Financial support to study for a Swiss federal certificate or diploma

Courses to prepare for a federal professional examination or higher federal professional examination can be partially reimbursed by the Swiss Confederation. This also includes courses leading to a certificate, providing that this certificate is mentioned as a condition to take the targeted federal degree examination.

What are the federal professional degrees?

1-The federal specialist certificate (Brevet Federal- Eidgenössischen Fachausweis)

The federal specialist certificates are aimed at deepening knowledge in a given profession or at building a specific expertise on top of an initial education. Candidates must already have several years of experience in the related professional field. Those who pass these examinations are awarded a federal certificate.

2- The federal diploma (Diplôme fédéral- Eidgenössisches Diplom)

The purpose of the higher professional examinations is twofold: to qualify professionals as experts in their field and to prepare them to management roles. These examinations are also aimed at graduates of universities and higher education schools who wish to deepen and broaden their professional qualifications. Candidates who pass a higher professional examination receive a federal diploma.

Education Courses

Candidates for the professional and higher professional degrees can follow upstream courses in parallel with a professional activity. These courses are optional. They allow participants to prepare for the examinations according to their own needs and personal situation.

Education courses are organized by cantonal educational institutions, training centres, professional associations and private training providers. 

The structure of the preparatory courses varies from profession to profession. Most last between two and three semesters. They take place during the day, in the evening or at weekends. The number of years of professional experience also play the decisive role in the acquisition of operational skills.

Which courses are concerned by the financial support of the Swiss confederation?

The eligible courses are listed on the SERI (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) website.

The 4 main conditions to benefit from the financial support:

1.    Be domiciled in Switzerland. The nationality of the participants is irrelevant.

2.    The course needs to be registrated in the SEFRI course list 

3.    The provision of a proof of payment: participants shall submit, firstly, invoices in their own name and, secondly, certificates of payment of the relevant course fees paid for the preparatory course(s) concerned.

4. Take the federal exam: Be present for the examination itself. Success to the examination is not a criteria for reimbursement.

Rm. In principle, it is not possible to obtain the federal financial support for university continuing education offers such as Master of Advanced Studies (MAS), Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) and Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) . The offers of higher education (ES) and postgraduate studies are not eligible for this financial support as they are already financed by the Swiss cantons.

Find here more details about the condition.

When to apply for the financial support?

The full course fee must be paid upfront by the participant himself or herself (or in some cases by the employer). Participants submit their reimbursement request after passing the federal review.

How much is the financial support?

People who have attended a course receive a 50% refund of the course fees taken into consideration. The upper limit is set at CHF 9’500 for a professional examination (course fee: CHF 19’000) and CHF 10’500 for a higher professional examination (course fee: CHF 21’000).

How does it work with the tax declaration?

The amount of the federal grant should be reported under « Other Income » in the tax declaration. The course fees and the grant must be declared for the fiscal period concerned. When they relate to the same fiscal period, they offset each other.

How to apply?

The application is online: https://feds.eiam.admin.ch/adfs/ls/. Rm. You should first register yourself as a new user via the option «CH-LOGIN».