Our commitment to education

The examiner activity at the IHK

Twice a year, trainees take their final oral exams before the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. A few weeks ago, we also stood in an IHK examination room. Hilke Fahl has been a volunteer examiner at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce since 2014, serving on the committee for the final oral examination for office management trainees.

Currently, over 150,000 people serve on audit committees. What initially sounds like a large number is, on closer inspection, a just right constellation. After all, more than 600,000 intermediate and final examinations in vocational training and more than 60,000 further training examinations take place every year. According to §40 of the Vocational Training Act, a committee is made up of at least three people: An employer, an employee and a teacher from the vocational school.

FACO employees

No exam without examiner

At the SIHK this examination board is constant and well staffed. This means that there are more than the minimum of three examiners available for each appointment. Not a matter of course, because other committees regularly advertise for reinforcement. Because if a committee is not complete, no examinations take place. A risk not only for examinees, but also for companies that need personnel. To become a member of an examination board, you need teaching skills, professional experience and, above all, commitment. This is because being an examiner is an honorary position that is usually remunerated with an expense allowance of around €7 per hour. Being an examiner is therefore an attitude, a conviction.

For us, taking responsibility means continuing our own education, being committed to education and offering trainees optimal learning conditions in the company. The fact that the perception of good training is different for every company is reflected in the final examinations. We experience examinees who have received little technical training and who lack essential knowledge. The result is a maximum of average examination grades or even a failure.

In most cases, however, we experience a self-confident and present generation. One examinee was able to convince us so much in the oral final examination that we invited him to an interview when we learned that he could not be taken on by his company.

The "new" oral final examination for office management assistants

For about two years now, the examinations have been conducted on a more individual basis. The examinees have the option of choosing between two 20-minute variants in advance in accordance with Section 4 (3) of the Office Management Traineeship Ordinance.

In the familiar version, the trainee chooses one of two specialist tasks on site, prepares it in a separate room and then presents the results to the committee. Afterwards, the committee asks questions and a case-related technical discussion takes place. This is a situation description, for example, about a quotation or complaint handling. In the new option, the trainee prepares two reports in advance on the performance of a technical task in his training company. The committee selects one report which forms the core of the examination. The examinee can thus contribute in advance to what will be examined. Questions outside the context of the report are not allowed. In addition, the examinee is allowed to bring the report into the exam as an aid. The extent to which the report variant will remain in place in the long term or be further adapted will be determined by practice and the experience reports of the examiners.

Honorary office with advantages

The examiner activity contributes to the fact that we can train up-to-date and prepare our trainees well for the exams. We are close to the practice.

With our commitment, we ensure that training is made possible and completed. We also value the exchange with our fellow examiners. We will continue to be involved because we want to actively contribute to good training and not only in our company.