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The German skilled craft sector’s systemic quality standards for international VET cooperation

As part of the SCIVET project, the following systemic quality standards have been developed, reflecting the German skilled craft sector’s fundamental understanding of “dual IVET” as a combination of practical on-the-job training in companies and theoretical learning in VET colleges. For those German VET specialistsproviding support to non-German partners in international VET cooperation projects, these standards serve as an orientation and reference, helping them to identify, together with their non-German partners, overarching development targets and to define suitable support services for achieving them.

Click here to select one of the Standards

1. The VET key player dialogue

Working on a par with the other stakeholders involved, mandated representatives from the local economy (employers and employee organisations= the sector representatives)contribute todefining both IVET scheme contents and the mechanisms governing the VET system.

1st criterion:
The selection of the participants for the key player dialogue on managing the VET system reflects the requirements of the local economy.


1) All mandated representatives have clearly defined tasks and interests in the field of VET.
2) They have good working knowledge and experience ofbusiness reality in their respective sectors.
3) They represent large, medium-sized, small and micro companies.
4) They have the necessary experience and know-how to positively contribute to the dialogue.

2nd criterion:
All mandated representatives involved have the same rights.


1) All mandated representatives have the same right to submit proposals in the VET steering bodies.
2) All mandated representatives have the same voting rights in in the VET steering bodies.

3rd criterion:
The definition of IVET scheme contents and how IVET schemes are organised is based on the experience of employers and employees.


1) The mandated representatives define job-orientated content requirements for IVET schemes and set down how individual IVET schemes will be organised.
2) The mandated representatives provide feedback on draft IVET scheme regulations and possibly on VET college curricula.
3) The mandated representatives definitively adopt the job-oriented IVET scheme contents.

4th criterion:
A state institution moderates and documents the key VET player dialogue, taking account of current and future developments.


1) The key player dialogue is moderated by a state institution.
2) The results of this dialogue are documented.

2. Legal framework

The state is responsible for creating the legal framework for apprenticeship-based IVET.

1st criterion:
Legally binding regulations governing the organisation and implementation of an IVET scheme are established and published.


1) Apprenticeship-based IVET is anchored in law, including its company, VET college and possible inter-company components.
2) The tasks of the respective players are defined.
3) The companies have the task of providing apprentice ship training within the context of their routine work and business processes and in accordance with the regulations. The VET colleges are responsible for teaching mainly theoretical knowledge.
4) The diplomas awarded after successful completion of an apprenticeship are state-recognised.
5) Apprenticeship funding is governed by binding agreements.
6) The adopted regulations are the result of a consensus gained in a dialogue between the key VET players.
7) The adopted regulations are openly accessible.

2nd criterion:
Regulations for IVET schemes in specific trades are created and published.


1) Each trade has a standard title and definition.
2) IVET scheme contents are not company-specific and are aimed at providing apprentices with a broad base of fundamental skills in their trade.
3) The knowledge, skills and capabilities to be acquired by apprentices are set forth in legally-binding scheme regulations.
4) The curricula (subjects and allotted time and sequence) for teaching the knowledge, skills and capabilities are set.
5) The duration of each IVET scheme is set.
6) The type of examination is set.
7) Examination requirements are set.
8) The adopted regulations are openly accessible.

3rd criterion:
Each apprenticeship is governed by a legally-binding contract between the company providing the apprenticeship and the apprentice.


1) The rights and duties of an apprentice are legally defined and transparent.
2) The rights and duties of the IVET providers (the company providing the apprenticeship and the VET college) are legally defined and transparent.
3) Apprentices and IVET providers are bound by a contractual agreement.

4th criterion:
A competent institution is responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of the on-the-job side of the training in the companies.


1) The competent institution has a legally defined mission.
2) The competent institution has no company ties, thereby ensuring neutrality in performing its mission.
3) The tasks of the competent institution are clearly defined.
4) The competent institution has the human and financial resources to perform the necessary monitoring in companies.
5) The competent institution supports and accompanies the on-the-job side of the training.

3. The company and VET college as places of learning

The responsibilities of a company and a VET college as places of learning are defined, as is their interaction.

1st criterion:
The various places of learning and their respective remits are defined.


1) Alongside the company and its defined remit as a place of learning, a VET college is defined with a respective remit. In the case of inter-company on-the-job training, the respective remit is similarly defined.
2) Together, the respective places of learning are responsible for ensuring that the task-oriented IVET content is appropriately taught.
3) The places of learning work to specific, mutually interacting IVET scheme regulations and curricula.

