This page was last modified on 14 January 2016, at 14:49.

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

Overview Belgium (French Community)


Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes


Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective




Social Advancement Education

Social advancement education in the strict sense of the term provides learners with an opportunity to acquire qualifications that they failed to obtain in their initial education. It has two main aims:

• to contribute towards the individual’s personal development by promoting better occupational, social, cultural and educational integration;

• to respond to needs and requests for training from businesses, public services, the education sector and, in general, from socio-economic and cultural groups.

Higher social advancement education also pursues the objectives set by the decree of 31 March 2004 (the ‘Bologna decree’ for higher education organised or grant-aided by the French Community (decree of 16 April 1991 Moreover, a general reorganization of the higher education landscape in the French Community is currently on its way (decree of 7 November 2013 The reform is centered on three key words: excellence (of research), consistency (of provision) and quality (of teaching), with a will to promote student’s success. The hard core of the reform is the creation of the ARES. The ARES will be an “Academy" gathering together all the stakeholders of Higher Education, in order to complete and better coordinate Higher Education provision in the French Community. The aim is to move from a competitive approach towards stronger collaborations and synergies. Higher Education will be organized in 5 geographic clusters. Apart from these structural aspects, the reform focuses on organization of the curriculum. The guiding thread of the project is the student, his status, the promotion of academic success, the diversity of provision (including proximity for first cycles), and quality of the curriculum. The project also aims at following the international evolution based on excellence, personalized and lifelong curriculums, international and pluridisciplinary openness, teachers and students' mobility, etc. While the current organization too often tends to focus on academic failure, the reform aims at promoting achievement and success.

The education provided addresses individual and collective needs for introductory courses, remedial instruction, qualifications, advanced studies, refresher training, retraining, and specialisation. It constitutes one of the forms of continuing education, which itself forms part of the lifelong education movement. Social advancement education is a form of ‘second chance’ education, in that it can take account of skills previously acquired in education or other forms of training, even without certification, including work experience. Students in social advancement education are:

• qualified or unqualified people who are not working (retired people, housewives, refugees etc.) or who are working, and who wish to improve their skills or gain a specialisation, an update (refresher training), or initial training with a view to a career change;

• qualified or unqualified people who are not working (retired people, housewives, refugees etc.) or who are working, and who wish to acquire knowledge and skills for their personal development or leisure;

• students who are completing their training in areas where they have experienced difficulties or which they feel were missing from their initial training (foreign languages, information technology, etc.);

• young people who choose this sort of education instead of initial training for various reasons (shorter course, possibility of combining education with work, etc.).

For some years now, this type of education has been particularly important for foreigners (notably refugees) with a view to facilitating their integration, and the role of social advancement in adult literacy was reinforced in 2009.

Distance learning

Distance learning is regarded by the Government of the French Community as a form of social advancement education. The objectives of distance learning, as set out in the law of 5 March 1965 ( and expanded by the decree of 18 December 1984 (, are as follows:

• to prepare students for the exams organised by the French Community Examination Board with a view to obtaining the first- and second-stage secondary education certificates (CE1D and CESDD) or the upper secondary education certificate (CESS); passing one of these exams enables ordinary education to be resumed, not just at secondary but also at higher education level;

• to prepare students for the civil service recruitment and promotion competitions and examinations organised by the public authorities for personnel at various levels of the civil service;

• to organise, for French-speaking pupils with Belgian nationality who are resident outside the territory of the French community, an education based on the lessons and programmes taught in education in the French Community;

• to organise all courses deemed necessary for the continuing training of teachers in full-time and social advancement education;

• to organise all courses deemed necessary for the personal development of everybody and for better social, professional, and school integration.

Distance learning can be used to prepare people for various types of examinations and training programmes:

• the French Community examination boards ( ;

• recruitment examinations for the civil service ;

• interviews by boards of examiners for access to certain professions (business management only) ;

• continuing education and training and professional advancement.

This type of education is usually undertaken by people who have gaps in their initial education (primary and secondary education) or who are interested in a career change. It is sometimes followed by people who are keen to acquire an additional qualification to supplement their initial training. Distance learning thus caters for a wide range of people of all ages in Belgium and abroad. Special courses are also organised on ad hoc basis for people in hospital or in prison.

Further Education

The decree of 17 July 2003 ( on associative action in the area of further education defines continuing education and the objectives of associations which receive support in this area, emphasising ‘the development of associative action in the area of further education, aiming at a critical analysis of society, the stimulation of democratic and collective initiatives, the development of active citizenship, and the exercise of cultural, social, environmental, and economic rights with a view to individual and collective emancipation by privileging the active participation of the target public and cultural expression’.

