The Board is the executive body of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and also the German government's statutory advisory body in fundamental matters regarding vocational education and training. Representatives of employers, trade unions, Germany's federal states and the federal government work together on the Board, with each group having an equal share of votes.
Each of these four "benches" has eight votes, regardless how many members it has. The federal government's five representatives always cast their vote unanimously. A representative of the Federal Employment Agency and a representative of municipal government associations that are active at national level may also take part in decisions in an advisory capacity.
The Board adopts the Institute's medium-term research programmes and annual research programmes, establishes its budget, gives formal approval to the actions of the president, makes recommendations for fostering and progressively developing vocational education and training, and may issue written opinions on the German government's annual vocational training report. In addition, it publishes written opinions on all training regulations and statutory instruments issued by the federal government in connection with advanced training examinations.
A standing committee comprised of 16 members of the Board - four per bench - prepares the meetings of the Board and conducts the Board's business between meetings. Two other committees were set up for vocational training research at BIBB and for the annual consultations on the draft of the government's vocational training report and the BIBB budget.
Extract from the new Federal Vocational Training Act
Section 92 Board
(1) In addition to the tasks assigned to it under other provisions of this Act, the Board shall have the following further tasks:
- It shall determine the affairs of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training insofar as these have not been assigned to the President;
- It shall advise the Federal Government on basic issues relating to vocational education and training and may submit an opinion on the draft Report on Vocational Education and Training;
- It shall determine the annual research programme;
- It may make recommendations concerning the uniform application of this Act;
- It may state its views on the draft ordinances prepared by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training pursuant to section 4 subsection (1), taking into account the corresponding draft framework curricula for school-based training;
- It shall determine the affairs of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training specified in section 90 subsection (3), numbers 3 and 4, and in section 97 subsection (4).
(2) The President shall inform the Board without delay of instructions to carry out tasks pursuant to section 90 subsection (3), number 1, and of administrative provisions issued pursuant to section 90 subsection (3), number 2.
(3) The Board shall consist of eight representatives each of the employers, the employees and the Länder as well as five representatives of the Federation. The representatives of the Federation shall have eight votes which may only be cast en bloc; they shall have no right to vote on matters concerning advice to the Federal Government on basic issues relating to vocational education and training, on the opinion concerning the draft Report on Vocational
Education and Training, and within the framework of consultations pursuant to this Act.
One representative each of the Federal Employment Agency, the organizations of municipal associations established at federal level and the Research Council may attend the meetings of the Board in an advisory capacity.
(4) The employers' representatives shall be appointed on the proposal of the organizations of the chambers, employers' associations and industrial associations established at federal level, the employees' representatives on the proposal of the trade unions organized at federal level, the federal representatives on the proposal of the Federal Government, and the representatives of the Länder on the proposal of the Bundesrat. They shall be appointed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for a period not exceeding four years.
(5) The Board shall elect for the period of one year one member to serve as chair and another member to serve as deputy chair. The chair shall be proposed in turn by the representatives of the employers, the employees, the Länder and the Federation.
(6) The members of the Board shall serve in an honorary capacity. Insofar as they receive no compensation from any other source, they shall be paid appropriate compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and for loss of earnings, at a rate to be fixed by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training with the approval of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Such approval shall be granted in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance.
(7) Members may be removed from the Board for good cause after consultation with the parties involved in their appointment.
(8) The representatives shall have substitutes. Subsections (4), (6) and (7) shall apply, mutatis mutandis.
(9) The Board may, according to the provisions of the statutes, appoint subcommittees which may include as their members persons other than members of the Board. The membership of the subcommittees shall include representatives of the employers, the employees, the Länder and the Federation. Subsections (4) to (7) shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the subcommittees.
(10) The Board shall not be bound by any instructions in the execution of its tasks.