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GRI 404/103-1

As a forward-looking company, Fresenius invests in the future of its employees. We take a targeted approach to promoting outstanding talent and in so doing ensure the long-term success of our Group and increase our innovation potential. We create individual development opportunities for the professional success of our employees, which is reflected in our wide range of training and further education programs. By having this in place, we also ensure that our workforce remains agile and innovative. Our four business segments focus on digital and innovative working methods to achieve this. By investing in digitalization within its human resources strategy, Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA and the business segments can keep meeting new requirements and stay competitive.

Our approach

GRI 404/103-2

We offer our employees the opportunity to develop professionally in a dynamic international environment. Our four business segments use different concepts and measures for personnel development – depending on their own customer and market structures. They constantly adapt their approaches to current trends and requirements. In addition to Group-wide mandatory training courses on the respective Codes of Conduct, there are mandatory training courses on quality management, environmental management, and occupational health and safety in the business segments. Digitalization is also playing an increasingly important role in the daily work done by our employees, which we explain in the following. Segment-specific talent management and individual further training offerings for employees and managers are our other personnel development measures.

Vocational training

Vocational training is very important to us. This is why we offer applicants many opportunities to start their career pathways in our company. In 2021, more than 6,300 young people were doing dual vocational training and/or dual study at our locations in Germany. Across the Group, we offered more than 43 posts requiring formal training and 29 dual degree programs. Compared to the 2020 training year, the Group’s range of training opportunities was expanded once again. The dual study program in General Industrial Engineering, Digital Transformation, and the training program for Digitalization Management were offered for the first time. The classic direct entry route aside, Fresenius also offers graduates trainee programs for further professional orientation.

In Germany, the welcome seminars for new trainees and dual students took place in August and September 2021 and were again held in hybrid form due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The training courses and seminars were held in both virtual and classroom form.

This hybrid format has proven itself in our view, so last year we also made greater use of this format for in-house teaching that takes place during the training period.

Hybrid working has become established in the departmental assignments of trainees and dual students in the commercial and IT professions. The trainees and dual students were able to continue to support the departments from their home offices, but were also able to work in the company one or two days a week, provided that hygiene and distance regulations were observed. The training department maintained contact through regular virtual meetings. This ensured good support for the trainees and dual students throughout – despite the distance.

The Fresenius Training Awards, which have been presented to the Group’s best apprentices and dual students throughout Germany since 2013, were presented locally at the respective training locations and not as part of a central ceremony at the Fresenius Group headquarters. It was important to us that the outstanding achievements of our apprentices and dual students be recognized despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trainees and training ratio for Germany

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2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
Trainees1 6,305 5,985 4,952 4,354 4,019
Training ratio 6.38 6.18 5.44 4.94 4.64
1 Includes vocational training and university students
Fresenius Training Compendium

The training compendium of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA lists all of the training opportunities available to our employees. This includes programs for communication and presentation, self-management, and project management, as well as specific learning content depending on the job profile of the target group of employees.

Fresenius Learning Center

In addition to the training compendium, we offer training courses in the Fresenius Learning Center (FLC) learning management system. Depending on the subject, these training programs consist of one or more modules. Most of these involve some e-learning – for example webinars – as well as classroom training; reading materials are also offered to different target groups. Employees in Germany who do not have their own computer or laptop, or who do not have a quiet work environment, can take the training courses they need at specially set up learning locations. Fresenius Helios and Fresenius Vamed also offer needs-based e-learning and document the training activities in their own learning management systems.

Digitalization of the training offered

In the reporting year, we continued to advance the digitalization of Fresenius’ development and training offerings. Numerous training measures as well as compulsory training took place as webinars or e-learning courses. Among other things, this enabled fast, up-to-date, precise training, especially in the area of hygiene, which is particularly important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organization of digital learning opportunities took place mainly on the already existing or newly implemented learning platforms. Further information is provided in the following descriptions of the business segments.

Leadership development

Leadership development in the Fresenius Group

We have set up two Group-wide programs for our executives. Working together with the Harvard Business School, we focus on the concept of “Maximizing Leadership Impact” among holders of top management positions in order to increase their effectiveness. In a leadership program that targets middle to upper management and is run in conjunction with the University of St. Gallen, we focus on strategy implementation and change management. In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic also impacted these programs. For 2021, their course was redesigned according to the requirements: one part of each program took place virtually.

Fresenius Medical Care

In the development of Fresenius Medical Care’s compensation systems, the Management Board has implemented a global leadership bonus plan according to which all senior executives are given a comparable mix of global, business-specific, and individual objectives. The aim is to improve the consistency, alignment, and fairness of senior leadership targets and to ensure recognition. The business segment also provides specific leadership training. In 2021, one focus of leadership development training was on resilience and employee engagement strategies.

