Adult education and training in Austria comprises a widerange of educational establishments with different objectives and programmes on offer. The spectrum of education and training ranges from general education, basic education, and the acquisition of qualifications in ‘second-chance education’, vocational education and training (VET) programmes, on to personal development programmes and higher education programmes [More] (cf. also 8.4). The initial training of teachers in adult education and training is also correspondingly varied:
- Teachers in continuing education and training at schools (e.g. at industrial master colleges, building craftsperson schools) undergo the same initial training as teachers at secondary level (cf. 9.1)
- Teachers in continuing education and training at higher education establishments (e.g. as part of higher education courses) belong to the scientific or artistic staff. They are therefore trained in the same way as teachers as part of Bologna study programmes (cf. 9.4)
There are no legal foundations regarding initial training for teachers in non-school-based or non-higher education-based CET, i.e. in non-profit or commercial adult education establishments and in companies.
- Trainers are often subject experts from a specific branch who, as a rule, receive basic pedagogical/didactic training from the institutions themselves or can be certified by the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (WBA; cf. also 8.4). These trainers usually work on a part-time basis.
- For full-time trainers there is also no mandatory initial training. Many have completed a relevant higher education programme and/or, with many years of professional experience, have obtained expertise in their subject which they bring to CET programmes. All major CET establishments themselves, and also the Federal Institute for Adult Education and individual universities (e.g. Danube University Krems, UNI for LIFE at the University of Graz) offer programmes for the didactic/pedagogical qualification of CET trainers. The WBA, by validating competences, also makes a significant contribution to the professionalisation of trainers. University courses such as educational science, education or business education also qualify graduates to work as teachers in adult education.