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FiB in the Education Region Central Switzerland

Background and aims

Individual Specialist Support (Fachkundige individuelle Begleitung (FiB)) has been a fixed provision of 2-year basic Federal VET Certificate programmes in Central Switzerland since 2007.

Specialist Support is divided into two parts: School Support and Individual Support.

VET schools offer School Support. Each school is able to make its own decisions with regard to the support it offers. Whether a fully / semi integrated model or a work-sharing model is employed, the aim of both is to help youths successfully complete the Federal VET Certificate programme and to motivate them to participate on a further Federal VET Diploma programme.
School Support is practiced at 14 schools, 13 of these schools employ the fully integrated model (where School Support is integrated into the school timetable). Here, team teaching is engaged with general education teachers and specialist teachers for 2 lessons per week on the basis of a study workshop. Only one school uses the semi-integrated model (coaching by teachers outside of school hours), this model is also practiced in many other cantons outside of Central Switzerland.

Individual Support is an Individual Specialist Support provision that is initiated at the request of the youths. Individual Support is undertaken by external individuals who support and assist the youth(s) in accordance with an action plan. Currently, 30 learners have requested the Individual Support provision.

The central Swiss School Support and Individual Support variation is to be evaluated. The University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH) has been contracted to carry out this evaluation with a view to quality assurance and quality optimization.


The evaluation addressed various components of Individual Specialist Support (FiB), and groups of individuals directly affected by FiB were included.

The evaluation was performed in three stages:

  • Phase 1: Overview (October 2011 - February 2012): Group discussions were the framework for surveying the officials responsible for Individual Specialist Support in the cantons, the staff in charge of School Support in schools, and Individual Support personnel.
  • Phase 2: Consolidation (February-September 2012): A Web-based interview was used to survey teachers in vocational education and training about their experience and their assessment of the support provided. The final report was backed up by a dossier analysis of learners in six classes where School Support was provided. The teachers performing School Support were also asked about the classes and lessons.
  • In addition, the dossiers of 30 learners receiving Individual Support were analysed and a selection of trainees (N=12), their instructors, parents and Individual Support personnel were interviewed.


The education region Central Switzerland has complemented the integrated, preventive approach in its (almost) universal School Support with Individual Support, generating its own independent model. This has distinct advantages when compared with other models practised in Switzerland. The offering is, moreover, held in high regard by many participants and interviewees. Offering Individual Specialist Support options beyond the occupational communities and canton boundaries is a major undertaking. From an evaluation perspective, if the desire for uniform provision of Individual Specialist Support across Central Switzerland persists, coordinating bodies should (continue to) be in place.



Project Management

Ehemaliger Leiter Forschung und Entwicklung

Project team


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at] zfe