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France:Main Providers

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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



Adult education and training – or "continuing vocational training" (CVT) according to the expression used in France – involves a whole range of different stakeholders (the State, the Régions, social partners, companies and training providers), all of whom have different roles to play in the way the system works.

Adult education and training providers

Since law no. 71-575 of July 16th, 1971, adult continuing training has formed an open market in which various service providers operate. This means that there are many training providers co-existing on the market – companies, public institutions, private organisations, non-profit associations – for some of which training is their main activity, while for others it is secondary, i.e. an activity on the side or to support the sale of a product.

In 2011, 18,101 service providers offered continuing training as their main activity, i.e. under a third of all these providers put together. And yet they achieved 63% of total turnover and trained 54% of trainees. The range of vocational training available in this sector is therefore highly fragmented. That said, three major categories of vocational training providers are usually distinguished (DARES, Analyses n°062 October 2013):

  • the profit-making private sector, which accounted for 54% of all providers in 2011, trains 52% of all trainees and achieves 49% of the turnover on the continuing training market. This includes independent training organisations as well as training organisations more or less directly affiliated with a professional sector or company. Indeed, the law allows companies to organise the training of their employees as they see fit, via direct agreement with a training organisation; they may also recruit their own training leaders to provide in-house training. Training in this case is funded by an OPCA tasked with collecting and pooling the contributions that each company must pay towards funding continuing vocational training (read more about CVT funding in section 3.3);
  • the non-profit private sector (associations, cooperatives, foundations, etc.), which accounted for 20% of providers, 27% of trainees and 26% of total turnover in 2011;
  • the public and broader public sector, which may only have accounted for 3% of providers in 2011, but whose turnover represented 22% of the sector's activity volume, and which trained 14% of trainees. This includes different types of organisations: GRETA, CNAM, CNED, AFPA, higher education institutions and professional chambers (see below).

Most organisations providing continuing training are small. The largest stakeholders are to be found in the public and broader public sector: the AFPA, as well as the GRETA network (see below), which represented 12% and 11% respectively of the continuing training market in 2011. We will therefore present the main characteristics of these stakeholders.

The GRETA Network

A GRETA is a group of secondary schools (lower and/or higher – i.e. collèges and/or lycées in France) which federate their resources, teachers and facilities around an agreement approved by the Chief Education Officer (Recteur d'académie), to organise adult continuing training actions. The GRETA network is a very important provider in the adult continuing training market. It was set up in 1974 to make the resources of the public training system available for meeting the training needs of employees, pursuant to the new general framework for continuing vocational training – law no. 71-575 of July 16th, 1971. Article 62 of law no. 2013-595 of July 8th, 2013 has confirmed the mission of such groups in implementing adult continuing training.

In 2013, there were 210 GRETAs in France – at least one per département. Since GRETAs are groups of institutions, there are a total of 6,500 continuing training venues. Training provided by GRETAs takes place on the premises of collèges and lycées of the group. GRETAs are also increasingly offering online training. The GRETA is overseen by an inter-institutional board (CIE), and managed by a so-called "support institution", which must be a member of the group. The CIE determines the annual activity program and the participation of each institution in the collective action. Each local education institution then takes this decision into account in its school project.

The training leaders are either National Education teachers or training staff from the private sector when required by the technical nature of the training. The beneficiaries of training provided by GRETAs are: employees, who may work in the public or private sector; jobseekers, and anyone else looking to receive such training on a personal basis. The training can be put into practice and funded via existing schemes for continuing vocational training (see section 8.4 for further informations).

GRETA’s main fields of intervention enable the trainees to:

  • establish a professional project and determine a direction;
  • assess their skills;
  • acquire occupational training, prepare for a qualification, refresh their knowledge, acquire basic knowledge and skills;
  • learn foreign languages, enrol in qualifying modules;
  • benefit from support as part of the Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience scheme (VAE - Validation of Experience);
  • prepare for an admissions test into an administration or local authority;*train in information and communication technologies;
  • switch to a new type of job and get help in the search for employment.

In 2013, the Department decided to improve the coordination of GRETA action at local education authority level (académie). From the 2013-2014 school year, the Chief Education Officer (Recteur d'académie) must define a strategy - at académie level - for developing GRETAs in line with national and regional objectives.

