Border guard training (basic and advanced training) takes three years and is modular, with modern teaching and learning methods such as the Learning Management System.

Theoretical training takes place at the FCA Campus in Liestal BL. Practical training takes place in the region to which you are assigned. You can begin your training in either January or July.

Basic training (1st year of service)

1.1 Organisation and content

Basic training in the first year consists of theory modules and practical experience at the border.

The theory modules are taught by Border Guard instructors.

Practical training (decision-making skills) takes place at field offices. It is taught by Border Guard training coaches with practical experience.

Basic training focuses on the following areas:

  • Border guard service
  • Customs service
  • Law
  • Criminology
  • Search
  • Document verification
  • Shooting
  • Security and intervention techniques
  • Psychosocial skills
  • Sport

Trainees who successfully complete all modules and specialised examinations in the first year and meet the graduation requirements are admitted to take the examination to become a "Border Guard with a Federal PET Diploma". This is conducted in the form of a professional examination.

Advanced training (2nd and 3rd years of service)

The requisite knowledge and skills are extensive and cannot be acquired completely in a single year. For this reason, the lessons learnt in basic training are treated in more depth in advanced modules in the second and third years of service. At the same time, information is provided on new developments. In this phase, you will be deployed in at least two different modes of transport (airports, rail, mobile patrols).

Advanced training focuses on the following areas:

  • Search and rescue
  • Document verification
  • Criminology
  • Security service
  • Operational tactics

Training as a border guard is not complete until the advanced training modules have been passed in the second and third years of service. Basic and advanced training continues afterward this period, however.

Training aims

Training as a border guard lays the foundation for a professional career and allows you to implement what they have learnt into your every day duties and work in a modern and needs-oriented manner. Training is demanding and is only for you if you have clear goals and are willing to perform.  

Swearing in

After passing the professional examination, you will be ceremonially sworn in. The obligation to take the oath of office or make a solemn promise is linked to the broad skills of members of the Border Guard. As representatives of the state monopoly on the use of force, border guards have extensive powers which also include the use of police coercive measures. You thus have to carry out the work assigned to you with due care and attention and safeguard the justified interests of the Confederation. You must prove that you are fit to be an official, and not just in the workplace, but also outside of it.

This duty of loyalty ensures the smooth functioning of the public administration. It is also a guarantee that the public's trust in the state is not undermined.

Being sworn in to fulfil duties conscientiously is thus not only a requirement set by Parliament or a ceremonial act. Above all, it is a moral obligation. An obligation which is deemed to be of such significance that refusing to take the oath or make a solemn promise as a public official means automatic resignation from the post, i.e. dismissal or relinquishing the post.

Federal law also provides for the swearing in of members of the Federal Assembly, the Federal Council and the Federal Chancellor, the Commander-in-Chief and the judges of the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Administrative Court, the Federal Patent Court and the Federal Criminal Court.

Oath of office/solemn promise

A solemn promise may be made in lieu of swearing an oath. Both are equivalent in the eyes of the law.