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SVEB – Swiss Federation for Adult Learning

SVEB is the Swiss national umbrella organisation for adult education and operates as a professional association and pressure group. We are represented through offices in all three language regions. In addition, we also manage the national training-of-trainers system and are responsible for eduQua, the national quality label for adult learning providers. Our offices in Italian- and French-speaking Switzerland are actively supported by regional networks.

Since 1951 we have pioneered adult learning in Switzerland. We have campaigned for an effective and forward-looking adult education system and devoted ourselves to achieving a high level of quality in adult learning opportunities throughout Switzerland. We set high standards in the work we do, which includes developing innovative approaches to adult education and the conditions surrounding it. An optimal network of diverse players is a key aim for us and forms the basis for our activities.

The 750 SVEB members represent private and state institutions for adult education, associations, in-house training departments and individuals. SVEB is financed by membership fees, state subsidies, national and European project activities and the sale of services, products and publications. Since 2017 we have had a performance agreement with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, which covers a substantial part of our specialist work.


1. Education policy

The area of education policy includes many activities that seek to improve the framework for adult education. SVEB is actively involved in education policy developments and comments on current issues.
SVEB played a decisive and active role in the adoption of the Federal Act on Continuing Education and Training, which was introduced in January 2017.

2. Development and innovation

Its Development and Innovation Department comprises research activities, a Think Tank for the future of adult learning, international activities and pilot projects as well as conceptual developments. The department implements a wide range of projects by working on innovative and future-oriented goals for lifelong learning. One major thematic focus is the area of basic skills. To achieve these goals, SVEB works with many partners both at home and abroad to disseminate and exploit results. SVEB regularly publishes studies and specialist articles on continuing education and training.

In its function, SVEB has been promoting adult education in Switzerland through several national and international projects. These projects are based on SVEB’s long-term commitment to improving the quality of adult education. SVEB has been able to share its experience and participate in several EU projects.

3. Professionalisation

SVEB is responsible for providing the national training-of-trainers system and heads its administrative office. We do not offer any courses ourselves, but are responsible for the system and its quality as well as for the awarded qualifications.

Quality is another part of the field of professionalisation. SVEB is responsible for the eduQua label, which was developed specifically for providers of continuing education and training. SVEB also heads the eduQua office. But this office is not in charge of certifications. Instead, these are within the sphere of competence of the national certification offices, which are also responsible for other quality labels.

4. Communication, Marketing and Events

With, SVEB runs a national continuing education and training platform which addresses experts and monitors all major subject-specific and education policy developments in continuing education and training.

In addition, with, SVEB runs a national course database with some 40,000 continuing education and training courses across all topics of general and job-related continuing education and training.

SVEB publishes the specialist journal Education Permanente, which is the only specialist journal in Switzerland specialising in continuing education and training. The journal comes out four times a year.

Strong commitment to knowledge exchange and the formation of networks is very important to us. For this purpose, SVEB organises around 30 conferences and workshops a year in all language regions.

We provide our services not only to our members but also to interested organisations, professionals and learning institutions.

5. Formation of networks

Networks form a very important basis for the work of SVEB. We have built up a large number of networks for experts and are currently coordinating several such networks ourselves, mainly in the fields of training-of-trainers, basic skills, and research on continuing education and training.

In parallel to this, SVEB is itself also active in national and international networks. SVEB was a founding member of the European Association for the Education of Adults EAEA, for example, and is today also on its board.

With its formation of networks, SVEB encourages wide exchange in the field of continuing education and training and builds bridges between the worlds of academia, practice and politics.

International SVEB Newsletter

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Archive International SVEB Newsletter

In the International SVEB Newsletter, we are reporting twice a year on our activities in the field of international adult education.