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CAS SME Management

Further Education for Professionals and Managers

In an increasingly dynamic, digital and internationally competitive environment, SMEs must position themselves professionally and develop an entrepreneurial spirit to remain competitive. Our CAS SME Management supports professionals and managers with expanding their business knowledge to master current and future challenges and be fully effective in the company.


Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in General Management
University of Bern
Course Start
August 31, 2023
University of Bern
As well as company visits
Five course blocks of 2.5 days each
Thursdays and Fridays as well as two impulse days and company visits (three half-days)
10 months
Application Deadline
June 25, 2023
Program Language
Program Fees
CHF 11,700

Why choose the CAS SME Management of Rochester-Bern?

Take a look behind the scenes to learn more about this continuing education and what experiences have convinced our students about the program.

Your Benefits

Current Topics with SME Focus

Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the Swiss economy. In this program specialists and managers in SMEs receive knowledge, application examples and the network they need in order to be optimally equipped for the challenges of their environment. Cutting-edge topics such as (digital) transformation, change and sustainability are addressed on an ongoing basis.

Practical Relevance and Interactivity

Lecturers from the Rochester-Bern Executive Programs network interactively convey relevant specialist knowledge and illustrate it with practical examples. In workshops and guest lectures, experienced speakers and fellow students from various industries also hold exciting dialogues and share in-depth knowledge by means of field reports.

Applicability and Knowledge Transfer

The program is designed for immediate implementation in everyday SME work. The practical knowledge transfer tasks at the end of the module ensure that participants can reflect on and apply what they learned by means of examples from their work environment and thus have a direct effect in their organizations.

Study Modules

The program is divided into five modules that cover the most important management disciplines. Participants learn to apply these in a targeted manner.
Introduction Trends & Technology

Market Environment, New Technologies & Transformation

You start by addressing current developments and challenges in the economic and technological environment. You then examine current trends and their influence on products, services, and customer relationships. Special attention will be paid to technological developments as well as to the risks and opportunities for your company.

Learning Objectives

  • Correctly interpret market changes and trends
  • Understand key factors of competitiveness in the (inter)national SME market
  • Understand new technologies in the SME context, including their challenges, and support transformation.
Module 1 Entrepreneurship & Strategy

Innovation, Disruption & Corporate (Further) Development

This module focuses on innovation and ways of promoting it. You will learn ways of generating, evaluating, and implementing ideas. In addition, you will focus on strategies which determine the targeted market positions in the medium and long term as well as learn how to build and maintain competitive advantages that ultimately lead to the company’s success.

Learning Objectives

  • Anchor customer-oriented thinking in the strategy
  • Promote change, technological change and innovation
  • Know, control and measure elements of (digital) strategy development in a dynamic environment
Module 2 Finance & Controlling

KPIs, Project Evaluation & Financial Control

This module covers the relevant topics in financial and management accounting. You will learn to assess, prepare, and implement important financial decisions in your company. Thus, you will be able to understand current tasks in applied finance and influence them positively.

Learning Objectives

  • Work with SME-relevant standards and key figures
  • Master investment appraisal and corporate finance/evaluation
  • Understand finance, investments, and shareholding among all stakeholders
Module 3 Operations & Supply Chain Management

Processes, Industry & Trade (Including Company Visit)

This module analyzes the production of goods and services from a process perspective. Flexibility and delivery speed are becoming increasingly important, so the focus is on process-oriented and systems approaches as applied to international value chains.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze the efficiency and flexibility of value creation processes
  • Classify concepts of sustainability in supply chains
  • Identify potentials of digital transformation in supply chains
Module 4 Marketing & Sales

Marketing, Sales & Distribution

This module focuses on the interaction of marketing and sales from a strategic and operational perspective. You will discuss ways of establishing and developing long-term customer relationships, which are increasingly determined by digitalization, as well as new possibilities of individualization and interaction between providers and customers.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the link between customer value, value proposition, and positioning
  • Know marketing strategy and implementation as well as the tools of digital marketing
  • Learn to master and implement sales and distribution measures
Module 5 People & Organization

Culture, Leadership and Human Resource Management

This module examines the effects of various mega trends and associated transformation processes on people, companies, and culture. We connect the old and new worlds and address topics such as agile organizational development, digital transformation, remote and flexible work arrangements, leadership from a distance, as well as the challenges of demographic change for leadership and HR management in the wake of a shortage of skilled workers and aging workforces. For this purpose, influencing factors for successful change in the company life cycle are addressed along with the complex tasks for leadership and HR management.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the skills for analyzing corporate cultures and designing change
  • Understand the basic principles of agile organizations
  • Develop design approaches for SMEs to master the challenges of
    demographic change

Program Details

Goals & Benefits

The CAS SME Management is designed to help you learn more about business and become fully effective in your company. It shows you how to position your company successfully and stay competitive.

The program is tailored to SMEs and provides practical tools for immediate implementation in everyday work. You will learn the management skills you need to successfully master today’s challenges.

