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REFA federal association
legal form Registered association
founding September 30, 1924
Seat Darmstadt ( coordinates: 49 ° 51 ′ 47.2 ″  N , 8 ° 37 ′ 40.8 ″  E )
precursor Reich Committee for Determination of Working Time
purpose Promotion of education and science in the areas of job design, company organization and business development including related areas
Chair Oliver Störmer
Members 10,000 (2019)

The REFA - Association for work design, company organization and corporate development is Germany's oldest organization for work design , company organization and corporate development . REFA develops methods for operational data collection and management, coordinates these with the collective bargaining parties and transfers them to the association's own teaching. The purpose of the association is to "increase profitability through training". He is an international provider of in- company training . In the tradition of scientific management , he represents industrial engineering in the German-speaking area.

Statutory purpose of the REFA Bundesverband e. V. is the promotion of science and education in the areas of work design, company organization and corporate development. The work of the association serves to promote, develop and maintain a competitive economy, administration and service. The promotion and further development of humane work for those employed in these areas are of equal importance and weight.

According to our own presentation, this task is detailed:

Work design is the creation of a task-oriented, optimally possible interaction between working people, equipment and work items through the appropriate organization of work systems, taking into account human performance and needs. In particular, the organization of work consists of the new development or improvement of work processes, working methods and working conditions, of workplaces, machines, tools, aids and the process-oriented design of work items. "


" Operational organization according to REFA includes the planning, design and control of work systems including the necessary data acquisition with the aim of creating an economic and humane business activity"


With this, the REFA association wants to contribute to the development and maintenance of a competitive economy. The instrument is the REFA methodology , which provides methods and instruments with which procedures ( processes ) can be designed, measured, controlled and evaluated regardless of the industry. Methodology is used both in the industrial sector and in the service sector. The range of applications extends from small and medium-sized companies to large companies and corporations. A special feature of the REFA methodology is its neutrality in terms of collective bargaining policy. Before publication, the content is checked by the BDA and the DGB .

Methodology is disseminated everywhere with the same content and according to the same standards. That is why it also has linguistic power of definition in a subject that is otherwise characterized by a rather vague vocabulary.

historical development

Traditional, mechanical "REFA stopwatch" in HM graduation in front of a time sheet

With the first successes of Scientific Management , dubious management consultants also made use of these concepts. However, shortcomings in application could lead to serious social conflicts. Attempts were made in Germany to prevent this through inter-company systematisation and training.

First, the Association of German Engineers (VDI) set up a committee for economic production (AWF, today: Arbeitsgemeinschaften für Vital Unternehmensentwicklung e.V.) to investigate technical and economic problems in 1921 , which in turn formed a sub-committee with the aim of saving working time, reduce worker fatigue, identify design flaws, and find costing elements.

In 1923 the AWF left the VDI and joined the Reich Board of Trustees for Economic Efficiency in Industry and Crafts , which was also founded in 1921 (today: RKW Rationalization and Innovation Center of German Business ). The subcommittee did not follow the changes, but established himself as Re ego Committee f ÜR A rbeitszeitermittlung (REFA) from. This results in the following story in key points:

  • 1924: Established as the Reich Committee for Working Time Determination on September 30th
  • 1936: Reich Committee for Labor Studies
  • 1946: After the war, re-establishment as an association for work studies - REFA e. V.
  • 1951: Foundation of the Association for Work Studies - REFA e. V. at federal level on September 23
  • 1977: REFA - Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V.
  • 1995: REFA - Association for Work Design, Company Organization and Corporate Development e. V.
  • 2000: REFA Bundesverband e. V.

Under the National Socialist rule, the REFA Association was incorporated into the German Labor Front . In the course of the restriction of the free movement of workers, protests against the REFA methods increased in the first few years, as these were associated with tightening working conditions until the risk of such protests was considered too great, as so-called "loafers" were sent to concentration camps . In 1929 the REFA had trained 1,650 timekeepers. In 1943 there were around 12,000. This need arose primarily in connection with the extensive training of forced laborers and the introduction of simplified and standardized manufacturing processes and components under the armaments ministers Fritz Todt and Albert Speer . The national association was therefore dissolved after the end of the war and reorganized around regional associations.

Under the influence of Scientific Management, the REFA Association initially concentrated on the establishment and dissemination of time calculation for calculations and piecework . He initially limited himself to economically oriented work studies in work systems . Following the development of industrial engineering in the USA, REFA opened its methodology and field of activity accordingly in the 1960s and supplemented them with modern planning processes. In addition, essential ergonomic elements were included and in the 1970s, humane work design was an equal goal alongside economic efficiency. This was reflected in a name change in 1977.

