Continuing Education and Training Act (CETA)

Continuing education and training refers to a broad range of non-formal learning (i.e. outside the framework of formal education). Specifically, CET takes the form of structured courses, with learning programmes and a defined teaching-learning relationship.

The Federal Act of 20 June 2014 on Continuing Education and Training (CETA, SR 419.1, in force since 1 January 2017) is intended to enhance the quality and transparency of CET courses and to create more equal opportunities. CETA was enacted following adoption of a constitutional article on continuing education and training (Art. 64a Cst). This federal legislation positions CET within the Swiss education system and establishing the following guiding principles: encourage greater responsibility, improve quality, foster the recognition and validation of prior learning to facilitate access to formal education and training programmes and qualifications, create more equal opportunities and promote competition. These guiding principles are intended to serve as a frame of reference in special federal and cantonal legislation. CETA also establishes uniform conditions for the awarding of CET subsidies under special federal legislation.

CETA also contains provisions on measures aimed at encouraging adults to acquire and maintain basic skills (reading, writing, speaking in a national language, mathematics, information and communication technologies). The cantons receive subsidies from the Confederation in this area.

Finally, CETA provides for contributions to be paid to continuing education organisations that pursue activities at national level in Switzerland and provide overarching services for continuing education and training.