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France:Adult Education and Training

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Overview France

Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

 

Since 1971, adult education and training – or "continuing vocational training" (CVT) according to the expression used in France – has been a right acknowledged by French law (Law no.71-575 of 16 July 1971). Its aim is to foster professional integration or reintegration of adults, keep them in employment, encourage development of their skills, open the way to the various levels of professional qualification, and contribute to economic and cultural development and to social advancement.

Organisation and funding

CVT is clearly distinct from initial training in the way that it is organised. In the terms of Law no.71-575 of July 16th 1971, it constitutes a "national obligation". This national obligation’s responsability is shared among all economic and social stakeholders, with each one capable of acting independently. In this respect, the State does not have the same pre-eminent role as it has in terms of initial training, which is a "public service".

This is why CVT is the direct and complementary responsibility of several stakeholders (further informations in section 8.1), especially:

  • the State, Régions and social partners define the framework and the range of CVT training programmes: the standards and schemes giving access to CVT are usually based on the confirmation by the public authorities of interprofessional agreements signed between the social partners of the different professional sectors. This close connection between social bargaining and the law is one of the specific features of the French continuing training system;
  • the State, Régions, companies and social partners (via the Organismes Paritaires Collecteurs Agréés  - OPCA, Accredited fund-Collecting Joint Body) are in charge of the funding of continuous training (read more in section 3.3);
  • the State, Régions, companies and public, broader public and private training organisations with regard to implementing CVT.

Concerning demand, CVT may be undertaken by all adults aged 18-64 years; its access procedures vary depending on each applicant's status: jobseekers, employees and specific groups (e.g. disabled or illiterate people).

Non-formal and informal education

With regard to the international classification that distinguishes between formal, non-formal and informal education, there is little statistical data in France enabling a distinction to be made between the two latter categories. Since 2002, however, a system exists for the accreditation and validation of non-formal and informal learning - the Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience (VAE – Validation of experience) (read more in section 8.5).

Liberal education (Éducation populaire - popular education) also plays a key role in adult continuing education in informal environments (read more in section 8.4.4).

Reform and debates

Since the Law of 16 July 1971, the CVT sector has been reformed several times. The most recent legislative references are:

These reforms seek, on the one hand, to develop the CVT system by setting up new schemes and, on the other, to encourage access to existing schemes.

According to the given figures in the Education and Training Monitor 2014 report, the participation rate of 25-64 year olds in continuing training was 17.7% in France in 2013. This raise in the participation rate (2012: 5.7%) is highly influenced by the renewed Labour Force Survey in France (bigger sample, renewed questionnaire, inclusion of formal and non-formal learning…). However, this high participation rate, allowing France to be above the Education and Training 2020 Benchmark, varies a lot depending on the population. For instance, the difference of participation rates between “native-born” and “foreign-born” is the 2nd highest in the indicator.

The reasons for these variations in participation rate are complex, for there are a number of different factors behind them. One observation stands out from the national analyses available on the subject: CVT would seem to benefit some population categories more, in particular: long-term contract holders; employees in large companies and adults with a high level of qualification (Dares Document d’études n°116, 2006; INSEE Première n°1468, 2013).

Such unequal access may have a negative impact on the overall participation rate in CVT since socio-professional categories that are making most use of it are also the smallest. The complexity of the continuing training system (overlapping of responsibilities; sheer number of financial backers; confusing hotchpotch of schemes; juxtaposition of ways in which the training can be accessed); the low involvement of employees of small- and medium-sized companies (which alone account for more than 50% of salaried employment in France) in CVT; and the clear separation between the initial training system and continuing training system (both in terms of the way they are organised and representation within society, both of which give more credit to initial training) are just some of the most commonly cited reasons for unequal access to CVT in analyses (Cereq Bref n°312, 2013; CEP Lettre n°12, 2013; Cereq Bref n°251, 2008Rapport du Sénat n°365, 2007; Dares Document d’études n°116, 2006).