Those GRETAs working within an LEA belong to this group, along with the State – represented by the Chief Education Officer – and the public institutions wishing to contribute to the adult continuing training sector with not-for-profit general-interest missions.

Association nationale pour la Formation Professionnelle des Adultes (AFPA)

The Association nationale pour la Formation Professionnelle des Adultes (AFPA - national Association for Adults' Vocational Training) is a public provider of adult vocational training leading to qualifications, supervised by the French Department for Work, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue. It receives public grants and is tasked with helping jobseekers to find work and employees to gain new vocational qualifications.

AFPA programmes are open to jobseekers and employees alike. They are certified by a vocational qualification awarded by the French Department for Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue. For companies, the AFPA provides advanced training missions for employees, assistance with recruitment, and training in new technologies in the industrial or tertiary sectors.

As of 2013, the AFPA had 186 campuses, and provides services across France for: the public employment service, territorial authorities and companies.

Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)

The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM - National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts) is a top higher education and research institution in France. It was founded in 1794 with the aim of training national industry managers. Today, it is supervised by the French Department for Higher Education. Its headquarters are situated in Paris, but it also has at least one campus in each of the regions across France.

The CNAM carries out three missions: adult continuing training, technological research and innovation and disseminating scientific and technical culture. Its continuing training activities particularly involve setting up:

  • training courses outside of working hours leading either to national higher education qualifications: Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie (DUT - Technology University Diploma), Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, in some sixty subjects; or to other vocational certifications and qualifications listed in the Répertoire National des Certfications Professionnelles (RNCP - National Registry of Vocational Certifications);
  • courses eligible under the DIF (personal training right) in various professional fields;
  • "custom" training in line with the needs of the company in which the employee asking for the training works;
  • distance programmes;
  • a Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience (VAE; see section 8.5) service.

Centre National d'Enseignement à Distance (CNED)

The Centre National d'Enseignement à Distance (CNED - National Distance Learning Institution) "provides, on behalf of the State, the public distance learning service" (Decree 2009-238 of 27 February 2009). It is a public national administrative institution supervised by the French Departments for National Education and Higher Education and Research. Its headquarters are in Poitiers and it has branches in seven cities across mainland France and one in each overseas département.

It is also tasked with implementing distance courses in the context of lifelong learning. To that end, and unlike most of the other operators on the continuing training market, the CNED provides training corresponding to all education levels – including pre-primary and primary, right up to higher education.

The CNED's range of programs is split into several types:

  • programs that lead to school qualifications (ISCED 2 and 3) and higher education qualifications;
  • private tutoring for pupils and students;
  • courses to prepare for competitive admission examinations (for the civil service, for teachers or in the medical and social aid sector for instance);
  • vocational training courses in some fifteen subjects.

The CNED is also authorised, by its supervising Departments (for National Education and Higher Education and Research), to provide training for people with special needs. Finally, since the "Public Department for Digital Education" was set up in 2013 (law no. 2013 – 595 of 8 July 2013), the CNED has become a stakeholder in the strategy for developing digital technology at school, led by both Departments.

Higher Education Institutions

The 1968 guidance law on higher education introduced continuing training as a fundamental mission of universities for the first time. As a result, there is now a continuing training department in each higher education institution which prepares and implements the various training actions:

Training provided under the responsibility of continuing training departments is adapted to fit around employees' working hours: part-time courses, evening classes, etc.

Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l'Éducation (ESPE)

Since the start of the 2013 school year, the continuing training of teachers working at all levels of the education system (ISCED 0 to 5) as well as other educational staff has been provided by Ecoles supérieures du professorat et de l’éducation (higher schools of teacher training and education/ESPEs). ESPEs have been set up within universities by Law no. 2013-595 of 8 July 2013 (see section 9.3 for further informations).

Professional Chambers

These include public economic institutions such as: chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of agriculture and chambers of trades and crafts. They represent before the public authorities the interests of companies from different economic sectors within a geographical area, and set up support activities. In this context, they also organise training programmes for adults. Such programmes are particularly designed for employees of companies that are members of these chambers and pay a tax to that end. They are aimed at training a workforce meeting local economic needs.