The three main aims of part-time secondary arts education are to:

• contribute to pupils’ personal artistic development by promoting an artistic culture through learning various artistic languages and practices;

• give pupils the means and training that allow them to become artistically independent, thus awakening their personal creativity;

• provide an education that prepares pupils to satisfy the requirements for access to higher arts education.

Adult literacy education belongs to the further education sector, but is also one of the fields covered by social advancement education. It aims to assist learners in acquiring prerequisites and in updating knowledge relating to reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a view to attending vocational training that leads to a qualification, or basic training. Courses are mainly targeted at people who do not hold a primary education certificate (CEB) or equivalent diploma. Some providers of adult literacy courses also teach French as a foreign language to adults.

Vocational Training for Workers and Job-Seekers

In each of the Regions, there is an organisation with responsibility for implementing training policies: these are Forem, and in particular its specialised branch Forem Formation, and the Institute of French-Speaking Brussels for Vocational Training (IBFFP), generally known as Bruxelles Formation. The courses taught at Forem and Bruxelles Formation are intended to increase job-seekers’ and workers’ professional qualifications. Depending on requirements, they consist of either an apprenticeship or a refresher training programme, and cover a wide range of trades in a large number of sectors.

Two public operators offer training courses which are adapted to the specific requirements of the self-employed and small and medium-sized enterprises. In the Walloon Region, the training network of IFAPME, in addition to its role in initial dual vocational training (apprenticeships (, company management courses, etc.), also organises continuing training for the self-employed and for small and medium-sized enterprises, with the help of the training centres. EFPME (the Training Centre for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) serves the Brussels-Capital Region. The training provided in the continuing training centres for the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses aims to impart the general knowledge of professional management that is needed to carry on an independent profession that is eligible for representation at the Higher Council for Independent Professions and SMEs, or to occupy a management position in an SME involved in handicraft, commerce, intellectual professions, or provision of services. The range of training also includes training in setting up a business, accelerated management training (for those starting up or taking over a business), and a preparatory year of training as a company manager. This is targeted at young people who have the general aptitude to access training as a company manager. It aims to remedy their lack of basic professional theoretical and practical knowledge.


Social Advancement Education in the Strict Sense

The target groups for social advancement education are as follows:

• people in work or job-seekers who have a professional qualification and seek further training, a specialisation, refresher training or training with a view to a change of profession;

• people with or without professional qualifications who wish to acquire knowledge and skills with a view to personal development;

• people wishing to reach the required standard of knowledge and skill to take a course;

• unemployed people who wish at least to maintain their professional qualification and individual skills.

No student can be admitted as a regular student in social advancement education as long as he or she is still required to attend full-time compulsory schooling. Anybody who wants to register must therefore be at least 16 years old (or 15 and have regularly followed the first two years of secondary education) and possess the specified level to follow the chosen training. Nevertheless, young people that are still subject to a part-time schooling obligation (up to 18 years old) must also be registered in full-time education or in a dual vocational education and training centre (CEFA).

Access to certain levels of courses is only granted to pupils who prove that they fulfil the necessary prerequisites and, if required, hold the necessary certificate, grade or qualification as defined. For every training module in tertiary education, there is an educational portfolio that includes an established definition of prerequisite abilities (or credentials which can be deemed to certify these abilities).

In each school, a study council decides on admission. It may take into account skills acquired in other forms of education or training, including work experience (attestations issued by Forem, Bruxelles-Formation (, etc.). The validation of experience may also be based on a test in a real-life situation observed by a panel of professionals. A certificate of competence issued by a validation centre can also give rise to a dispensation. Applicants for a teaching ability certificate valid for higher education (CAPAES) need to be holders of an academic degree and to teach in a higher education institution as a practical trainer, assistant lecturer or lecturer.

Training programmes are organised in modular systems (‘scheme 1’ programmes). These modular systems are consisting of one or more training units with associated credits. These may then be combined with others in order to arrive at an overall set of skills associated with a profession, a professional qualification or a study qualification. Such a set of units constitutes a ‘section’.

Assessment in social advancement education is summative and leads to certification. It is based on tests at the end of the programme. A student has successfully completed the training course in one section if he or she obtains a pass certificate for each of the units that make up the section (capitalisation of credits with a view to obtaining a qualification).