With the emergence of Lean Production , Business Process Management , Total Quality Management (TQM) and the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) , REFA also took on these and made this clear in the renewed name change in 1995. In view of the turbulent development in production management in the 1990s and the fact that ideas and methods were now far from their origins, the association decided in 2000 to establish the name REFA as a brand, no longer to regard it as an acronym and instead to include a reference to the respective structural level in the association name.

The situation of the individual associations is different. While some show high financial reserves, on the other hand the insolvency of REFA Rheinland-Pfalz / Saar e. V. announced on August 11, 2010.

Organization of the REFA association

TOP conference center in Dortmund

The REFA Bundesverband e. V. forms the central organization of the REFA general association. He maintains the cooperation, develops the REFA trainings, organizes conferences , publishes REFA teaching documents and books and conducts the REFA trainings in the daytime area and as specific company seminars. Only permanent employees work at the federal association. The federal association maintains training centers in Darmstadt , Dortmund and Munich. In addition, he also looks after Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland under the label "REFA Südwest".

The REFA Bundesverband e. V. form eight REFA regional associations and one regional association as members, each with their own legal capacity as registered associations. You thus support the federal association and control its work via a supervisory board .

These REFA state and regional associations are in turn divided into around 120 regional, district and local associations. They look after around 14,000 individual and company members on site. There are only a few permanent employees in the REFA state and regional associations. Most of the work here, as well as on the lower levels of the regional, district and local associations, is done on a voluntary basis.

Depending on demand, the REFA basic training courses are offered by the regional, district and local associations alongside work. Individual regional, district or local associations also hold company seminars and open training courses full-time. As a rule, however, the higher training levels must be inquired about on a daily basis from the REFA state associations and regional associations or even the federal association.

The REFA Bundesverband e. V. shares the rights to the REFA brand with the REFA regional associations and the regional association in ten equal parts.

The REFA associations in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Northwest, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and the Federal Association for Funded Training are certified according to the AZAV .

The subsidiary, TOP Tagungszentren GmbH, rents the rooms of the REFA Bundesverband e. V. for company and advanced training events. She independently manages the TOP conference centers in Dortmund and Darmstadt. In addition, there are cooperations with locations in Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, Kiel, Dresden and Aiterbach.

REFA training concept

REFA lessons

The REFA training concept is aimed at skilled workers and medium-sized, predominantly technical managers. In addition, there are sometimes specific variants or advanced offers for university graduates in the program.

REFA training courses are designed and further developed in the REFA Institute , an organizational unit in the federal association. The REFA Institute develops the training with scientists, practitioners and representatives of the collective bargaining parties with the help of specialist authors. Each REFA method is coordinated with both employers' associations and trade unions. Financing comes from a portion of the training fees paid for this purpose.

To ensure uniformity, the REFA training courses in the areas of REFA core competencies and key qualifications are fully written down. The training courses consist of modules, some of which build on one another. The entire training program for 2010 was restructured and streamlined.

REFA basic training 2.0

REFA has fundamentally reformed basic training since 2013. The result is the "REFA basic training 2.0" with a lot of new training content, which is geared to current practical requirements and shortened by two weeks. An integrated "practical week" tests the practical suitability of the know-how gained.

"Core competencies"

Process management training

As part of the streamlining of the training offer, the traditional core training courses of the REFA were merged and the following consecutive degrees were offered:

  • REFA basic license: The REFA basic training is divided into
  1. Work system and process design with content such as work system, planning system , analysis and synthesis of process and time data , task analysis , task evaluation , quality management , process engineering, company cost accounting , labor law , occupational safety , occupational safety , stress and strain , work and work environment design as well
  2. Process data management issues such as time recording , performance level , distribution time , recovery time , multi-snapshot , compare and treasures , interviews , SVZ , planned times , working hours , requirements analysis , compensation management , group work , work training , material flow design .
For students and graduates of economics and engineering courses, a shortened form, partly in the form of blended learning , is available from some REFA associations.