Fresenius Kabi

Fresenius Kabi identifies talents, retains them within the company, and develops them further. The focus of leadership development is on continuously improving management skills in line with their individual requirements. The performance of our leaders contributes to successfully executing the corporate strategy and to achieving the company’s growth targets.

Fresenius Kabi started two new programs for its leadership development in 2021. For the development of employees newly appointed to a leadership role, a regional leadership development program was set up to enhance leadership skills and competencies. It is tailored to the requirements of a specific region and is conducted remotely due to the ongoing pandemic. Besides this, a divisional leadership development program has been introduced. It is designed to provide practical development opportunities for both young and experienced leaders and to promote networking across departments and national borders. Already-existing programs at Fresenius Kabi were transferred into virtual formats.

Fresenius Helios

Fresenius Helios enables its managers to take the next step in their development through specially developed programs, e.g., from station manager to nursing director. Fresenius Helios would like to provide more support to executives in the form of specialist and non-specialist training courses. To achieve this, the business segment has established a management academy. Its range of offers is constantly being expanded to meet the needs of specific target groups.

In 2021, Helios Spain launched a program for new managers to help them enter the company and increase their knowledge of the company’s most important topics. It is aimed at all persons who take up a position in corporate, divisional, or other management, the medical directors and their subdirectors, and the nursing directors and operational directors. The program is hosted three times a year at corporate headquarters. 60 managers participated in the first round between February and April 2021. In addition, the business unit is working on a leadership academy for middle management and directors.

Furthermore, Helios Spain has joined the Red de Mentoring de España network. As part of this, the business unit introduced the first program for doctors who want to be mentored – whether in the areas of management, nursing, teaching, or research.

Fresenius Vamed

The courses and training offered by the Vamed Academy provide employees with extensive opportunities for professional and personal training and development. Ongoing development through a demand-oriented training offering, as well as targeted personnel development measures are an important focus area of Fresenius Vamed’s human resources management.

Fresenius Medical Care

Fresenius Medical Care is committed to supporting the learning and development of employees around the world. In this context, the business segment provides learning opportunities to all employees irrespective of their location or position in the business segment. Learning platforms allow employees to pursue their career goals and interests in a self-directed manner.

Organization and responsibilities

Individual learning needs are identified through development and career discussions that are often part of a performance management process. Since 2019, the business segment has intensified efforts to train managers and employees in how they can contribute to these career conversations. Online resources are provided such as webinars and virtual classroom trainings.

Progress and measures in 2021

The business segment expanded its digital learning platform globally in third-quarter 2021. Since then, more than 16,000 employees have participated in training via this platform. In addition, the company provided certain employee groups with specific training. The top 450 leaders were offered leadership resilience training via virtual classroom events, as well as training in employee engagement strategies. New leaders also received courses on employee development.

The global performance and development platform for leaders, which was introduced in 2020, was made available to all employees.

Fresenius Kabi

Fresenius Kabi has global, regional, and local structures for training and developing employees. Employees are trained and qualified according to their functions and responsibilities. Mandatory global training for employees is carried out internally. This includes, for example, training on the Code of Conduct.

All employees who are directly involved in the manufacturing, testing, and distribution of our products, as well as employees who work in a supporting role (e. g., technical maintenance, IT) receive mandatory training in job-related good manufacturing, control, and distribution practice and in occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

In addition, occupational health and safety and environmental and energy management training is conducted at all certified sites. Further training supplements this and serves to support the introduction, further development, and improvement of the corresponding management systems and measures.

As part of talent management, postings to other countries are also used to promote professional and personal development. These comprise both long- and short-term postings, which also contribute to meeting specific staffing needs. In addition, Fresenius Kabi supports the development of digital competencies, for example in connection with making work more flexible, such as mobile work by its employees, through further training programs.

Organization and responsibilities

The CoE TLO reports directly to the head of the global Human Resources department. In 2021, it was assigned worldwide responsibility for managing Fresenius Kabi’s learning activities. In this way, the business segment aims to offer more individualized and extended training activities. Training is mainly offered decentrally, to provide training opportunities quickly and in accordance with the respective requirements. The personnel development measures are evaluated by the responsible organizations within Fresenius Kabi. Feedback from employees and executives is also taken into account.

Progress and measures in 2021

In 2021, numerous learning modules were rolled out, for example the module on the Code of Conduct, which was supplemented by a chapter on human rights, or a training module on “Fair Competition – Acting in Accordance with Antitrust Law”. Mandatory training was increasingly conducted online. The range of mandatory online modules was also expanded. Fresenius Kabi documented training activities in more than 50 countries, with more than 30,000 employees trained in 2021 in the most relevant internal learning management systems. The online training on background, behavior, and preventive measures relating to the pandemic was continued in 2021 in various languages.