The institution’s study council is responsible for decisions relating to educational monitoring of students. Each institution’s study regulations includes, in compliance with a framework determined by the decrees of 27 October 2006 and 3 April 2014 (, the details of an internal appeal procedure against the decisions of the study councils on the basis of a written complaint. If the pupil contests the decision taken following the internal appeal, he/she may make an external appeal to a Committee for Appeals in Social Advancement Education.

Distance Learning

There are no admission requirements for distance learning.

As regards the preparation for examinations organised by the French Community Examination Board ( (CE1D (, CESDD and CESS (, the courses are developed taking account of the curricula for these examinations. For the most part, they are independent of school textbooks. Revision and mock examination sessions are organised periodically. The success of such preparation depends largely on the judicious choice of the learner’s starting point and the chosen speed of study. To ensure progression, distance learning requires the establishment of a personalised study programme that takes account of the psycho-social profile of each learner. It is the individual supervision from a teacher that makes it possible to stimulate the pupil to put an effort into his/her studying and to accompany him/her as he/she progresses.

As regards preparation for administrative examinations, the design and organisation of the distance courses take the specific nature of the tests into account as far as possible.

Forem and Bruxelles Formation

The professional training organised by the two parastatal organisations Forem and Bruxelles Formation is targeted at adults (over the age of 18) who are in the labour force (workers or job-seekers). In some cases, prior knowledge may be required before starting the course. However, there are no strict conditions in terms of qualifications for gaining admission. People with professional experience or with sufficient knowledge – as determined by the selection tests – are also eligible.

In the Walloon Region, after an application has been submitted to Forem, the decision to admit a candidate to a course is essentially based not only on the candidate’s ability to follow the course and exercise the desired profession, but also on his or her motivation. Medical and psychological examinations may be required depending upon the type of training requested, especially in the secondary sector. In the Brussels-Capital Region, access conditions for training programmes offered by Bruxelles Formation are variable: previous knowledge is generally required, from simple language or calculation tests up to a university diploma, depending on the programme.


The company manager’s course is intended mainly for those with a qualification in a craft-based, commercial or intellectual profession who wish to improve their skills further while preparing to manage a small business. The training is open to adults who have completed their compulsory schooling and have successfully completed an apprenticeship contract, the second stage of general education or the sixth year of vocational secondary education (and have obtained the qualification certificate). If a candidate fails to satisfy the conditions in terms of previous studies or training, he or she may take an admission test. However, specific conditions are set for a number of professions.

Continuing training is intended for the self-employed and company managers.

At-Risk Groups

The socio-occupational integration scheme (ISP) is aimed at unemployed, low-skilled job-seekers over the age of 18 in both the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. However, the exact conditions depend on the region and the training agency.

In the Walloon Region, beneficiaries of the scheme must be registered with Forem as job-seekers. The socio-occupational integration agencies (OISPs) are accessible to those who have not obtained the upper secondary education certificate (CESS), or an equivalent or higher qualification, while the on-the-job training enterprises (EFTs) are accessible to those who hold neither the lower secondary education certificate (CE1D), nor the second-stage secondary education certificate (CESDD), nor an equivalent or higher qualification. Moreover, the EFTs can take on anyone entitled to social integration support who meets the same conditions in terms of qualifications as the job-seekers. The Walloon integrated socio-occupational integration scheme also applies to:

• job-seekers who have been unemployed for at least 24 months (the long-term unemployed);

• job-seekers who have re-entered the job market after at least three years out of work (returners);

• prisoners and those who have been committed, who are due for release within two years;

• foreigners who have not been ordered to leave the country and who meet the qualification conditions.

Under certain conditions, OISPs and EFTs may be authorised to take on unemployed job-seekers and claimants of work incapacity benefits.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, beneficiaries of the ISP scheme must not have obtained the upper secondary education certificate (CESS) or an equivalent qualification. The AFTs also have the aim of providing basic education and training within a lifelong learning perspective. Their target public is those aged 18 or over who do not hold a second-stage secondary education certificate, and who are either long-term unemployed or recipients of the minimum integration income.


Social Advancement Education in the Strict Sense

Social advancement education mainly takes place in the evening and at the weekend, although classes may also be held in the late afternoon or indeed at any time of day. Tailored to the learners’ specific needs, education for social advancement features flexibility in terms of study organisation and is based on:

• an ability-based approach;

• the modular nature of the training scheme and the way learning programmes are structured around units which carry credits: the content of each section is broken down into units, which consist of a course or a set of courses forming a coherent educational content block in terms of acquisition of knowledge and/or skills ;

• a method of taking account of previously acquired skills, including those acquired through professional or individual experience.