"Key qualifications"

In this area, REFA offers three training courses, the REFA supply chain manager, the REFA quality manager and the REFA environmental auditor or auditor

"Top qualifications"

LogTime simulation game

The training courses in this area include:

REFA management consulting

Example for the implementation of time and sequence studies according to REFA standards, here with the time recording device REFA-Chronos
Professional time recording device
Professional time recording device

The 1990s were marked by a profound change in current production systems based on the Toyota production system . At the same time, the collective bargaining parties in Germany lost influence. Bureaucratic effort in work preparation could be saved. In the course of this, work preparation was completely dissolved in many places. Some of the remaining tasks were passed on to the working groups , others were taken over by management consultants . This broke off the “REFA career” in many companies, which led to a sharp decline in the demand for further training at REFA. Against the background of the founding mandate of REFA to support a socially acceptable determination of workloads scientifically and systematically and coordinated with the collective bargaining parties, the association became active in providing advice.

Refaconsult GmbH was founded on May 19, 1998 by the larger REFA associations . In 2005 some of the southern associations left the circle of shareholders. With increasing demand, more and more independent consultants established themselves, some of whom became self-employed from their work as work planners. These often led - due to their REFA training - the REFA brand, until the Federal Association prevented this in 2006 and 2007 by issuing comprehensive warnings  - the fees of which it paid itself. Since then, such consultants have only been able to advertise their employees' personal REFA training, but not the company's brand.

The REFA Bundesverband GmbH was registered on February 27, 2007 . Originally intended to separate the exploitation of REFA real estate assets for tax purposes, she soon also took on consulting services. In quick succession, other associations reacted to these activities of the federal association. This was followed by REFA Sachsen GmbH on December 4, 2007 and REFA Bayern GmbH on May 8, 2008. With the establishment of REFA Suisse GmbH on May 9, 2008 , the federal association became active in Switzerland with the founding of REFA Suisse GmbH on May 8, 2008. Its main offering was Trainings are.

Memberships and cooperations

The REFA association is in contact with other organizations. REFA cooperates with the Rationalization and Innovation Center of German Business (RKW), the Association of German Engineers (VDI), the German MTM Association (DMTMV) and the WORK-FACTOR Association for Germany (WFGD) and is a member of Germany Association of technical and scientific associations (DVT, ended in 2005) and the European Association for Productivity Promotion (EFPS).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Articles of Association (PDF)
  2. Re ego Committee f ÜR A rbeitszeitermittlung
  3. REFA Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.): Methodology of work studies: Part 3 cost accounting. 7th edition Munich: Hanser, 1985. ISBN 3-446-14236-3 . P. 70
  4. REFA Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.): Methodology of work studies: Part 3 cost accounting. 7th edition Munich: Hanser, 1985. ISBN 3-446-14236-3 . P. 73.
  5. Faust, Michael: Why is management consulting booming? : and why not at all times and everywhere. In: Sofi-Mitteilungen 28 (2000), pp. 59–85, here: pp. 67f. PDF , accessed February 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Manfred Schulte-Zurhausen : Organization . 5th, revised. and updated edition. Munich: Vahlen, 2010. ISBN 978-3-8006-3736-2 . P. 11.
  7. REFA Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Hrsg.) Methodology of work studies - Part 1: Basics. 7th edition Munich: Hanser, 1984. ISBN 3-446-14234-7 . P. 29.
  8. REFA Bundesverband: Departure with new leadership. In: REFA news. 52, No. 6, ISSN  0033-6874 , 1999, p. 4f.
  9. Hachtmann, Rüdiger: "The founders of American technology are almost nothing but Swabian-Allannish people": Nazi Germany, the view of the USA and the "Americanization" of industrial production structures in the "Third Reich" . In: Lüdtke, Alf (Hrsg.) Et al .: Americanization: Dream and Nightmare in Germany in the 20th Century. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1996. ISBN 978-3-515-06952-6 . P. 61
  10. Hachtmann, Rüdiger: Fordism and slave labor: theses on the operational rationalization movement 1941 to 1944. In: Potsdamer Bulletin for Contemporary History Studies (2008) 43/44, pp. 21–34. PDF , read May 31, 2012
  11. ^ Zülch, Gert: Industrial Engineering. In: Luczak, Holger (Hrsg.), Volpert, Walter : Handbuch Arbeitswissenschaft . Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel, 1997. ISBN 3-7910-0755-6 . Pp. 183-186
  12. Free search in the GENIOS database: REFA , announcement by the REFA Federal Association (PDF)
  13. See Google search: REFA AZWV , read on June 15, 2010.
  14. Homepage of TOP Conference Centers GmbH ( Memento of the original from November 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. REFA Regional Association Rhineland ( Memento of the original from April 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. homepage Refaconsult
  17. a b REFA Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.) Methodology of work studies: Part 1 Basics. 7th edition Munich: Hanser 1984, ISBN 3-446-14234-7 . P. 33
  18. REFA cooperation partner