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Trainer, Federal Diploma of Higher Education

With the Federal Trainer Diploma you are a qualified specialist in in-company or external adult education.

Target Group

The programme is designed for professionals who wish to specialise in adult education within an educational institution or in company-based initial and continuing education.

Professional Skills

You will acquire the ability to autonomously develop, teach and evaluate lessons and concepts for adults in your are of expertise.

Candidate Profile

Candidates are expected to be professionally competent in their field of expertise. Previous experience working with learning adults leads to successful outcomes. Hence we strongly recommend that at latest while attending the modules, you teach your own classes or guide adult learners in your practice.


The Federal Trainer Diploma consists of five modules in the ToT modular system (modules ToT FD-M1 to FD-M5) and the evidence of practice. In order to apply for the Diploma, you must submit the five module certificates and the evidence of practice record for the central validation to the Swiss Federation of Adult Learning. The central procedure evaluates the certificates of competence for the modules (FD-M2 to FD-M5) in the ToT system. The central validation replaces the final professional examination.

Module Certificates ToT FD-M1 to FD-M5

SVEB Certificate

The ToT FD-M1 module corresponds to the SVEB Certificate in Teaching Adults Learners.

The certificate is the basic qualification for the Federal Trainer Diploma in the Tot modular system To obtain the SVEB Certificate, you must attend the ToT FD-M1 module and provide evidence of practice.
Certificate of Competence: Recorded evaluation of teaching demonstration.

Module ToT FD-M2

Facilitating Group Processes in Adult Education

36 hours of taught classes, of which at least 4 days / max. 30 hours on consecutive days; 80 hours of independent study.
Certificate of Competence: Written case analysis

Module ToT FD-M3

Facilitating One-to-One Adult Learning

4 days (26 hours) taught in classes; 55 hours independent study
Certificate of Competence: Written record and evaluation of a one-to-one sequence of sessions

Module ToT FD-M4

Designing Educational Programmes for Adults

6 days (39 hours) taught classes; 90 hours independent study.
Certificate of Competence: Written concept for an educational programme

Module ToT FD-M5


Designing Training Based on Teaching Principles for Adults

6 days (39 hours) taught classes; plus 1 hour teaching practice observation and 1 hour oral examination; 90 hours independent study
Certificate of Competence: Planning, teaching and analysis of a training sequence

Additionally group supervision (16 hours, spread over at least five dates) must be attended during modules 4 or 5.

Evidence of Practice

In order to apply for the Federal Trainer Diploma, a minimum of 300 hours of teaching practice over at least 4 years must be proven. At most, one third of the teaching practice hours may be one-to-one or one-to-two lessons.

Obtaining module certificates

There are two ways for candidates to obtain module certificates:

1. Completion of the module courses at a recognised training provider

2. Submission of an application for equivalency assessment (no English version yet, sorry)


Validity of Module Certificates: The certificates for modules FD-M2 to FD-M5 are valid for five years from the date of issue in order to apply for the Federal Trainer Diploma. The date of receipt of the complete admission dossier by the SVEB is decisive.

The SVEB Certificate in Adult Learning is valid without restriction.


To reactivate an outdated module certificate, a Simplified Equivalency Assessment sEA must be passed for each affected FD-module. In any case, first submit your admission dossier with copies of all five FD module certificates.

Applying for the Federal Trainer Diploma

If you have the requisite module certificates and fulfill the teaching practice requirement, you can apply to the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning SVEB for the Federal Trainer Diploma.


The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) requires a two-step process for an application to the Federal Diploma:

Admission Dossier

First, you must compile an admission dossier in order to apply for the Federal Diploma. The application form lists all the documents that must be submitted. Please only submit the admission dossier once you have obtained all the necessary documents.
You will receive written confirmation upon receipt of your documents.

Qualification Dossier

The Commission for Quality Assurance (CQA) must first approve your application based on your admission dossier. If you are admitted to the application process for the Federal Trainer Diploma, they will send you the list of the FD modules for which you must submit further documents. The qualification dossier must be submitted within 12 months of the admission approval. The approval expires after 12 months.

Content of Qualification Dossier

For every FD module certificate M2 to M5 dated from 2015 onwards*, you must submit the respective  certificate of competence and the according assessment record signed by the module teacher trainer.

*Exceptions: Module certificate that you were awarded via an Equivalency Assessment (EA)


The Commission for Quality Assurance (CQA) first decides whether to approve your admission based on your admission dossier. The CQA meets Swiss Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) representatives at least three times a year. The current dates are listed in the right-hand column.

The CQA decides whether central validation is passed or not passed based on the recommendations of the Examination Director and on the second assessment done by experts. At the request of the CQ, the Federal Diploma is issued by the SERI, usually within three months of their validation meeting.


When you submit your admission dossier you will receive an invoice for the admission fee, which must be paid before the CQA meeting.
Once your admission has been confirmed, you will receive an additional invoice to the central validation fee and for the issue and registration of the Federal Diploma by the SERI. Your qualification dossier will only be examined by the expert after you have paid this invoice.

Person-based Funding

On 1 January 2018, the federal person-based funding policy came into force. This means that tuition fees for programmes leading to federal professional diplomas are partially reimbursed after the candidate has taken the exam (passing the exam is not a prerequisite). Once the result of the central validation has been published , SVEB will issue you with an examination attestation, which must be submitted to the SERI with your reimbursement request. For more information on conditions and procedures, see: (no English version yet)