From this perspective, the educational practices involved are characterised by:

• adaptability to learners’ experience and prior knowledge;

• making use of each individual's contributions, so as to elicit participation;

• a practical focus, through the reproduction of work situations;

• endeavouring to ensure success through consecutive blocks of training;

• functionality by coordinating the techniques taught and employed;

• a concern to give the learner responsibility and autonomy.

In the area of educational choices, collaboration and partnerships with companies enable social advancement education to operate dual vocational education and training. Collaboration with companies leads to reflection on professional profiles and allows training profiles adapted to all specific situations to be developed.

Distance Learning

In general terms, distance learning is a form of individualised education which takes place at times of the student’s own choosing. The student registers freely at any time in the year and manages the work him/herself, setting his/her own pace and timetable. The level and the pace of the courses are set at the time of registration, based on the student's existing knowledge, objectives, and availability.

The lessons, also called ‘subject units’, include, apart from numerous worked examples, one or more pieces of homework or varied assignments (e.g. on paper, or CD’s, …) that have to be sent to the teacher/marker, accompanied by any questions or requests for additional explanations. This homework is returned to the student, marked and with comments. Whenever it seems necessary, a model answer is enclosed, particularly for exact sciences. A dialogue in writing enables the teacher to follow the student's efforts and to assist in his or her progress. Consultation sessions are arranged every two months for subjects such as French, mathematics and foreign languages.

Individual assistance may be arranged if requested in advance. This usually takes the form of consultation sessions, mock exams, conversation practice in modern languages, etc. Audio CD’s are also used for courses in modern languages.

The design of these courses is constantly evolving in the light of new self-study techniques and the emergence of new information and communication technologies. Multimedia support has developed and the Internet is gradually taking its place as a communication medium. In language and computer training, the main medium used is still paper-based self-study products (plus audio CDs for languages). Nevertheless, a diversification of media has been observed: some programmes are now provided on CD-Rom and/or the Internet. Collaboration with other training operators has also enriched courses.

Distance learning prepares students for examinations organised by the French Community examination boards leading to a CE1D, CESDD or CESS. If one of these exams is passed, ordinary education may be resumed. Distance learning also prepares students for recruitment and promotion competitions and examinations at various levels in the public sector. At present, there are some 170 different courses on offer in distance learning.

Provision to Raise Achievement in Basic Skills

Distance learning

In collaboration with full-time education, distance learning is developing online remediation modules to address recurrent gaps in students’ knowledge and skills. Some of these are aimed specifically at young people aged 10 to 14 years, and seek to remedy shortcomings in basic skills, such as reading speeds in French or oral comprehension in Dutch.

Adult Literacy

“Adult literacy policies concern Francophone adults or not, who do not have the CEB or do not have equivalent skills to the CEB” (see Comité de pilotage permanent sur l’alphabétisation des adultes (2013). État des lieux de l'alphabétisation - 6e exercice. Données 2010-2011. Brussels: Ministry of the French Community, p. 12).

Diagnostic tests have recently been devised, and are mainly used by the regional branches of the network for the coordination of adult literacy campaigns in French-speaking Belgium, Lire et écrire ( Training of operators in the use of these tests and their dissemination is in progress. The tests should make it possible to identify the target public and assess individual progress.

Adult literacy training does not directly aim at the obtaining of certificates or diplomas.

However, exams are organised annually with a view to awarding the certificate of primary education (CEB) ( to students who are no longer subject to compulsory education. The inspectorate is responsible for giving written notice that the examination will be held to all organisations recognised by the French Community involved in literacy or other adult training which are located in its area, as well as to other bodies and individuals at its own discretion. The assessment is based on a written assignment submitted beforehand by the candidate, an oral presentation of this work, and the acquisition and use in the elaboration and production of this work of the defined core skills.

Within the framework defined for further education, literacy training is characterised by an integrated approach: in addition to instruction in the strict sense, numerous providers arrange other activities with learners (visits to museums and other public places, local outings, workshops, etc.). Various forms of expression are explored: workshops in writing, drama, singing, etc. Other workshops focus on specific learning areas such as preparing to get a driver’s licence or civic participation and involvement (topical issues workshops, learners’ committees, etc.), health and well-being (health workshops, vegetable gardening workshops, etc.), daily life (administrative documents, looking for a job, etc.) or leisure (reading groups, games, etc.) (see Comité de pilotage permanent sur l’alphabétisation des adultes (2013). État des lieux de l'alphabétisation - 6e exercice. Données 2010-2011. Brussels: Ministry of the French Community, p. 54).