Fresenius Helios

Employee training and development activities help Fresenius Helios achieve its four strategic business objectives: to offer the best service, to be a leader in medicine, to do sustainable business, and to expand on its market position. These will enable Fresenius Helios to further improve with regard to medical quality and to position itself as an attractive employer at the same time. Training budgets, along with regular employee and career interviews, are therefore firmly anchored in Fresenius Helios’ corporate culture.

However, Fresenius Helios has also been faced with increased competition in the human resources sector, also due to new regulatory requirements in line with the lower thresholds for nursing. The demand for skilled workers has continued to increase over the past few years, especially in the nursing sector in our relevant markets of Spain and Germany. For this reason, Fresenius Helios intends to acquire a large proportion of the necessary nursing personnel through in-company training at its 34 training centers in Germany.

In Spain, the business segment focuses on cooperations with universities. In contrast to Germany, where nurses receive vocational education and training, Spanish nurses are educated at universities, as described in the chapter Working conditions, recruitment and employee participation, section Fresenius Helios. The business segment is also tackling the continuing challenge posed by the shortage of skilled workers in the medical sector. One example is the structured talent pools of senior doctors that Helios Germany is building.

All professional groups at the hospital can learn, train, and further develop their expertise at the Helios Academy and the Fresenius Helios training centers in Germany, to develop professional and personal competencies. Fresenius Helios also offers its employees trainee and assistant programs, for example, and builds up competence profiles for clinic management.

In Spain, more than 5,000 students are trained annually by our experts; they acquire practical skills during their undergraduate and postgraduate training. We also have eight university hospitals where classroom-based content of a medical school is taught and more than 400 medical staff are fully trained each year. In our two nursing schools, we cover classroom and hands-on training as well as vocational training; for example, we qualify students as Imaging Technicians for Diagnosis and Nuclear Medicine and Technicians in Radiation Therapy and Dosimetry.

Fresenius Helios now uses digital work tools across the board in all areas of basic and advanced training and education. Learning content is organized using what is known as the Helios knowledge account – a digital education management system – and learning scenarios implemented via e-learning and online seminars.

Organization and responsibilities

In 2020, Helios Germany merged the two departments of Digital Knowledge Media and Academy / Talent Management under the new Central Service Recruitment and Development.

Helios Spain has created a central department that brings together different talent and employee areas: Talent Acquisition and Management, Internal Communications and Employer Brand, Apprenticeship, and the Universidad Corporativa, a corporate training academy. The aim is to attract the best professionals and create an optimized workplace. With the launch of the Universidad Corporativa, an advisory board was also established, which includes a number of company and divisional directors. It is responsible for aligning and promoting the training with the strategic goals of the company.

Progress and measures in 2021

Due to the pandemic, a large number of training courses were again switched to digital formats in 2021. This included training content for nurses, for example, as well as content from the career programs and wherever it was methodically and didactically appropriate. Helios Spain started the development of a new training platform in 2021. The goal is for more than 90% of Spanish training to be offered via e-learning.

Helios Spain is in the process of accrediting new university hospitals for medical degrees and nursing schools. The company also has its own master’s degree programs based on the needs of our own nursing and medical professionals and of the professionals we need in order to seize opportunities in the health care markets. The master’s degree in Emergency Care for Doctors, for example, was launched in 2021. This is aimed at professionalizing our emergency physicians and attracting external professionals.

In 2021, for the first time, the business segment partnered in Spain with the IESE Business School to run an advanced healthcare management program. Its aim is to provide training in modern and efficient hospital management and in leadership skills – and to transform care models and services as well as clinical research, for this purpose. In 2021, 60 professionals participated. Comprehensive assessments, including 360-degree feedback interviews and feedback sessions, were conducted with all participants to create individual development and training plans. A second in-depth assessment is planned for the first half of 2022 so that necessary improvement measures can be implemented.

Fresenius Vamed

The expertise and project experience of its employees plays an important role in the success of Fresenius Vamed in view of the heterogeneous nature of its activities in the high-end service business, overall operations management, and project management. It is therefore extremely important for the business segment to promote the further development of its employees in a targeted manner. Key for Fresenius Vamed’s personnel management are individually adapted personnel development measures and a comprehensive, needs-oriented training offering, which is very diverse in nature due to the complex structure of the business segment. As part of its strategic personnel planning, Fresenius Vamed identifies young employees with particular potential and promotes their individual development. This is done via trainee programs and in the VAMED Human Capital Management (HCM) Program, which prepares employees with potential to take on leadership and specialist roles.

