Pretest Database
Project Title:PIAAC-Longitudinal (PIAAC-L) 2016 - Acquisition of Competencies (English Version)
  1. General Information: *Note: This item was tested in German. This is an English translation of the original German wording. The translation does not correspond exactly to the wording in the English PIAAC source questionnaire.*
  2. Introduction: The following questions are about further vocational training. By this we mean any further training measure that deepens or expands on previous vocational training or, as in the case of retraining, aims to change careers.
    This is not only about specialist knowledge, but also about other skills such as languages and computer use.
    The duration of the further training can range from a few hours to several months. The initiative can be taken by yourself, by your employer or by a public institution such as the Federal Employment Agency.
    Courses that you have already indicated are not meant here.
    [Bei den folgenden Fragen geht es um berufliche Weiterbildung. Wir meinen damit jede Weiterbildungsmaßnahme, die eine berufliche Vorbildung vertieft, erweitert oder bei der, wie bei einer Umschulung, eine berufliche Veränderung angestrebt wird.
    Dabei geht es nicht nur um fachliches Wissen, sondern auch um andere Fertigkeiten wie Sprachen und Computernutzung.
    Der zeitliche Umfang der Weiterbildung kann wenige Stunden bis mehrere Monate umfassen. Die Initiative kann durch Sie selbst, durch Ihren Arbeitgeber oder durch eine öffentliche Einrichtung wie der Bundesagentur für Arbeit erfolgen.
    Bildungsgänge, die Sie schon angegeben haben, sind hier nicht gemeint.]
  3. Question Text: In 2014, have you participated in at least one further vocational training?
    [Haben Sie im Jahr 2014 an mindestens einer beruflichen Weiterbildung teilgenommen?]
  4. Answer Categories Yes [Ja]

    No [Nein]

    Not applicable, already in pension [Trifft nicht zu, bin bereits in Rente/Pension]


    1. Recommendations: Question: Some of the test persons had difficulties in differentiating what does and what does not belong to further vocational training, e.g. private further training in informal structures. The word "further training measure" also led to problems of understanding. We recommend the following formulation:
      The following questions are about further vocational training. By this we mean your participation in a further education or training event. "Vocational" means that you deepen or improve your knowledge and skills for your professional life. This also includes computer courses or e-learning offers that do not require personal attendance. The reading of specialist literature or independent learning of new computer programs are not meant here. The duration of further training can be from a few hours to several months. It does not matter whether you have chosen to pursue further education on your own initiative or whether it was initiated by your employer or by a public institution such as the Federal Employment Agency. Nor is it a question here of the vocational qualification you have previously stated or of any other vocational qualification you may currently be acquiring.
      [Bei den folgenden Fragen geht es um berufliche Weiterbildung. Wir meinen damit Ihre Teilnahme an einer Weiterbildungs- oder Fortbildungsveranstaltung. „Beruflich“ bedeutet, dass Sie Ihr Wissen und Können für Ihr berufliches Leben vertiefen oder verbessern. Dazu zählen auch Computerkurse oder E-Learning-Angebote, die keine persönliche Anwesenheit erfordern. Das Lesen von Fachliteratur oder selbstständiges Erlernen neuer Computerprogramme sind hier nicht gemeint. Die Dauer der Weiterbildung kann wenige Stunden bis mehrere Monate umfassen. Dabei spielt es keine Rolle, ob Sie die Weiterbildung von sich aus angestrebt haben oder ob sie von Ihrem Arbeitgeber oder von einer öffentlichen Einrichtung wie der Bundesagentur für Arbeit veranlasst wurde. Es geht hier auch nicht um den beruflichen Abschluss, den Sie zuvor angegeben haben, oder um einen weiteren beruflichen Abschluss, den Sie evtl. derzeit erwerben.]
      Answer options: No changes recommended.
  1. Cognitive Techniques: General Probing, Specific Probing
  2. Findings for Question: The aim of the probing questions for question 3 was to find out whether the test persons can classify their further vocational training, what they understand by further vocational training, whether the supplementary explanation is helpful or too long and whether the reference to the "already mentioned training courses" is necessary.

