, the report shall include proposals for remedying such a situation.” (…..) read more
Modernisation of training regulations
Development of training standards
Training regulations and the process of development, revision and modernisation of such regulations constitute an important cornerstone for the stipulation and securing of quality standards. The basic principle in this regard is division into individual occupations.
Training regulations are developed and negotiated by the social partners, the Federal Government and the federal states on the basis of the so-called consensus principle. Pursuant to Section 5 of the BBiG and Section 26 of the HwO, they include binding elements alongside other optional aspects. Training regulations may also contain voluntary elements such as the possibility of staged training, an extended final examination or the acquisition of additional occupational skills, knowledge and competencies which enhance or expand occupational proficiency (berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit). (…) read more
Training regulations and occupational proficiency (berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit)
Training regulations are based on the occupation principle (Berufsprinzip) and set out nationally applicable minimum standards for the quality of vocational education and training. Pursuant to Section 1 Paragraph 3 of the BBiG, the overarching objective of training is to impart “occupational proficiency”: “The purpose of vocational training is to impart the skills, knowledge and capabilities (occupational proficiency/berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit) necessary in order to engage in a qualified occupational activity in a changing world of work within a regulated course of training. It should also enable trainees to gain the requisite occupational experience.” (…..) read more
Quality assurance via cooperation between the social partners
Although regulatory competence for vocational education and training and therefore also for VET quality fundamentally rests with the state, it intervenes in the company-based part of training only to a very limited extent. Participation by stakeholder groups is particularly strongly pronounced in vocational education and training. The nature of this involvement is legally regulated. This is an area where company commitment to training, state regulatory competence, employees’ rights of co-involvement and co-determination and the significance of academic research expertise all come together. A further aspect is the fact that the federal states have the right of sovereignty over the educational system and therefore regulate the school-based part of training whilst the Federal Government exercises its competence in the company-based element. Forms of cooperation and provisions for collaboration in the regulation and monitoring of VET are required for this purpose. The state, the employer and the employees are at the core of the corporatist German model of vocational education and training. (…..) read more
legal framework (laws, regulations, recommendations, etc.)
Basic legal principles underlying vocational education and training and quality assurance
The organisation of training in Germany is subject to manifold provisions regarding training contents, the examination system and the rights and duties of the parties involved rather than being merely designed to meet the interests of companies and trainees. These stipulations ensure the quality of training. Pursuant to Section 4 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and Section 25 of the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (HwO), training in a state-recognised occupation in Germany may only take place in accordance with the relevant training regulations. (…..) read more
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