Standards in training and education

In 2022, we are going to focus on the importance of standards in training and education, conducting interviews with lecturers, students, vocational school teachers, apprentices and vocational trainers. The subject of standardization is important for all of them in their day-to-day work. We are looking forward to 12 fascinating and very different stories!

SNV Story No. 11: One year of drawing by hand

After seven months of basic vocational training, the apprentice Industrial Draughters (Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training) at Geberit headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona dive headfirst into the world of standards on the very first day of their four-year programme. They stay in the training workshop until the end of their first year, after which they transfer internally to one of several production workshops. From their third year on, they rotate through different departments, spending six months in each. And standards follow them at every turn. But what is an apprentice’s view on standards? And what do they mean to an experienced vocational trainer? Flurin Hochstrasser, third-year apprentice, and Rafael Anner, full-time vocational trainer, give us an insight into their everyday work.

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SNV Story No. 10: When design engineers tackle beaver fur

Is the cover picture of the story a bit confusing for you? We recommend simply reading on and finding out the solution to the mystery. Let us start at the beginning. For this story, we spoke to vocational trainer René Gabriel from the Technical College in Bern. He trains future design engineers who wish to complete a federal diploma of vocational education and training (VET). Many of the young people entering the profession only realize when they start their training how loaded with standards their chosen profession really is. But it would be wrong to conclude from this that the transfer of knowledge must be boring. We illustrate the relationship between theory and practice using the example of a «beaver fur trap».

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SNV Story No. 9: Tinkering according to standards

Each year, around 2000 apprentices are trained in Switzerland as design engineers. Their everyday work is heavily shaped by standards, and would in fact be inconceivable without them. As a result, the provision of knowledge relating to standards is a constant feature of their training. We discussed standards in engineering design training with Thomas Wohlwend, a vocational trainer at libs.

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SNV Story No. 8: Laying a methodological-conceptual foundation

Design, structural calculations, choice of materials, construction phase – until a house is built, many professions work hand in hand. Standards play an absolutely central or a rather subordinate role, depending on the discipline. Professor Oya Atalay Franck is Professor of Architecture and, among other capacities, Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur. She shares with us how the topic of standards is currently woven into architectural and civil engineering education and where she sees potential for improvement.

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SNV Story No. 7: A life full of standards

He studied medical technology at the College of Higher Education for Medical Technology in Sarnen, chose quality management as the topic for his thesis and recently took up a position as Committee Manager at the SNV. Peter Bodika gives us an insight into how education and theory tie in with practice in the field of standardization.

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SNV Story No. 6: Standards compendium

Every apprentice in the Swiss mechanical, electrical and metalworking industry (MEM industry) knows it: the standards compendium. The majority of them use it intensively during their training and later in their everyday working life. First published in 1941, it is now a classic in the industry and indispensable. This month sees the publication of the hot-off-the-press 2022 standards compendium. We visited the volunteer group of authors in the final phase of the creation process.

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SNV Story No. 5: The best way to learn and teach about standards is through case studies

Food is an important aspect of our lives, from cultivation, production and processing to our daily enjoyment of our favourite dishes. For obvious reasons including protecting our health, there are countless legal regulations and standards in these areas. Food Technology students come into contract with standards in their first year of study. We spoke to Dr Evelyn Kirchsteiger-Meier, a lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Wädenswil. She heads up the QM and food law working group and researches and publishes in these fields.

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SNV Story No. 4: Quality management implies continuous learning

Which standard is the best known in the world and can even be found in documents with otherwise foreign characters? If they had to place a bet, most people would probably guess ISO 9001. And they would be sure to win that bet. Incidentally, the standard is available in Switzerland with identical content as SN EN ISO 9001:2015. Whether companies are assessing new suppliers or customers are looking for a quality product – this standard provides security. Quality management officers, QM managers, executive management and lead auditors who want to improve their quality management from a strategic point of view will find the optimal platform for this in the SNV Academy’s further training courses.

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SNV Story No. 3: Careum Bildungszentrum

Last year, the time had finally come: trainee medical-device technicians from the Careum Bildungszentrum (Training Centre) became the first students to receive the Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (VET), graduating to become practitioners with extensive expertise. Anyone opting for this diploma course inevitably finds themselves confronted with all manner of standards. The fact that the Careum Bildungszentrum – whose foundations date back to 1882 – is the leading institution in this regard is underscored by the visionary and pioneering approach taken at the training centre.

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SNV Story No. 2: Standards and gender in design

What do a cement bag, stereotypical children’s rooms and unisex washrooms have in common? They all served Natascha Hess as inspiration and motivation for her bachelor thesis at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland in Basel. Car crash test dummies, personal protective equipment, navigation systems, the size of mobile phones or hand tools – no object is gender-neutral today. “Normen und Gender im Design” (Standards and gender in design) shows how the gender data gap affects norms and standards as well as the design of products. This thesis is not about finger-pointing, but about an outstretched hand.

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SNV Story No. 1: SNV Academy
Where is the best place to learn about standards in Switzerland? The Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV), where everything related to standards comes together. The SNV opened its own academy in 2001, in order to meet the growing need for qualified education and further training on the topic of standards. Today, it offers over 70 courses taught by 30 lecturers from academia and practice. Best of all, SNV members can get 20 per cent off the participation fee. Sandro Micaglio, Head of the SNV Academy, answered our 11 wh-questions.

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