Provision to Achieve a Recognised Qualification during Adulthood

Social Advancement Education in the Strict Sense

Social advancement education runs training courses which usually correspond to professional profiles. Each course consists of one or more training units which count as credits towards a qualification. Successful completion of a training unit entitles the student to a pass certificate. Pass certificates for the training units which make up a study section can then be converted by the holder into the qualification that is issued on completion of that section. The study sections are associated with certificates or qualification certificates in secondary education and degrees in higher education (short type and long type).

The qualifications which are issued may be specific to social advancement education or may correspond to those issued in full-time education. The latter type of qualification does not always carry the same legal effects. The teaching certificate (CAP) may be issued by social advancement education at the higher level.

Distance Learning

Distance learning does not lead to the award of diplomas, but to a certificate for the course of study chosen. A student who has studied for exams with a view to obtaining a diploma must take these in the presence of the French Community Examination Board ( In computer science, however, certification is provided and recognised by education for social advancement.

Forem and Bruxelles Formation

Successful completion of a training programme organised by Bruxelles Formation or by Forem, depending on the track chosen, leads to a diploma, certificate, or attestation. In some cases, no formal recognition is provided.

Once the professional training has been completed, Forem or Bruxelles Formation awards trainees an attestation which stipulates which course or module(s) have been taken. This attestation is not formally recognised in the education system, and does not confer entitlement to admission to specific study courses, or to social advancement education. However, it is valued highly by companies, which recruit new personnel on the basis of it.


At the end of the company manager’s training, the candidate takes examinations on management and theoretical and practical professional subjects. If he/she passes these three tests, he/she receives a company manager’s diploma endorsed by the French Community and satisfies all the legal requirements for access to the chosen profession. A candidate who only passes the test relating to management receives a ‘management certificate’.

Provision Targeting the Transition to the Labour Market

In the Walloon Region, the integrated socio-occupational integration scheme ( aims to provide access to lasting, quality jobs within a maximum of two years (including a maximum of six months of employment support). On the basis of a personal and professional profile and an assessment of the person’s needs, FOREM’s advisers identify with that person the steps to be taken towards employment, and make individualised training or employment proposals. Access to the scheme is opened by the voluntary signing of an integration credit contract.

There is a system for monitoring and supporting the unemployed, called the Support Plan (Activation) for the Unemployed (PAC), whose purpose is to support and activate the search for work increasingly promptly after a person has signed on as a job-seeker. Under this scheme, job-seekers are systematically invited for interview, both by the monitoring services (ONEM) and by the support services (Forem or Actiris), and sign personalised integration contracts which may include periods of training. The payment of unemployment benefit may be interrupted or even discontinued if the job-seeker fails to attend an interview with an employer or the regional service for employment and vocational training after an invitation.

Forem and Bruxelles Formation

The teaching methods used by Forem and Bruxelles Formation are based on the alternation of practical case studies and theoretical courses. Internships offer first-hand involvement in the environment of the chosen trade.

Forem runs qualifying training courses relating to all industrial and service sectors and at all qualification levels. It also works with several hundred companies, offering them courses which are adapted to their requirements (individual training in the company, courses created together with the company and collective training in the company).

The training programmes are designed in the form of highly flexible modules which enable each individual to construct his /her own training pathway. The training focuses on practical learning, is given by experienced instructors, and is both in line with the employment market and personalised. To develop a quality approach on the one hand and satisfy the legitimate aspirations of its customers on the other hand, Forem’s vocational training organisation uses working methods which ensure that customer requirements are addressed within the agreed time, divide its training provision into modules in line with customer requirements and ensure suitable follow-up after training. Forem’s vocational training is ISO9001-certified. Specific schemes are provided for workers who suffer collective redundancy. They are taken under the supervision of retraining units, which among other things offer them training possibilities.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, Bruxelles Formation organises more than 200 qualifying training courses on its own or with its partners. It has 8 training centers and a big center of information on careers and opportunities for inter-regional and international mobility :

- Bruxelles formation Carrefour : the information center on careers and training in the Brussels-Capital Region ;

- Bruxelles formation Tremplin : Springboard Pole : the orientation, support and remediation center of which one part is entirely dedicated to young people under 29 years as part of the actions of the Youth Guarantee scheme ;

- Bruxelles formation Construction ;

- Bruxelles formation Industrie ;

- Bruxelles formation Logistique ;

- Bruxelles formation Bureau et Services ;

- Bruxelles formation Management et Multimédia TIC ;

- Bruxelles formation Langues ;

- Bruxelles formation Entreprises.

Soon, a new center for self-training and distance learning will also open.

Bruxelles Formation is also responsible for training for disabled people in the Brussels-Capital Region.

