The Educational Program for Vehicle Restorers in Switzerland

For the past decades, proven professionals in Switzerland with expert knowledge in vehicle restoration aimed to pass on their skills to young apprentices. In 2009, the former Fédération Suisse des Vehicules Anciens (now Swiss Historic Vehicle Federation, SHVF) initiated the idea of creating an specalist association and a new occupational profile called «Vehicle Restorer” in Switzerland. In 2011, the Interessengemeinschaft Fahrzeugrestauratoren Schweiz (IgFS) was founded as independent, professional association for restorers of historic vehicles and their suppliers. This unique network of both specialists and all-rounders in the field now includes more than 70 members, who exchange their knowledge and expertise. The association sets their standards in accordance to the FIVA Technical Code and the Charter of Turin, so collectors and owners can be sure to have their vehicles professionally preserved, restored, repaired and maintained.

 

In close cooperation with ASTRA, the road traffic authorities, and all relevant associations in the vehicle trade, IgFS pursues the active use of yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads.

 In a joint effort with the professional associations in charge (VSCI, AGVS/UPSA) and the Berufsfachschule Baden, IgFS established courses for in-depth education. In contrast to other educational models (for example, in the UK and Germany), this education includes a state-recognized final exam (Berufsprüfung) and certificate, the Eidgenössischen Fachausweis as “vehicle restorer”.

 

 In November 2015, the first course in the field of mechanics / electrics was launched, and the course on  sheetmetal/bodywork followed shortly thereafter. Additional training courses relating to vehicle painting and upholstery / interior work currently are in preparation. The first exams with 14 candidates were held in January 2018. The graduates now have received the sought-after professional title of "vehicle restorer” with Eidgenössischem Fachausweis (Swiss Federal Certificate). More graduates follow now each year.

All educational materials and contents, together with a large number of textbooks and historical documents about technology and repair of historic vehicles are archived on a digital learning platform and readily available to our students. This database of knowledge is continually expanded, developed, and complemented by educational material acquired with the help of our booster club. In this way for example, we have been able to acquire a full size sectional car model from 1930, and a considerable library with historic books and materials related to professional vehicle painting. This makes sure that important expertise in the preservation, repair and restoration of historic vehicles  will not be lost and can be preserved in the hands and minds of professionals on the longterm.

 

The vehicle restoration degree combines practical skills with in-depth theoretical knowledge and testifies all skills required for qualified professional work.  Along the lines of the National Qualification Framework (NQR) in Switzerland and the European Union Qualification Framework, it complies with level 5 in international educational standards. This means, it is equivalent with official degrees like for example the German master craftsmen certificate (Meisterprüfung) in other traditional trades. The course fees comply with official courses in other crafts and they are supported by state funding in the same way. Recognizing this, the program received the Culture Award of the Fédération Internationale des Vehicules Anciens (FIVA) in 2019.

 

Our courses currently are translated and adapted for the french speaking part of Switzerland, where local educational partners started the training in 2021. In a next phase, the italian speaking part of the country will also supplied with the course materials in Italian, plus related facilities and course structures.
Our program is established permanently and supplemented by free periodic workshops organized for the members of IgFS, so continuous training is also provided for specialists already working in the trade.

 

You can find more details and on how to take part on the program's website: www.fahrzeugrestaurator.ch