VET office

The cantons are responsible for implementation of the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA, SR 412.10). In most cases, the competent authority is the cantonal VET office, the cantonal Office for Upper-Secondary Education and Training or other cantonal unit responsible for vocational education and training (e.g. VET/CET Unit or VET Unit). VET offices serve as a cantonal competence centre for all matters concerning vocational education and training (VET). In some cantons, vocational, educational and career guidance is also attached to the local cantonal VET office.

The cantons provide funding and coordinate vocational education and training in accordance with VPETA and cantonal legislation. They are directly responsible for their activities.

Cantonal VET offices supervise VET programmes for the three main learning locations (i.e. host companies, VET schools and branch training centres), organise examinations and other qualification procedures and ensure that quality is developed at all three learning locations in collaboration with partners.

Cantonal VET offices take part in the continuous development of vocational education and training; they can either launch and implement projects themselves, join the projects of other bodies and fund them.

They also coordinate their work on a regional, linguistic and national level within the framework of the Swiss Conference of VET Offices (SBBK), which is a specialised conference of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). They work with the Confederation and professional organisations. Cantonal VET offices also ensure that learners are mobile by means of intercantonal agreements: Intercantonal Agreement on Vocational Schools; Intercantonal Agreement on Universities of Applied Sciences (ICA-UAS).

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