In its regional manager function of providing training, Bruxelles Formation collaborates with many partners through partnership agreements :

- Partnership with the socio-professional Insertion organizations (ISP) : 44 ;

- Partnership with 9 local missions in the region ;

- Partnership with the Social Advancement Education (EPS) and other institutions ;

- Partnership with the sectoral funds : numerous courses are conducted in collaboration with the sectoral funds (Horeca, Construction, Cefora, Formelec, Transportation Fund, taxi Fund, EDUCAM, ....).

Professional manual, technical and industrial training courses are organised either on an inter-company basis or within individual companies, in line with their needs. The trainees are included in an existing course at a Bruxelles Formation centre, or an instructor is assigned to the company, or specific sections or training modules may be set up in the company or at a Bruxelles Formation centre. The methods used are mainly practical, based on working realities in companies (workshops, simulations, case studies, etc.).

Forem and Bruxelles Formation also organise a range of distance learning courses, which are modular in structure and free of charge.


IFAPME and EFPME organise dual vocational education and training, company manager’s training courses and continuing training which enables self-employed people, directors of small and medium-sized businesses and their employees to acquire additional professional skills and to adapt to new techniques and changes in the economic, legal or employment-law situation.

Training for the self-employed and for small and medium-sized enterprises comes in different forms, depending on the learners’ age and skills. Apart from the apprenticeship contract, the following forms of training are distinguished:

• The company manager’s training, which lasts for 2 or 3 years depending upon the profession, consists firstly of 8 hours of theoretical courses per week, usually spread over two evenings, and secondly of 4 days a week of practical training in a company. It is centred on the management of a company and the acquisition of professional knowledge. During this training, the candidate receives a progressive training allowance which varies according to level of qualification at the start of the agreement and whether or not it is necessary to take a preparatory year.

• The preparatory year for training as a company manager is made up of 8 hours a week of theoretical and professional practice lessons and 4 days a week of practical training in a company if a work placement contract is signed.

• Extended training includes advanced training (consisting of a regular adaptation to new problems arising in a company), refresher training (in-depth training in new and complex techniques or knowledge updates), conversion training (allowing a company manager to acquire the skills necessary to exercise another self-employed profession) and guidance in setting up a company (supervision for anyone planning to set up an independent business).

To obtain the company manager’s diploma, the candidate must show that he/she has acquired professional knowledge and practical experience:

• before or during the training, he/she may be/have been a helper in a family business, under a contract of employment, self-employed, hired in the framework of a training-employment contract, or even registered as a job-seeker (in this last case, he/she performs voluntary work placements in a company);

• he/she can benefit from a work placement agreement if he/she lacks the opportunity to acquire professional knowledge in the company during training. This agreement enables the person in question to gain practical experience in a company and to start learning about its management.

At-Risk Groups

Certain operators’ actions target an ‘at risk’ group: their objective is to increase the chances for unemployed, low-skilled job-seekers of finding work on the job market. In the Walloon Region, socio-occupational integration agencies may be authorised and subsidised either as EFTs (on-the-job training enterprises), or as OISPs (socio-occupational integration agencies). EFTs and OISPs are training centres with non-profit organisation status which are directly dependent on the public welfare centres. In the EFTs, the training is based around work experience and the production of a piece of work, either within the EFT or within a company. These operators are responsible for prequalification training. In the Brussels-Capital Region, Bruxelles Formation has formed a series of partnership agreements with authorised socio-occupational integration agencies (OISPs): training operators that undertake activities in the area of adult literacy, basic training, preliminary training targeting a vocational sector and training leading to qualification, on-the-job training workshops (AFTs) which undertake on-the-job training activities within the organisation in question leading to the output (commercialised or non-commercialised) of goods or services, and local missions that, in addition to their local coordination roles, arrange vocational training programmes and ensure consultation between different parties involved in training and employment services for vulnerable job-seekers. The AFTs’approach involves introducing trainees to the real working environment within the framework of activities within the organisation. Their activities are subsidised for the implementation, within the framework of socio-occupational integration activities, of vocational training leading to qualifications, of dual vocational training leading to qualifications, of basic pre-qualification training, of literacy education and of on-the-job training. Another aim of the AFTs is to provide basic education and training from a lifelong learning perspective. The decrees which define the conditions for the approval and subsidisation of OISPs include certain stipulations regarding the arrangements to be put in place. Thus in the Brussels-Capital Region, socio-occupational integration schemes involve the implementation, in an integrated approach, of activities relating to reception, guidance, further education, vocational training and working in a company. The Walloon OISP website stipulates that the training uses a specially adapted educational approach to enable trainees to acquire general and technical skills, and that trainees receive psychological and social support.

