The area of health, public services and care occupations is currently undergoing far-reaching change. Working conditions, the way work is organized and our concept of work have changed radically. This has been due first and foremost to shifts in age and health structures among the population, new approaches to health care, child-rearing/education and long-term nursing care, and changing needs in connection with fostering and supporting health and education - all occurring against a backdrop of demographic change. At the same time, occupational requirements have increased and occupational qualification requirements have grown substantially. As a result, occupations in the area of health services, public services and care services have become very important to society.
Division 4.4 conducts occupational research and qualification analyses in all areas of health services, public services and care services which include long-term care and education-related occupations, primary health care and rehabilitation occupations, occupations in the medical and diagnostic technology fields, secondary human health field and domestic sciences, hospitality services, recreation and leisure time field and a number of new service occupations in various sectors.
Besides occupation-related qualifications research, this division's work also focuses on conducting basic analyses of current trends in the initial and continuing training field and on the early identification of new training requirements in health, public and care services. Division 4.4 uses systematic long-term monitoring to gather all relevant statistical information about health, public and care service occupations which it edits and processes.
Another area of focus - alongside occupational and qualification research - is the drafting of initial and continuing training regulations for occupations in the health, public and care services fields which fall under the purview of the Vocational Training Act.
Working on the basis of federal legislation that regulates vocational training for recognized occupations, Division 4.4 has also developed VET curricula, training materials (learning situations, commentaries, etc) for geriatric care, health care and nursing care occupations. These materials have met with a positive response from experts. Its training curriculum for geriatric care training was awarded a top prize by the Robert Bosch Foundation in 2003.
Division 4.4 is also home to the Disabled Persons Committee, one of the most important bodies for fostering the occupational integration of disabled persons.