    Eight test persons stated that they had participated in at least one training course in 2014. The spontaneous comments show that test persons 07 and 08 have difficulties with the question.

    Test person 07 asks whether formal continuing education is meant by further vocational training. After the interviewer has read out the explanatory text once again, test person 07 comes to the conclusion that non-formal forms such as the private reading of a textbook are also meant by further vocational training: "Even if I sit down in the evening and read a textbook for an hour."

    The test person 08 states that after the training as a nurse she has completed an additional training as a specialist nurse. Since she considers this to be the highest vocational qualification, she would not have initially stated this as further training in question 3: "But the question did say that the previously stated is not meant. So I would say 'no'." Finally, test person 08 states her additional qualification as further education.

    The test persons who participated in further training in 2014 (TP 03, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 16) indicate the following training: correspondence course, time management course, participation in a summer school, additional qualification as a specialist nurse, Master of Law degree, welding course, retraining as a specialist warehouse clerk and further training in Business English. Test person 03 indicated the correspondence course as vocational further training, although it is a university degree, which is raised with question 2. All eight test persons are "very sure" that the further vocational training took place in 2014.

    The question of what the test persons understand by further vocational training reveals different conceptual understandings. While test person 07 understands further vocational training to include non-formal behaviour such as reading a textbook in private, test person 10 considers a higher vocational training or university degree, their master's degree. For some test persons (TP 01, 02, 08) it remains unclear whether they understand the term further vocational training in the intended sense.

    The test persons 03, 05, 06, 09, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 understand by the term vocational further training that events are attended which have to do with the profession. Further vocational training is understood, for example, as follows:
    • "That the employer participates, and that it helps me advance in my field." (TP 03)
    • "Any form of further education that concerns the profession I pursue." (TP 05)
    • "This is a further education that aims to work better or more purposefully in the job. To optimize the way we work. It has to do with the job itself, not personally." (TP 06)
    • "By this question I understand that I would have taken courses or seminars or even online training that would have helped me in some way in my everyday work, in my profession." (TP 09)
    • "It is important that you never stop learning in order to qualify. There are professions in which you can always improve your skills.“ (TP 12)
    • "So in my line of work, it's mostly sales training that's being done. Maybe even in the area of expertise." (TP 15)
    When asked how comprehensible the test persons found the explanations of what is meant by further vocational training, three persons (TP 01, 04, 09) state that they found the explanations "rather difficult to understand": Test person 01 justifies this by saying that the explanation causes confusion and does not create clarity: "Yes, I had that in the beginning. From experience, I think you can already imagine that when you hear the term. If you explain the term so precisely now, you feel rather confused. It seems redundant to me." Test person 09 also justified her assessment with redundancy: "That's a sentence far too long. A nested sentence and in the end you didn't know the beginning anymore. And somehow it answered itself. Redundant."

    Test person 04 has difficulty understanding what is not further training and understanding the word further training measure:
    • TP 04: "So further training measure is, I think, a not so common word. Then pre-training deepens, expands or whatever or retraining and then coming to language. Everything is thrown in there. A difference to further training or what continuing training is not, was not explained. [...] I know the word "measure" especially in relation to job centres or employment agencies and that is why it does not fit in well. A measure is rarely taken on one's own initiative.“
    • CI: "What's the alternative?"
    • TP 04: “Further training courses, opportunities, routes."
    Test person 11, who finds it difficult to distinguish between further training and a refresher measure, has a similar situation: "I'm just wondering whether I can actually count my welding course as further training, because it is actually a repetition every two years, a refresher course. Is a refresher course an advanced training course?" After all, the TP counts this refresher course as further training, because it is about deepening and renewing professional knowledge.

    The majority of the test persons (N=11) find the explanations "rather easy" or "very easy to understand". Test person 07 notes, however, that the wording itself is easy, but the term itself leaves too much room for interpretation.
  1. Question Topic: Job and career/ Job situation & professional activity
  2. Construct: Participation in further vocational training