Bodies approved as OISPs issue attendance certificates.

The skills centres are training and awareness-raising centres for both adult workers and young people undergoing initial training and their teachers. In the Walloon Region, 25 operators specialise in training in specialist fields, relating in particular to technology. Their work reflects the approach set out in successive restructuring plans for Wallonia, and in particular the development of competitiveness clusters. They are the product of partnerships between the Walloon Region, Forem, IFAPME, the social partners in the business sector, research centres and the universities. They are supported by the European Structural Funds. In the Brussels-Capital Region, expertise centres have been set up on similar principles. There are currently five of these.

Vocational training in agriculture is a form of post-school training. It is provided either in the form of courses (general, technical or management training), or on a more intermittent basis, in the form of study sessions, lectures, guided tours, contact days and advanced learning days. The basic, remedial and advanced programmes, at the end of which examinations are set, include courses on agricultural techniques, management and agricultural economy, as well as practical sessions. The training activities are run by authorised centres.

For those working in the non-commercial sector, suitable training is provided by non-profit organisations, certain sectoral funds and social advancement organisations.

Companies are playing an increasing role in the vocational training of employees in the private sector: as well as organising training courses for existing and newly-recruited workers, they also contribute to schemes which enable job-seekers to sample a working environment (in particular via the Training-Integration Plan). Some companies also work with vocational and technical schools in connection with initial training (internships), while a larger number of others enter into agreements with social advancement education providers, Forem and Bruxelles Formation in connection with refresher training for workers. Most large companies have developed their own internal training centres. Recent initiatives have related to areas such as quality circles.

In some sectors, Training Funds which are financed by a specific sectoral contribution pay for vocational training. Examples include the construction sector (the Construction Training Fund, FFC), the metalworking sector (Vocational Training Institute of the Metallurgical Sector, IFPM), the automotive sector (the Foundation for Vocational Training in the Automotive and Related Sectors, EDUCAM), textiles, chemicals, banking and insurance, timber and so on. The chambers of commerce are also involved in this process.

With regard to vocational training for public sector employees, some ministries provide training courses for their own staff. The oldest instance of this is the Ministry of Finance, which developed a training centre founded in the 1950s with a turnover of approximately 5,000 civil servants per year, in courses of a technical and vocational nature or training in communications. The Communities and Regions have also developed their own staff training policies. In particular, in-service teacher training is organised by the French Community.

Certain measures which have met with only limited success in French-speaking Belgium enable young people to attend initial training in a company in partnership with other training operators: these are the industrial apprenticeship contract, the employment/training agreements and the first job agreement.

Other initiatives have a preliminary training function among other things. The Walloon Region also finances the district associations and the regional missions. The district associations are non-profit organisations working in districts characterised by social housing and/or urban regeneration. They work to develop local dynamism (improving the local quality of life, activity leadership, social activities and local democracy), while supporting the socio-occupational integration of job-seekers and those on social welfare by providing them with preliminary training. The regional missions have developed within the framework of the integrated socio-occupational integration scheme (DIISP). Their primary goal is to implement integration and support actions.

Provision of Liberal (Popular) Adult Education

Part-time Secondary Arts Education

One of the features of the education provided by the academies is that it is aimed at pupils of all ages: children aged 5 and upwards, teenagers and adults. The minimum admission age varies depending on the field and stream. Access to certain streams also requires certain educational requirements to be satisfied: attendance or successful completion of certain courses or the holding of certain certificates, and/or a favourable opinion from the class council and the admission council for the specialist field in question.

Part-time secondary arts education is based on the pupil’s learning of basic artistic and technical skills, which are practised until the end of the training and must be mastered at the end of each of its stages. The pupil who is enrolled on basic arts courses in qualification or transition streams is evaluated on the basis of core skills defined in the curricula of specific courses, in the light of the following goals:

• the pupil’s artistic intelligence, i.e. the ability to perceive the coherence of an artistic language;

• the pupil’s technical mastery, i.e. his/her ability to make full use of the technical resources associated with each specialisation;

• the pupil’s autonomy, i.e. his/her ability to discover, develop and engage on his/her own in artistic activity of an equivalent quality to that which the course enabled him/her to achieve;

• the pupil’s creativity, i.e. his/her ability to make full use of an individual artistic language with a view to producing original work.

