E-commerce specialist with federal diploma (federal professional examination)

Two women and a man talking on a laptop

Two women and a man talking on a laptop

New diploma E-commerce specialist with federal diploma (federal professional examination)

Published on 01.06.2023 by Marco Müller and graduate intern Digital Commerce Consulting Swiss Post and Patrick Kessler, President HANDELSVERBAND.swiss

The ongoing structural change in the retail sector calls for new offers in higher vocational training that meet the professional requirements related to the digital sector. The TEPEC supporting association (which is made up of the retail associations HANDELSVERBAND.swiss, BDS Bildung Detailhandel Schweiz and HANDEL Schweiz), has initiated further training for federal e-commerce specialists. The new professional certificate was presented at SCORE! (in German).

In autumn 2022, the Fachschule für Detailhandel (FfD) – a technical college for retail – started the initial preparatory course. Students from Digitec, VeloPlus, Ifolor, Bechtle, Swiss Elan Devices and many others will take part in the first federal professional examination and then hopefully be able to receive their diploma. The second class started recently in spring 2023.

According to executive board member Patrick Kessler, the training was deliberately kept general and broad: “Our goal is to build up a broad-base of expert knowledge and train core contact persons for e-commerce in companies.” He continues, explaining that: “Among other things, it’s about gaining an understanding and knowledge of the complex interconnections and interfaces in e-commerce.”

Who is the diploma is aimed at?

The federal e-commerce specialist diploma is aimed in particular at people working in the digital retail environment who have a desire and curiosity for something new, who want to shape the future of retail and always maintain an overview of the demanding environment of e-commerce. The training is particularly suitable for people who have completed an apprenticeship with a Federal VET diploma in related areas (retail trade, commercial apprenticeship, mediamatics, IT and similar). However, the diploma is also open to those with non-industry apprenticeship qualifications.

In addition to the Federal VET diploma, candidates for the federal professional exam must have two to three years’ professional experience in e-commerce, and have successfully completed the module exams and practical documentation.

What can students expect from the training?

Students will complete seven modules during 300 to 400 hours of instruction and take an exam for each module. During the training, practical documentation must also be developed in the various modules. This, in turn, will be used to create a development report which will be assessed by the federal vocational examination board. The oral component of the professional examination consists of three further examination sections. The students will be questioned by the examination experts about their development reports, challenged with larger analysis tasks including a presentation, and finally tested with four mini-cases / critical incidents under a certain amount of time pressure to assess their ability to act quickly and constructively.

Participating educational institutions

The vocational training is provided at the following educational institutions: eFachausweis, Feusi Bildungszentrum, FfD – Fachschule für Detailhandel, SIU – Schweizerisches Institut für Unternehmerschulung. Within the framework conditions specified by the sponsors, the educational institutions can act independently and are responsible for the design of the course. The course will vary depending on the school and will cover different needs such as duration of training, learning speed, form of learning (digital, hybrid or on-site) and class sizes. “It’s worth contacting the various educational institutions to find out more about what’s on offer so you can decide on the right school”, says Patrick Kessler.

Good to know: Following the professional exam, the federal government will finance 50% (up to CHF 9,500) of all preparatory further education costs if paid by the students themselves.

You can find further information on the course content, admission requirements and exams, as well as blog posts from current students on the website of the supporting association: www.e-com.swiss (in German). Patrick Kessler will be happy to answer your questions.

Patrick Kessler, President HANDELSVERBAND.swiss

Patrick Kessler has headed the VSV (Swiss Mail Order Association) since 2008 and the HANDELSVERBAND.swiss, which resulted from a merger, since 2020. The new association focuses on the digital future of retail across all channels. In 2022, its 400 members generated sales of CHF 21 billion, sent 80 million parcels and operated more than 2,850 sales outlets over an area of 3 million m2.

Portrait Patrick Kessler

Marco Müller, graduate intern in digital commerce, Swiss Post

Marco Müller is a graduate intern in the digital commerce team at Swiss Post. In this role, he supports retailer customers in developing their level of digital maturity.

Portrait Marco Müller

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