Fresenius Vamed is increasingly using digital elements such as e-learning to design new training offerings. Employees can access a pool of knowledge via various knowledge platforms. In addition, Fresenius Vamed has the option of developing and rolling out micro-learning modules independently. These short training modules are largely available online, and have enabled fast, up-to-date, precise training and education on applicable COVID-19 regulations, particularly in the area of hygiene. Fresenius Vamed has also digitalized essential and mandatory training and further education activities. The same applies for the monitoring of the participation within a defined period as well as e.g. successfully carried out exams which are digitally recorded and evaluated.

All employees are free to use their own Fresenius Vamed Academy. Their courses and training cover not only specific professional issues, but also topics such as personal development and leadership, interpersonal skills, and methodological expertise. Various knowledge platforms, such as the International Medical Board (IMB), also pool the know-how of about 1,200 health care professionals working for Fresenius Vamed. The content of the program has not changed significantly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a certain number of courses and events being digitalized and some classroom seminars postponed to later dates.

Organization and responsibilities

Fresenius Vamed’s Human Resources management team, together with the responsible business segments and the Management Board, develop and implement measures to promote and train employees and new talents.

Progress and measures in 2021

In 2021, the management approach to training and development and the governance structure of Fresenius Vamed remained as reported in 2020. In the area of employee development, progress also focused on dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our ambitions

Our business segments promote the development of employees in accordance with segment-specific ambitions. For example, Fresenius Kabi wants to develop the next generation of leaders. This is part of the Fresenius Kabi Vision 2026. Fresenius Helios has achieved the goal of rolling out the Helios knowledge account. In the future, Fresenius Helios aims to improve the service for its employees and managers via digitalized work processes that will streamline processes in Human Resources Management and create better reporting opportunities. The objectives for training and further education at Fresenius Vamed are determined in the context of the Vamed personnel strategy and brought in line with ESG and sustainability targets.


GRI 404/103-3, GRI 404-1

Fresenius Medical Care

Fresenius Medical Care is in the process of assessing the industry standard for average training hours undertaken per employee annually, and plans to meet or achieve this standard, if it has not already done so, by the end of 2024.

Fresenius Kabi

For training of employees in production on quality management an average of almost 26 hours was spent per employee in 2021. The quality management training for employees from 2019 and 2020 has been renewed and additionally supplemented by quality trainings for new employees.

Average hours of training per year per employee in production1 regarding quality

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2021 2020
Production (training hours / average) 25.93 20.06
Number of employees included in the calculation (FTE) 23,700 21,800
1 The production area comprises the following employee groups: operation / manufacturing, quality control, quality assurance, maintenance / technical support and warehouse.

The business segment uses an IT-based annual talent review for dialog and feedback on performance, competencies, and development potential for upper management levels and to strengthen the exchange between employees and their superiors on the individual development planning. On this basis, Fresenius Kabi identifies, evaluates, and develops executives and talents in all regions, divisions, and central functions worldwide. The Talent Review, which was conceptually revised in 2020, was implemented in 2021. It is now fully automated and supported by an IT system, to better assist managers and employees. Furthermore, evaluation and analysis of results have been made more efficient for the global Human Resources department.

Fresenius Helios

In the reporting year, Fresenius Helios again recorded, compared to the pre-pandemic times, significantly higher use of online conference tools and digital learning platforms in both Germany and Spain. Fresenius Helios utilizes annual feedback meetings to discuss topics relating to training and education. The business segment also analyzes the effectiveness of its digital offerings and programs for employees. It carries out qualitative evaluations and reviews the recorded usage statistics, results of outcome measurements (e. g., filling vacancies after development programs), and participation rates.

In 2021, Helios Germany held a total of 221 training sessions in the fields of emergency medicine, anesthesia, intensive care medicine, and obstetrics at its simulation and emergency facilities, thus training a total of 1,756 physicians and nurses.

Fresenius Helios had dedicated targets in Spain and Germany with regard to annual investments in the training and education of employees. In view of the ongoing digitalization and increased use of e-learning, whether this target must be adjusted is currently being examined. An adjustment will be made in fiscal year 2022 at the earliest.

Fresenius Helios continued the development of training portfolio management, the aim of which is to evaluate and market employee training and further education options and services more effectively – internally and externally.

Fresenius Vamed

Fresenius Vamed continually evaluates its own vocational training and development programs; where necessary, the business segment develops and implements adaptation or improvement measures.

Fresenius Vamed also continually optimizes its human resources development processes through additional digitalization.

The long-term success of the programs is borne out by the fact that Fresenius Vamed’s HCM program, which has been in place since 2004, has produced about 130 graduates to date. More than 70% of the graduates who are still working at Fresenius Vamed have now taken their next career steps.