Protection of Titles in Switzerland


The Confederation does not entirely regulate how professional designations and titles may be obtained and used. It has merely set up regulations to protect those qualifications recognized by the Confederation, such as vocational certificates and diplomas (industry, crafts, trade, etc.) and academic qualifications (only Federal Institutions of Technology ETH/EPF and Universities of Applied Sciences FH/HES), or in order to make punishable the use of professional designations and titles for unfair competition, fraud, or wilful harm to pecuniary interests. Private use of titles is not regulated at federal level. In the non-business sector it is therefore not possible to prohibit the use of fraud titles.

In Switzerland, in the absence of national legislation, it has become customary to use foreign academic titles which have been awarded by state-recognized universities in the course of a bona fide study programme in their original form.

The State Secretariat for Education and Research SER has published a reference paper dealing with the protection of titles.