Federal Academy of Finance (Bundesfinanzakademie, BFA)
Federal Academy of Finance (Bundesfinanzakademie, BFA)
As a central educational institution, the Federal Academy of Finance is responsible, together with the Human Resources Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Finance, for education and training activities in the institution. It aspires to offer top quality in its activities and thus create added value for all parties.
The Federal Academy of Finance has the task of developing and delivering basic and functional training as well as strategically oriented, demand-driven qualification measures for the groups of participants in collaboration with the persons responsible for the contents. In this context, it supports the human resources development of the Federal Ministry of Finance in operational human resources development measures.
In addition, the Federal Academy of Finance is a driving force and has an advisory role in complex educational issues; it participates in the development of teaching and learning methods and in the development of educational offers, in benchmarking in the field of education and in specialised education audits. It supports a vibrant learning culture anchored in the overall organisation that opens prospects, recognises, and supports talent.
As an attractive educational institution, the Federal Academy of Finance pays attention to high-quality trainer selection and offers its speakers well-founded qualification opportunities; thus, it makes an important contribution to the professional and methodological image of the institution.
Based on a MoU with the OECD, the Federal Academy of Finance is the local office of a Multilateral Training Centre and hence an organiser of international seminars of the OECD.
Since 2004, the Federal Academy of Finance has been organised as an independent administrative authority with its own budget responsibility, assigned to Section I of the Federal Ministry of Finance. The personnel plan of the BFA currently comprises 58 employees.
The headquarters are located at Sonnwendgasse 13, A-1100 Vienna. In the provinces, there are branch offices in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg, which are responsible for the management of decentralised offers.
Federal Academy of Finance
Sonnwendgasse 13, A-1100 Vienna
Telephone: +43 50 233 571
Fax: +43 50 233 5971000
The Federal Academy of Finance offers a variety of educational opportunities that cover all the important areas of knowledge that modern education providers have in their programs. An Educational Council consisting of decision-makers of the BMF supports the BFA in the strategic orientation of the program contents. The offers are primarily geared towards the staff of the institution; in special exceptional cases, external participation is possible for a fee.
On average, each year the Federal Academy of Finance offers 800 to 1000 events from more than 300 individual subject areas throughout Austria.
Austria’s Financial Administration pays special attention to basic training, in which important fundamental and general knowledge from the respective administrative branch is imparted to the new colleagues. Understanding correlations and knowing the organisational culture of the institution form the basis for a career in any of the administrative branches of Taxes, Customs and General Service. For each employee to be trained, a training plan for the basic training is to be created in coordination with the supervisor and the training management. Each of the three basic training branches (Taxes, Customs and General Service) is modularly structured and imparts, in addition to a theoretical training at the BFA, a practical training at the respective administrative authority as well. The knowledge and skills acquired during the basic training are to be demonstrated in writing and orally in concluding board exams.
From apprenticeships up to academic degrees, the Financial Administration offers a broad range of training options.
Employees of the Ministry (Grundausbildungsverordnung-BMF), Federal Law Gazette II № 464/2015. For further details on the implementation of the basic training, please see the Implementing Decree.
- Basic Training Ordinance BMF, Federal Law Gazette II № 464/2015 (in German only)
- Implementing Decree for the Basic Training Ordinance (in German only)
With the functional training, the fundamental and general knowledge imparted during the basic training is deepened through a unique combination of practical and theoretical training, relating to the respective administrative branches and functions. As part of the functional training, each and every employee is very specifically prepared for his/her defined tasks or function, so the requirements related to the workplace can be fulfilled in theory as well as in practice. Currently, 26 different functional training courses are being offered.
The exchange of experiences, transfer of knowledge and dialogue between staff are the basic factors for a successful organisation. The Federal Academy of Finance offers seminars, workshops, meetings and conferences in all areas, where colleagues, together with experts on the subject matter, coaches and facilitators (e.g. for team development), deepen their knowledge, learn how to apply it in practice and seek new solutions. Overall, there are about 200 subjects from a wide variety of areas.
Basic training, functional training and continued education are subsumed under the term of “tiers of education”. The demarcation of the training categories takes place not only at the conceptual level (basic training: acquisition of “fundamental” knowledge, functional training: acquisition of “specific, job-related” knowledge), but rather by defined specialist and specialty-independent requirement portfolios at different intensity levels.
The institution’s internal competency model is an important control tool in strategic education management. The central objective is to qualify employees optimally for the professional challenges in order to ensure long-term employability and thus the provision of services at the Financial Administration.
A major factor for this is the fulfilment of the necessary specialist and specialty-independent requirements (target qualifications) for the acquisition of skills (actual qualifications).
The competency model encompasses all types of training and is thus applied from basic training through functional training up to continued education.
The training activities focus on the central requirements for employees that result from the particular activities or tasks of the latter (Step 1). From the specialist requirements, the learning objectives and contents are derived (Step 2) that form the basis of the training activity (Step 3).
The 4-Level Model
Level 1 KNOW
Theoretical knowledge is on hand.
Level 2 CAN/APPLY
It must be possible to apply the theoretical knowledge, if necessary with guidance or assistance.
Level 3 COMMAND
The requirements are to be met in practice, and relevant methods and techniques must be used for the performance of tasks.
Level 4 TEACH
Contents, methods and techniques are mastered so well that they can be passed on to others.
In addition to the specialist requirements, the specialty-independent requirements are a prerequisite for fulfilling the defined assignment-specific tasks.
The trainers are mainly selected internal subject-matter experts. Thus, the transfer of specialist knowledge within the institution is ensured. The trainers can avail themselves of offers of the BFA in order to acquire the necessary educational and methodological skills that are important to impart knowledge in a vivid and effective manner. In the fields of management, social and methodological skills and languages, the BFA cooperates with recognised trainers and institutes from the private sector.
Learning design, learning and teaching forms and methods
Competent trainers are the mainstays of diversity in the offering and concomitant constant development of knowledge at the Federal Academy of Finance. Here our learning design increasingly focuses on the combination of teaching and learning methods that combine classroom and virtual learning, thereby creating long-term learning processes that support the learning transfer. The methodological and didactic spectrum ranges from traditional classroom learning, among other things in the form of workshops, through web-based trainings, webinars, scenario training sessions, video training and application training up to the provision of proof of competence in the form of written / oral and electronic exams and knowledge checks.