Vocational training: Shortening/extending the training period

In special cases, the training period can be shortened / extended on request.

The training period specified by the training regulations must be adhered to. The training company and the trainee (apprentice) cannot contractually bring about a change in the training period. However, in special cases, the training period may be shortened or extended by the competent authority upon request.

Shortening of the training period:
At the joint request of the trainee and the trainer, the competent body shall reduce the training period if it is to be expected that the training objective will be achieved in the reduced period. If there is a legitimate interest, the application may also be aimed at shortening the daily or weekly training period (part-time vocational training).
For example, if there is proof of a relevant professional activity or work experience, this may be adequately taken into account. Similarly, the training period completed can be taken into account for a reduction if vocational training in the same occupation is continued. Applicants must demonstrate that the training objective can be achieved in the reduced time.

Extension of the training period:
In exceptional cases, the competent authority may, at the request of the trainer, extend the training period if the extension is necessary to achieve the training objective. Reasons that require an extension may include:

  • serious deficiencies in training,
  • longer downtimes of the trainee (e.g. due to illness),
  • physical and other disabilities of the trainee that result in the training goal not being achieved during the agreed training period, or
  • Care of your own child or relatives in need of care.

The application for a shortening or extension of the training period must be accompanied by a precise justification. In the case of minors, the corresponding consent of the legal representatives is required for the application.

If you wish to have a shortened training period, the corresponding certificates or proofs must be enclosed, for example school and examination certificates, performance assessments, vocational training contracts and/or in-company training plans.

The application (form) for a shortening or extension of the training period must be submitted by the trainee in writing to the competent authority.


As a decision-making aid for shortening or extending the training period, the Joint Committee of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training may issue guidelines.

  • § 8 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG),
  • § 27b Gesetz zur Ordnung des Handwerks (Crafts Code - HWO).

Related Links

  • § 8 BBiG
  • § 27b HWO

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