Modernising and initiating occupations

If the content or the structure of a training occupation needs to be modernised or if a new occupation needs to be created, the initiative generally comes from the trade associations, the employers’ umbrella organisations, the trade unions or the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

The decision is made by the competent Federal Ministry in coordination with the federal states after consulting all stakeholders. Often the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training first issues a position statement or – especially in the case of a major reform project – carries out a research project.

The development of new training regulations and framework curricula or the adaptation of existing training rules to changing vocational practices proceeds according to a regulated procedure involving the federal government, the state governments, employers, trade unions and vocational education researchers.

The federal and state governments have agreed to limit the duration of such procedures in principle to about a year. The work of the experts should generally be completed by at most eight months after the decision of the Coordinating Committee, the body in which the federal and state governments deliberate.

The regulatory work must take into consideration on the one hand the binding character of the intended legislation specifying the content and goals of the training and on the other hand the dynamics of technological, economic and social development. The use of certain methods or the use of certain technical systems is not a mandatory provision of the training regulation. The objectives are listed in a technologically neutral and function- oriented manner and this it remains open to new developments.

The ensuing procedure for drafting training regulations contains these steps:

  • Defining the “benchmarks” for the training regulation,
  • Elaboration and coordination,
  • Adoption of the regulation.

These steps lead from the application, submitted to the relevant ministry,
to the new occupation.

The "benchmarks" of the training regulation are set in an "application interview" at the relevant ministry (in most cases the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy).

In the elaboration and coordination phase training regulations for the enterprises and framework curricula for vocational schools are prepared and co-ordinated.

The "Federal/State Coordinating Committee on Training Regulations/Framework Curricula" (KoA) gives final approval to the new training regulation and the framework curriculum co-ordinated with it.

It is clear from the restructuring procedure described above that the responsibility and competencies for vocational education and training are interrelated and intertwined. Only through careful weighing up of the various interests and wishes of all those involved can a workable outcome be achieved, since a training regulation will only be accepted by the companies if it has been drafted by consensus by all parties.