Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba)

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wba (short for "Weiterbildungsakademie Österreich"/Austrian Academy of Continuing Education) is a validation system for the qualification and recognition of adult educators.

Adult educators' qualifications are recognised according to set standards based on qualification profils.
Launched in 2007 wba acknowledges prior learning results and offers guidance and counselling as far as the acquisition of missing skills is concerned.

Adult educators can submit competences and practical experience acquired in various ways and with different types of proofs. These supporting documents are assessed on the basis of the wba-qualification profils and then acknowledged. Lack of competences can be made up by attending further courses or by submitting further evidence. wba-graduates receive a recognised wba-certificate or wba-diploma.
Whilst adult education in Austria is still a heterogeneous field and difficult to compare, wba sets standards and fosters the professionalization of the Austrian adult education.

wba does not offer further education programmes itself but accredits suitable courses offered by various AE institutions throughout Austria.
Practical experience in the field of adult education is a prerequisite for a certification by wba.

In 2013 wba won the Observal-Net Validation Prize in the category "Bottom-Up Approach".

Our Mission Statement

wba is a partnership institution in the field of Austrian adult education:

  • it reviews and acknowledges competences of adult educators according to defined standards.
  • it awards a two-stage degree with certificate and diploma.
  • it supports the transparency between adult education, university education and continuing education.
  • it acknowledges educational offers without being an education provider itself.
  • it continuously contributes to the professionalization and the increased quality of adult education.

Target Groups

wba is directed towards individuals who are actively involved in adult education in Austria and beyond and want to take part in a certification process.
Appropriate areas of work would be

  • managerial positions in institutes of vocational and non-vocational adult education, responsibility for educational matters, the planning, organization and support of learning processes
  • teaching/training
  • (carreer) guidance and counselling or
  • librarianship

Furthermore wba is also aimed at AE institutions that wish to have their offers of further education accredited by wba.

Benefits / Advantages

wba develops and ensures quality standards.
It constitutes an important step towards the professionalization of Austrian adult educationenabling those taking part in its certification process to obtain a certificate or diploma widely recognised within the profession.


  • is supported by all ten major Austrian AE umbrella organizations (the so-called KEBÖ-institutions)
  • recognises formally acquired competences as well as competences that have been obtained in non-formal or informal ways.

Adult educators often possess competences that have been acquired in various ways. wba enables adult educators to combine these competences and skills in order to receive recognised qualifications.

The wba certificate / wba diploma ....

  • is a trans-institutional, European-oriented adult education qualification.
  • can be acquired whilst working and whilst gaining practical experience, without a predetermined time limit.
  • acknowledges competences that have already been obtained - also those acquired non-formally and informally.
  • fosters professional further development and positioning in the job market.
  • enhances the identity as a professional adult educator.
  • provides the opportunity to use the wba-logo "certified / graduate adult educator".
  • is mapped to the NQF and can therefore be compared with other mapped qualificiations across Europe.


The top-characteristics of wba are:

  • the four target groups of wba correlate with the four main professions in the field of Austrian adult education: teachers/trainers, educational managers, counsellors and librarians managers.
  • wba recognises existing formal qualifications as well as non-formally or informally acquired skills
  • wba offers information in regard to the recognition process. wba-advisers guide candidates through the certification process.
  • wba acknowledges a wide range of documents as evidence of competence (certificates, confirmations, equivalents, assessments etc.)
  • wba offers individual educational counselling by trained counsellors
  • two different types of degrees:

o wba-certificate for certified adult educators
o wba-diploma for graduated adult educators

  • wba sets standards in regard to the compentences of certified adult educators


to find out more about wba visit "Studien über die wba" (which includes articles and studies about wba, mostly in German but with some articles in English as well).


Back to the overview in English



Die wba ist eine zentrale Säule der Professionalisierung der österreichischen Erwachsenenbildung. Die maßgeschneiderten Validierungsverfahren bieten Akteurinnen und Akteuren aus der Praxislandschaft die Möglichkeit, sich als Erwachsenenbildner:in zertifizieren und diplomieren zu lassen, wodurch ein hochrelevanter Weg der individuellen Professionalisierung geebnet wird. Darüber hinaus leisten die Qualifikationsprofile der wba einen maßgeblichen Beitrag zur fortlaufenden Schärfung der Berufsbilder und Tätigkeitsprofile in der Erwachsenenbildung.

Dr. Dennis Walter

Direktor des Bundesinstituts für Erwachsenenbildung