City of Bern (Canton of Bern)

City of Bern (Canton of Bern)


City of Bern (Canton of Bern)


City of Bern (Canton of Bern)

Promoter name and country

Bern, Switzerland

Type of provider


Area of implementation

  • urban
  • regional

Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures

In accordance with the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act, the cantons provide occupational, educational and career guidance. Each canton operates corresponding centres for occupational, educational and career guidance. These guidance centres offer guidance, decision aids, information, documents and assessments. In addition, they operate vocational information centres with information about professions, initial education and training, continuing education and training. The Careers Advice Department – Biz offers 8 centres in the Bern Canton region.

Aims of the project

Through information, counseling and guidance, Biz supports people who are in the process of choosing a career or education, or who are concerned with a career change, further education or a professional re-entry.

Target group

  • students
  • ESL
  • Guidance practitioners
  • Teachers
  • NGOs

Description of the target group

Biz supports young people, adults, as well as public and private institutions from the Canton of Bern through information, counseling and monitoring.

Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)

Biz has more than 200 employees.

Methodological approach, activities implemented

The Careers Advice Department of the Canton of Bern informs people of all ages about vocational training, further education and courses of study. They have some divisions of the Biz service: BizStart for career and study selection, BizNext for career planning at any stage, and BizInfo- libraries that provide comprehensive information on topics related to education, career and career development.

They also offer information and resources for teachers and guidance practitioners. Vocational and academic counseling sessions for young people and young adults are free of charge. However, other services and counselling sessions may have associated costs.

There are specific services and resources for the young people who do not complete compulsory school and do not have a follow up solution chosen: Project Triagestelle These bridge sessions are so that the young people and their families can find the suitable option for the young person.

Users of all ages are also referred to the wider Swiss Guidance Resource portal:

Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level

Every year, 65,000 people visit the Careers Advice Centers of Bern who want to develop or change their jobs. They provide information about occupations and educational offers, work with the users to develop career prospects and support them in the implementation of their plans.

Quality is important to the centers: In March 2014, they were awarded the "Commitment to Excellence" of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) as Switzerland's first professional advisory service.

They conduct follow up and survey of users. For example, from a June 2017 press release: “Nearly all of the 8135 young people who left the compulsory school this summer have found a follow-up solution. Only 207 of them were still on the 1st June. This can be seen in the annual survey conducted by the BIZ's vocational advisory and information centers in the canton of Bern in the German-speaking 9th year and the Quarta classes. At the same time, there were still many open apprenticeships.”

Conclusions, lessons learned

The BIZ centres provide independent and unbiased education and career information and guidance. They have a strong emphasis on quality and processes, with an EFQM certification since 2014.

Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability

They have a strong section on monitoring and statistics on their services that is a practice to be examined for transferability to other similar organizations.

Justification as best practice

Biz supports young people, adults, as well as public and private institutions from the Canton of Bern through information, counseling and monitoring.

Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice

  • Prevention

Web references (url, social media presence) - The official Swiss information portal for career, study and career advice

Parameters on which the practice is applicable (check those appropriate)

  • Accessibility
  • Measures and profiles
  • Objectives and needs
  • Common framework and quality standards


BIZ career Advice centre:

June Media release

BIZ statistics and surveys

Triagestelle – Triage bridge services