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including hands-on report and interview with Laura Härtner, manager of the training scheme APO-Online within the Network IQ Thuringia

Blended-Learning-Format APO-Online

Course prepares pharmacists for the technical language and knowledge test, based on an innovative concept of integrated learning.

Starting position/challenge

In recent years, the number of pharmacists who visit information and advice centres (IBAT) in Thuringia for the recognition of foreign qualifications, has steadily increased. However, so far only a very small proportion of immigrants have been able to pass the knowledge test. The reason for this being, a nationwide lack of job training schemes for the acquisition of the necessary technical language and specialist skills.

Implementation of the Blended-Learning-Format

Against the background of the increasing need for qualifications, the organisation KNOTEN WEIMAR GmbH, developed the model project APO-Online in the Network IQ Thuringia, together with the Thuringian Chamber of Pharmacists. The training combines virtual classrooms, tutorials and selfstudy phases with face-to-face sessions and can be completed while working or from home. The 12-month training consists of a 4-month technical language training and an 8-month technical qualification. It is also accompanied by face-to-face sessions. The goal of the bridge training scheme, with 416 teaching units lasting 45 minutes each, is the successful completion of the technical language and knowledge examination. To achieve this, various exercises and simulations of the Blended-Learning-Format, were adapted to the exam contents and the requirements of the participants.

The contents of the first module, “Technical language qualification” (160 units) are taught under the supervision of qualified DaZ lecturer, Oana Glasessel, and conclude with the technical language examination. The virtual lessons consist of three classroom units (36 teaching units), focusing on pharmacist to customer or pharmacist to pharmacist discussions and writing of common professional documents. In the second module “Specialist knowledge qualification” (160 teaching units), with virtual teaching and five face-to face units, trainers from the Thuringian Chamber of Pharmacists, prepare the participants for the knowledge test. This is the basis for granting the license to practice pharmacy  which is necessary in Germany in order to be allowed to work in the profession. Pharmaceutical practice  as well as specialist fields of law are taught in this training. At the same time, the five attendance phases (60 teaching units) serve for professional and personal exchange. In the group, technical and customer conversations, as well as the test itself are simulated. Virtual lessons take place with the help of the ILIAS learning management system and the Adobe Connect online conference system; 10 teaching units per week.


Thanks to the Blended-Learning-Format, interested participants can be reached nationwide and qualifications can be completed from the respective participant’s place of residence. The project has a total of 72 participants, one course has already ended and two courses are currently running in parallel. The success rate of the language examinations already completed, amounts to 90 percent. Two participants are already licensed pharmacists.

Addressees for transfer:

Educational institutions within Network IQ that are active in the field of vocational training

Blended-Learning-Format APO-Online:

The job training scheme APO Online uses a Blended-Learning-Format. It specifically prepares immigrants for the specialist language and knowledge test in order to obtain full vocational recognition as pharmacists. The offer is aimed at academics with a pharmaceutical degree, not obtained in Germany, who are striving for full equivalence of their professional qualifications in Germany. The Blended-Learning-Format is distinguished on the one hand, by lessons in a virtual classroom. On the other hand, integrated learning is implemented parallel to work through face-to-face events and self-study phases.


“APO-Online”– Virtual bridge training for pharmacists with a migration background

Implementing Organisation:


Project contact:

Laura Härter, Coudraystraße 7, 99423 Weimar, Tel.: 03643/58 46 46,