The Educational Program for Vehicle Restorers in Switzerland

For decades, vehicle restorers in Switzerland passed on their knowledge to young apprentices without a training framework and comprehensive curriculum. In 2011, the Interessengemeinschaft Fahrzeugrestauratoren Schweiz (IgFS) was founded as an independent professional association for restorers of historic vehicles and their suppliers. The unique network of specialists and general contractors in this field now includes over 70 members who share their knowledge and skills. The association sets its standards in accordance with the FIVA Technical Code and the Turin Charter, so that collectors and owners can be sure that their vehicles will be professionally conserved, restored, repaired and maintained.

In close cooperation with the road traffic authorities of ASTRA and all relevant vehicle trade associations, IgFS is working today to promote the active use of yesterday's vehicles on tomorrow's roads.

Together with VSCI & AGVS/UPSA and the Berufsfachschule Baden, IgFS has created courses for in-depth training. Unlike other educational models in the trade (e.g. in the UK and Germany), 
the Federal Certificate of Qualification (Eidgenössischer Fachausweis) includes a state-recognized professional examination and a qualification recognized according to international educational standards.


  The first course for vehicle mechanics and electricians started in November 2015, followed shortly thereafter by the first course on sheetmetal/bodywork. Additional courses in vehicle painting and upholstery/interior design are in preparation. The first theoretical and practical exams with 14 examinees took place in January 2018. In the meantime, 12-15 graduates followed each year.

The educational materials and a large number of textbooks and historical documents about technology and repair of historic vehicles are archived on a digital platform, to be readily available for our students. Supported by the booster club,  this knowledge database is continually expanded, developed, and complemented with additional material. In this way, for example a full size sectional car model from 1930 could be acquired, plus a extensive library of historic books and professional materials related to vehicle painting. This ensures that important expertise in the preservation, repair and restoration of historic vehicles will be preserved in the hands and minds of professionals on the longterm.


The education combines practical skills with in-depth theoretical knowledge and includes everything required for qualified professional work and running a restoration workshop.  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. Thus, it is equivalent with other official trade school 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 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.


The courses also have been translated and adapted for the french speaking cantons 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, and facilities and course structures establisehd.
The program also includes free workshops for the members of IgFS, so continuous training is provided in the same way for the specialists already working in the trade.


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