Part-time secondary arts education (ESAHR) issues certificates and/or diplomas for each of the basic arts courses. The certificates attest to the successful completion of a basic arts course, at the end of a path completed in a training course or qualification stream (or a short transition stream in the domain of plastic, visual and spatial arts). The diplomas attest to the successful completion of studies in the transition stream. Generally, however, the certificates and diplomas awarded in ESAHR are not recognised for obtaining employment, for example in education.

In part-time secondary arts education, if a pupil’s rate of unjustified absences exceeds 20% after 31 January, he/she is not allowed to take the end-of-year tests (written examination, oral examination, etc.).

Part-time secondary arts education is mainly arranged outside normal working hours, so that it is accessible to pupils and students in full-time education and to working adults.

The three main aims of part-time secondary arts education are to:

• work towards the personal artistic development of pupils by promoting an artistic culture through learning various artistic languages and practices;

• give pupils the means and training that allow them to become artistically independent, awakening their personal creativity;

• provide an education that prepares pupils to satisfy the requirements for access to higher arts education.

Part-time arts education is subdivided into four disciplines: fine arts, music and the spoken word, dance, and broadcasting arts and techniques. Classes are organised in academies of fine arts and music academies. Classes in music, the spoken word and dance are held at the lower and upper secondary levels. Teaching is subdivided into ‘lower’ and ‘intermediate’ grades for lower secondary and ‘upper’ and ‘advanced’ for the upper secondary level.

The controlling authority can organise differentiated curricula for the same course, taking into account the teaching methods used and the different schools or sites in which the course is provided. The curricula are introduced by a summary that describes:

• how the different courses are linked together and how the courses are linked to the school’s and the controlling authority’s educational plan in terms of educational consistency;

• the means that will be used to meet the attainment objectives set for part-time secondary arts education.

Under certain conditions, the government may subsidise artistic initiatives and pilot experiments with innovative artistic characteristics.

Forem and Bruxelles Formation

Forem operates ‘open centres’ where a freely accessible environment makes self-training possible. Flexible hours, the availability of trainers and a variety of training supports allow individuals to progress at their own pace. Bruxelles Formation and Forem have both extended their distance learning provision, again making progression at the individual’s pace possible. An integrated skills management system which is common to Forem Formation and Forem Conseil has been developed on the basis of trade job reference guides (REMs). This tool is used for both the self-diagnosis and screening of job-seekers before a contract is signed. It is also used in the training reference guides.

Bruxelles Formation operates a remobilisation and support centre for the unemployed in the framework of the integration scheme. This centre is positioned as the starting-point of the training path, and is intended principally for young people who have signed an integration agreement with the Brussels Regional Employment Office (ACTIRIS : This centre is responsible for:

● assessing trainees’ basic skills;

● evaluating the feasibility of their vocational plan;

● identifying the steps towards achieving this vocational plan.

Other types of Publicly Subsidised Provision for Adult Learners


There are no legal texts setting out general regulations for the admission conditions for further education centres, nor for the evaluation of those who attend further education centres. Moreover, further education activity does not directly aim at the obtaining of certificates or diplomas.

In June 2015, some 280 associations had received recognition from the French Community ( as further education associations. The areas covered vary greatly: adult literacy (35 associations), equal opportunities for men and women (46), the environment (43), cultural activities (74), urban planning (21), etc. For example, the non-profit Association pour une Fondation Tavail-Université is a general further education organisation recognised by the Ministry of the French Community.

Associations and movements are recognised and supported with respect to four focus areas:

• civic participation and education (actions and programmes devised with the participants with a view to developing the exercise of active citizenship in terms of emancipation, equal rights, social progress, changing behaviour and mentalities, integration and responsibility);

• training of activity leaders, trainers and voluntary sector actors (programmes designed and organised or run on their own initiative or at the request of the organisations, whether recognised or not within the scope of the decree);

• services or analyses and studies (services including provision of documentation, educational and/or cultural tools; analyses and studies on society-based themes – designed and run on their own initiative or at the request of the non-profit sector, whether recognised or not within the scope of the decree);

• awareness and information (information or communication campaigns aimed at increasing public awareness with a view to changing behaviour and mentalities about issues of culture, citizenship and democracy).

In order to benefit from recognition, the education and training programmes and actions that are part of Focus 1, ‘Civic participation, education and training’, must:

• develop coherently with the social class and environment that they target;

• plan and develop means of ensuring accessibility to and actual participation by the target group, public visibility and publicity for the activities and the association’s objectives;

• differ by their content, the methodology used, and where applicable, the target public, from school, para-school, university, para-university, academic or vocational programmes;

• differ by their objectives from social advancement and socio-occupational programmes.