A diploma supplement is an explanatory document issued alongside a tertiary-level professional qualification. It contains information that potential employers in Switzerland and abroad may use to assess the technical competences of qualification holders.
Diploma supplements indicate the reference level assigned to the given professional qualification within the Swiss National Qualifications Framework for Vocational and Professional Qualifications (NQF VPQ) and, by extension, within the EU’s European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF-LLL, often referred to simply as EQF). A diploma supplement describes what the qualification holder is able to do.
Diploma supplements have no influence over whether a qualification and title will be recognised in another country or whether the qualification holder will be admitted to more advanced levels of training.
Diploma supplements are based on the EU’s Europass documents and are therefore a trusted and clear frame of reference for employers all over Europe. Swiss diploma supplements are available in German, French, Italian and English.
For professional qualifications that have already been referenced to the NQF VPQ, a sample diploma supplement may be downloaded directly from the Official List of Vocational and Professional Qualifications.
Issuance of diploma supplements
As soon as a professional qualification has been referenced to the NQF VPQ, all subsequent qualification holders will be issued both their professional qualification and the corresponding diploma supplement.
For federal professional examinations, it is the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) that issues the corresponding diploma supplement together with the professional qualification.
For study programmes, it is the professional education institution that issues the corresponding diploma supplement together with the professional qualification. SERI can provide professional education institutions with a diploma supplement template in .pdf format.
Issuance of diploma supplements for previously awarded professional qualifications
SERI can issue a diploma supplement to holders of a previously awarded professional qualification. A fee of CHF 150.- is charged for this service.
However, a diploma supplement will only be issued for a previously awarded professional qualification if the following requirements are met:
- The professional qualification in question must already be referenced to the NQF VPQ when the request for issuance of the diploma supplement is made.
- The holder of the professional qualification must be legally authorised to use the protected title.
- The previously awarded professional qualification must satisfy the same requirements as those set forth for the current professional qualification. For each professional qualification referenced to the NQF VPQ, SERI will discuss with the professional organisation to determine the exact date from which a previously awarded professional qualification qualifies for issuance of a diploma supplement (i.e. date of the federal professional examination, date of the core syllabus of the professional education institution). This information may be included in the annex of the guidelines indicated below. If the various requirements are met, then the request for a diploma supplement is justified.
- If the requirements described in item 3 above are not met, then the diploma supplement can only be issued to a qualification holder has gained at least five years of full-time work experience from the time he/she was awarded the professional qualification.