The Rehabilitation World of Vocational Rehabilitation Centres

What are Vocational Rehabilitation Centres?

Vocational rehabilitation centres are inter-company vocational rehabilitation facilities. They are the point of contact for all adults who need to reorient themselves professionally due to a health impairment following illness, accident or for health reasons. They support adults in their reintegration into working life by offering further training and retraining. 

The legal basis for the vocational rehabilitation centres is provided by the German Social Code (SGB), which regulates benefits for occupational participation, in SGB IX (§§ 49 to §§ 65) and other social codes (e.g. § 16 SGB VI). The legal mandate of the vocational rehabilitation centres is the sustainable integration of people with (threatening) disabilities into working life. 

What Services do Vocational Rehabilitation Centres Provide?

The services provided by vocational rehabilitation centres are based on the principles of "prevention before rehabilitation" and "rehabilitation before retirement".  


The vocational rehabilitation centres advises employers, employees, rehabilitation providers and health insurance companies on measures that ensure the preservation of health and the ability to work. These services include: 

  • Corporate integration management 
  • Occupational health management 
  • Advice on workplace equipment  
  • Advice on occupational health and safety  
  • Risk assessment at the workplace  
  • Consultation on visual ergonomics at the workplace

Needs Assessment 

A rehabilitation assessment is used to match the personal and health requirements of rehabilitation candidates with the requirements of the workplace or an occupational field. In the process, necessary support requirements are identified.  

The individual performance profile is determined by means of a systematic competence and needs analysis, and an individual integration plan is then agreed upon together with the rehabilitant. 


Here, those affected are supported with action-oriented concepts such as learning in projects, methods of problem-solving approaches and social learning in groups is promoted. At the same time, space is given for coming to terms with the disability, thus facilitating the difficult process of professional reorientation.

The needs assessment in advance may indicate the need for rehabilitation preparation, e.g. if the last learning experience took place a long time ago. Preparatory measures are then used to "learn how to learn again".  

In addition, there are preparatory offers aimed at special target groups, such as learning Braille or mobility training for the visually impaired and blind. For rehabilitants with a previous mental illness, the vocational rehabilitation centres offer individually tailored stabilization training. The aim is to clarify and promote psychological stability and resilience for subsequent vocational qualification. 

Vocational Qualification 

Vocational rehabilitation centres offer more than 250 qualification programs throughout Germany in the form of classic retraining or further education. In addition to a recognized vocational qualification (e.g. chamber or technical college qualification, state examination), qualifications can be acquired with a certified qualification or partial and adaptation qualifications geared to specific jobs. 

The range of courses offered at the individual vocational rehabilitation centres is determined by the regional labor market situation, cooperation with companies, and the experience and expertise of the respective vocational rehabilitation centre. 

Integration Into the Labor Market 

Beneficiaries with special placement obstacles have the opportunity to take advantage of integration measures ("Integration direkt") offered by the vocational rehabilitation centres. The focus is on short-term measures with a high proportion of in-company training, usually based on existing vocational or job-specific skills. There are also special offers for special forms of disability. These programs are also suitable for older people with disabilities who are looking for work.  

Which Rehabilitation Provider is Responsible for Services in a Vocational Rehabilitation Centre?

No single rehabilitation provider is responsible for the services provided by the vocational rehabilitation centres. In the area of vocational rehabilitation centre services, the main cost bearers are the statutory pension insurance, the statutory accident insurance and the Federal Employment Agency. In addition, the costs for a rehabilitation measure or supplementary services can also be borne by the statutory health insurance, the integration assistance, the youth welfare or the war victims' welfare and the war victims' welfare.