Modules, Dates & Professors
Impulse Day 1
Urs Frey
Urs Frey
CEO 7impact AG
Impulse Day 2
Marc K. Peter
Professor Marc K. Peter
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz
Entrepreneurship & Strategy
12.10 – 13.10.2023
To be announced
Finance & Controlling
23.11. – 24.11.2023
Urs Wälchli
Professor Urs Wälchli
Simon Business School, University of Rochester, U.S.
Company Visit
Stoppani AG
Operations & Supply Chain Management
18.01. – 19.01.2024
Norbert Trautmann
Professor Norbert Trautmann
University of Bern, Switzerland
Marketing & Sales
14.03. – 15.03.2024
Marc K. Peter
Professor Marc K. Peter
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland
People & Organization
02.05. – 03.05.2024
Martina Zölch
Professor Martina Zölch
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland
Company Visit
To be announced
Company Visit
To be announced

Please note that courses and dates can be subjects to change.

Applied Assignments

Following Modules 1-5, each participant solves a knowledge transfer task to deepen and directly apply the module contents within his or her company.

Target Audience/Requirements

The CAS SME Management is designed for professionals and managers with an SME background from various industries who want to:

  • expand their business management knowledge
  • further develop their management skills
  • bring about change within the company
  • position themselves professionally and remain competitive
  • promote innovation and change
  • combine practical experience with in-depth knowledge
  • expand their network

The course topics focus on SMEs with 10 to 250 employees. Participants from larger or smaller companies are naturally also welcome.

A diverse composition of the CAS class is important to us. Therefore, we put a strong focus on the personal admission interview, to which applicants are invited after we have reviewed their documents. Statements about the professional career, ambitions and motivation for this continuing education help us to optimally select participants for the program.

Program Fees

The program fee is CHF 11,700.

The fee covers program participation, electronic course materials, catering during breaks, examinations, and the certificate from the University of Bern. Course materials are provided electronically; participants use their own laptop (or tablet) in class.


Members of our partners can benefit from discounts. Our partners are listed here.

DAS/MAS Upgrade

You can complement this course with further Rochester-Bern programs in modules within five years – earn a DAS (Diploma of Advanced Studies) in General Management with one further CAS program (and a final thesis) or a MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) in General Management with four further CAS programs (and a final thesis).

Step 1
Online Application

Download the application package (in German) and complete it electronically. If a signature is required, please print out the document and sign and scan it. You can then upload the completed documents to the application portal. The following documents are required for a complete application. In addition, all terms and conditions must be read and accepted.

  • Copy of ID or passport
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation
  • Copy of the highest diploma
  • Portrait photo

Once the complete application has been uploaded, we will contact you about dates for an interview.

Step 2
Personal Interview

A personal interview will be conducted to determine if your qualifications and specific needs match the program.

Step 3
Admission Decision

The admission decision is made after the interview.

Next Info Sessions and Open Days

What Our Clients Say

Portrait Picture of Marc Hauser, Alumnus CAS SME-Management
Marc Hauser
Finance and Human Resources at Seven-Air Gebr. Meyer AG

“The modules are rich with current topics in the areas of digital transformation, change management and sustainability. Rochester-Bern has managed to set up a tailor-made program for SME needs!”

Portrait Picture of Maya Burkhard, Alumna CAS SME-Management
Maya Burkhard
Business owner of Burkhard Coaching GmbH

“The CAS SME Management is a very carefully compiled and interesting course. Compact, multifaceted content provides a sound basis on the one hand, and the contact with brilliant speakers, latest research, guests from established SMEs as well as young startups full of enthusiasm and fantastic ideas on the other.”

Portrait Picture of Esther Trummer, Alumna CAS SME-Management
Esther Trummer
Head of communication at Elektra Genossenschaft

“The lecturers share their knowledge with a lot of commitment and esprit. Working with numerous examples from our everyday professional life provides just the right practical relevance, explains contexts more quickly, and gives an insight into many other industries. I really liked the open atmosphere and the family flair on campus!”

Portrait Picture of André Forrer, Alumnus CAS SME-Management
Andre Forrer
CEO at Coiffeur Suisse

“The CAS SME course provided me with very valuable content in essential areas of executive management as a “booster“. I received an update on strategy development, digital transformation, finance, supply chains and leadership. In particular, the mix of theory and practice was very good, as well as the students getting along with each other. I highly recommend this course to any C-level manager.”

Portrait Picture of Markus Schnyder, Alumnus CAS SME-Management
Markus Schnyder
Head of operative procurement at Elektro-Material AG

“The interactive exchange with the lecturers and the course participants from different industries, companies and functions created a great dynamic. The practical relevance was based on well-founded theoretical concepts and remained at the forefront of all modules. In addition, the in-depth coverage of topics by guest speakers about their experiences was very exciting and valuable. I did not regret registering for a second!”

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