2nd criterion:
The respective IVET processes in the various places of learning are transparent.


1) The IVET scheme regulations and curricula are known to all involved, both in the company and in the VET college.
2) In the case of additional inter-company on-the-job training, it is clear who does what.

3rd criterion:
The close interaction between the on-the-job side of the apprenticeship (and possible inter-company arrangements) and the theoretical side in a VET college is ensured.


1) Time scheduling and other aspects regarding the organisation of an apprenticeship are coordinated between the two sides.
2) The IVET documentation mirrors the practical and theoretical contents of an apprenticeship and their interaction.

4th criterion:
The suitability of the IVET providers (colleges and companies) and their staff (management and trainers) are ensured.


1) The company (and inter-company training centres, if applicable)is suitable as an IVET provider.
2) The company’s training staff have the necessary work and teaching skills for the trade in question.
3) The VET college is state-recognised and has the necessary equipment and resources.
4) Its teaching staff have the necessary work and teaching skills for the trade in question.
5) The VET college management has the necessary management qualifications.

4. Examination

Acquisition of the required occupational proficiency (ability to act in a professional manner and take decisions autonomously) is assessed by a final examination.

1st criterion:
The examination procedure and the way it is conducted are determined in a binding manner.


1) The way examinations are conducted and who is responsible for what are clearly defined.
2) Generally accepted rules set down how an examination is to be conducted.
3) The rules ensure that employers, employees and VET college representatives are involved in defining the examination procedure on an equal footing.
4) A competent examination institution with a legally defined remit adopts and publishes the rules.

2nd criterion:
Examinations give objective and reliable proof of the acquisition of the occupational proficiency.


1) The competences to be examined are set forth in the IVET regulations for the respective trade.
2) The examination questions are suitable for checking the acquired competences of the respective occupational profile.
3) Examinations are compiled and assessed by experts from the trade.
4) The examination questions are task-oriented and suitable for assessing in a differentiated manner whether the examination requirements are met.
5) The examination requirements and criteria used to determine whether a candidate has passed are clearly defined.
6) The framework conditions for examinations are the same for all candidates.

3rd criterion:
The diploma proving that a candidate has passed the state-recognised examination is accepted by the domestic business community.


1) A diploma is awarded to successful candidates by the competent examination institution.
2) The diploma is generally valid.
3) The diploma certifies the successful acquisition of the respective occupational proficiency.
4) Candidates presenting such a diploma are given priority consideration by local businesses when applying for skilled jobs.
5) The diploma opens the door to further qualifications.

5. VET research

The continuous development and modernisation of the VET system are backed by surveys, contributions and impulses from the academic world.

1st criterion:
Research into VET takes place.


1) There is at least one academic institution conducting research into VET.
2) Data on the labour market, new technologies, methodology and new teaching methods is regularly collected and assessed.
3) On the basis of the collected and assessed data, new concepts for teaching the theoretical and practical skills of the trade are developed and tested.
4) The research results are published.

2nd criterion:
The development and modernisation of occupational profiles are supported academically.


1) When necessary, all mandated representatives are provided with advice by academic (research) institutions.
2) Academic (research) institutions support the continual development of occupational profiles in line with the changing skill requirements of the local economy.

6. Continuing vocational education and training (CVET)

Upon completion of an apprenticeship, further CVET offerings open the door to individual career paths.

1st criterion:
In line with the economy’s needs, CVET offerings upgrading IVET competences are developed and implemented.


1) CVET offerings are available.
2) CVET offerings are coordinated in a dialogue between all VET players.
3) The job-related requirements are defined.
4) The contents of CVET offerings are aligned with those of IVET offerings.
5) Opportunities to gain qualifications to train apprentices and to run a skilled craft company are part and parcel of the CVET system.


2nd criterion:
Rules set down how CVET qualifications are acquired.


1) The adopted rules are generally valid and legally binding.
2) The title of the CVET offering is set.
3) A set of rules govern access to the examination.
4) Examination requirements are set.
5) The time allowed for the examination is set.
6) The type of examination is defined.
7) The diplomas are state-recognised.

3rd criterion:
Detailed information on the CVET offerings is made available.


1) The information is openly accessible.
2) There is at least one point of contact providing information and advice on the offerings.

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