Ö-Cert is awarded by the federal government and the provincial governments according to an agreement (15a agreement) and is considered a European showcase project.
At the beginning of the 2000s the topic of quality assurance and quality development increasingly became the focus of the European education agenda. At that time the Austrian adult education landscape was characterised not only by a great number of providers and courses but also by a great number of quality management systems in use. Different lists of criteria or external quality assurance procedures were established in the federal provinces to increase transparency in the increasingly confusing education and further education market. This meant a considerable effort: for the administration as well as for the organisations to be recognised as education providers in each federal province.
To avoid this additional effort, to create transparency and simplification and to further increase the professionalisation of adult education Ö-Cert was developed. In a process lasting several years the federal government and the federal provinces, together with experts from the fields of science and adult education, succeeded in creating uniform quality standards for education providers throughout Austria for the first time, thus ensuring a high quality provider structure.
Besides the simplifications, such as the fact that multiple certification for education providers in the federal provinces is no longer necessary, those interested in education also benefit: By the Austria-wide recognition of Ö-Cert the education providers have created equal opportunities for people to get funding for their continuing education courses, even if they do not take place in their own federal province.
Ö-Cert has been awarded since 2012. Currently approximately 1,300 education providers (including their branch institutions) hold the Ö-Cert certificate. The directory of education providers certified by Ö-Cert is available at
The topics of quality and transparency are cross-cutting topics that are central themes in most of the OeAD’s areas of responsibility. Since 2020 they have also been organisationally located at the OeAD.
Author: Ö-Cert office
Photos: Copyright: Florian Feuchtner