René Kohl: Innovative training services for the healthcare industry


Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Potsdam.

The “Akademie für Gesundheits­wirtschaft, Prävention und Life Science – AGPL” (academy for healthcare management, prevention and life science) was founded under the sponsorship of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Potsdam on 13 May 2008.

For this purpose, a committee of experts was founded at the very beginning already. In addition to the IHK Potsdam, the IMB Business Academy GmbH, Brandenburg’s Ministry of the Environment, Health and Consumer Protection (MUGV), the adminis­tration of the capital of the federal state of Brandenburg, Potsdam, the HIBA Impulse GmbH, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Rehabilitation (DEGEMED) as well as the Barmer Ersatzkasse are members of this committee. Shortly after, the Ruppiner Kliniken, the AOK Brandenburg and the Ernst von Bergmann Klinikum Potsdam were also appointed members of the committee to reflect the expertise of the entire healthcare industry.

The healthcare industry holds an enormous potential for growth and employment and the academy considers it its duty to qualify the necessary skilled staff. This includes innovative and work-related services and offers for training and consulting in healthcare management as well as company-oriented, permanent further training of all decision-makers in the fields of business administration, healthcare economics, and legal issues. The facility will follow the economic, social, political and professional trends and it will be able to differentiate temporary fads from substantial alteration processes.

We can expect 30,000 new jobs to be created in the healthcare industry in the metropolitan region of Berlin-Brandenburg until 2020 (increasing the number of jobs to 374,100).

Among others, the academy offers advanced training for the following jobs: Betrieblicher GesundheitsManager (IHK) – a kind of “in-house health manager” –, Case Manager (IHK), Home Manager (IHK), Fachwirt für Soziales und Gesundheit (IHK) – a kind of “certified specialist in the social and health sector” – as well as Wellness­­berater – “wellness advisor” – (IHK).
The courses last between 220 and 520 hours and some of them can be funded by the federal student loan, the so called “BAföG”. In addition, we bring the region’s executive management together in regular workshops and seminars to actively support the creation of networks.

Mission statement. The academy’s
mission statement rules that the fields of action and key sectors of economy and society are focussed on and lead to a professional management.

To reach this aim, we consistently pay attention to the demographic development as well as to research and ethics and fulfil the requirements of technol­­ogical progress and society.
Key objectives. Strengthening the health, business and science location in the region of West Brandenburg is one of the academy’s key objectives. It is especially important to continue professionalizing the further training in the fields of healthcare, preven­­tion and management. We offer inter-business training for hospitals, authorities, companies, specialist departments and institutes and help them establish a profile.

In addition, the academy creates networks among the major players in the region and their management personnel.

Strategic academy profile. The AGPL’s offers are based on the requirements of the interested partners and customers – to this end, the academy develops products that are relevant for the practice and future-oriented.

Modern methods and professional learning and teaching techniques are used in this process.

This way we create regional competence in the successful placement of new products. In addition, the academy provides all AGPL graduates during and after their further training with services, development processes and professional ideas. The academy focuses its work on professional and strategic
co-operation with relevant partners in all areas of development.
This way networks are created, giving new inspiration to the health region of Berlin-Brandenburg.

Range of services, competencies and working practice. Future and current officials and managers of all levels can expect a modern academy programme at the AGPL, split in several modules and provided in the form of public forums, interdisciplinary congresses, scheduled series of events, challenging workshops, useful seminars and certified training courses. This guarantees an increase in their insight and their ability to act both in their professional and social lives.

The “Akademie für Gesundheits­wirtschaft, Prävention und Life Science – AGPL” offers advancement training with officially recognized qualifications and carries out certification courses according to nationally standardized core curricula of the DIHK, the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce’s organization for the promotion of professional develop­ment. Workshops, hands-on training, info sessions and public forums are part of the profile. The graduates receive extensive counselling and are brought together in networks, action alliances and organizations.
In the past 20 years, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Potsdam has gained relevant training experience, which is now used in co-operation with the academy. To live up to the requirements – also in competition – the work is done according to the rules of the quality manage­­ment system DIN EN ISO 9001: 2000. Specialist expertise is combined in the co-operation of partners like the federal state of Brandenburg, the state capital Potsdam, the regional employment agency in Potsdam, many member companies of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Potsdam, the conference of municipal authorities Brandenburg as well as other specialized partners in science, economy and research. A very special focus of the AGPL is on developing the health region of Berlin-Brandenburg. In this area we work closely together with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Berlin and with Health Capital, who are responsible for the master plan healthcare management Berlin-Brandenburg. More than 300 trainers, consultants and coaches as well as experts of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) with excellent work experience, practical orien­­tation and long years of methodological and teaching experience in vocational training are part of AGPL’s network. This way all products are closely connected with the economy.

To support interested people and graduates in an excellent way we assist them when it comes to applying for grants and loans as well as enrolling in courses and the admission to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s exams. New networks among participants, graduates and companies are created during the courses. The academy also selects and provides teaching material and sources of information.

The academy’s work has the following fixed rules: targeted and practically oriented implementation, non-bureaucratic and reliable procedures, competent, flexible, co-operative and friendly contacts as well as transparent processes.


ReneKohl-KopieThe author has been the executive manager of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Potsdam since 2006. In addition, René Kohl has been the head of the “Akademie für Gesundheits­wirtschaft, Prävention und Life Science – AGPL” (academy for healthcare management, prevention and life science) since 2008.