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Validation of non-formal and informal learning (Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience - VAE) for technical secondary education diplomas and for the Master Craftsmanship qualification

Validation of non-formal and informal learning allows experience to be recognised with a view to obtaining all or part of:

  • one of the technical secondary education diplomas:
    • Vocational Capacity Certificate (Certificat de capacité professionnelle – CCP)
    • Vocational Aptitude Diploma (Diplôme d'Aptitude Professionnelle - DAP)
    • Technician's Diploma (Diplôme de Technicien - DT)
    • Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma (Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires Techniques)
  • a Master Craftsmanship qualification in a trade.

Validation of non-formal and informal learning is for anyone, regardless of age, level of study or professional status. The prerequisite is to have completed at least three years or 5,000 hours - not necessarily continuously - of paid, unpaid or voluntary work directly related to the requested qualification.

Identifying the diploma that corresponds to the candidate's experience

How to find out which diploma might correspond to the applicant's experience:

  1. The applicant may seek assistance from the validation of non-formal and informal learning unit at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, from the Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce), or the Chamber of Employees (Chambres des Salariés),

  2. and consult the list of times and programmes for technical secondary education and vocational training.
  • For the CCP, DAP and DT qualifications, follow the "Times and programmes" link, click on Vocational Training Programme, then "Structured view". Select CCP, DAP or DT, followed by the trade or profession.
  • For the Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma, follow the "Times and programmes" link, click on Secondary and technical secondary programme. Under the heading "Order of studies", select "Technical secondary education", followed by the year of study:
    • 12CG and 13CG: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - administrative and commercial division, management section;
    • 12CC and13CC: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - administrative and commercial division, section specialising in communication and organisation;
    • 12ED, 13ED and 14ED: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - healthcare and social professions division, section specialising in training for social education workers, leading to the State Diploma in social education work;
    • 12SO and 13SO: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - healthcare and social professions division, social sciences section;
    • 13SH: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - healthcare and social professions division, specialising in health sciences;
    • 12GE and 13GE: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - general technical division, section specialising in general technology;
    • 12GI and 13G: Technical Secondary School Leaving Diploma - general technical division, IT section.

   3. For the Master Craftsmanship qualification, consult the Chamber of Trades (Chambre des Métiers) website.


What you need to know

The list of professions and trades organised within the framework of Vocational Training and the list of trades for the Master Craftsmanship are updated in July each year by means of a Regulation. You can access the up-to-date lists under the heading "Identify the diploma" in the column on the right.

An application for VAE validation can only be made in a profession / trade for which there is a training programme. Cross-border diplomas in apprenticeship (TRF) are excluded from the VAE arrangements.


Process to follow

The applicant must put together a validation portfolio in two parts:

  • The admissibility application: 1st part of the validation process
  • The validation application based on content: 2nd step of the validation process


Diagram for Validation of non-formal and informal learning  for technical secondary education diplomas and the Master Craftsmanship qualification


    Admissibility application

    1st step of the validation process

    The applicant must complete an admissibility application, specifying the diploma sought through validation of non-formal and informal learning.

    In his/her admissibility application, the applicant must also provide information on his/her experience and his/her education and training. The Ministry will check this information and the supporting evidence to see whether the person in question is entitled to validation of non-formal and informal learning and if the application is admissible.

    There is no deadline for submission of the admissibility application.

    Validation application based on content

    2nd step of the validation process

    If the admissibility application is accepted, the applicant must complete the validation application based on content. A positive decision concerning admissibility of the request is valid for two validation sessions.

    Example

    You submit your admissibility application in August 2016. If the decision is positive, you may submit your application for validation based on content by either:
    • 29 February 2017 (May-June 2017 session), or
    • 31 July 2017 (October-November 2017 session).
    These are absolute deadlines; postmarks will be used as evidence of the date on which the application was made.


    The Validation Committees meet twice a year.

    The competent authority will notify you of the decision within one month of being informed by the Validation Committee.

    In his/her validation application based on content, the applicant should provide details of the knowledge, competencies and skills which are directly related to the diploma in question, and provide concrete examples of tasks carried out. The portfolio is submitted to the members of the Validation Committee for evaluation. The Committee compares the skills acquired by the applicant with those required for the desired diploma.

    In the light of the portfolio put together by the applicant, the Validation Committee issues a decision on the level of validation:

    • no validation,
    • partial validation,
    • full validation.

    Where required, the assessment of the portfolio may, at the Committee's initiative, be followed by an interview or placement into a professional situation (real-life or simulated).

    In the event of partial validation, the applicant has three years to acquire the missing skills through training or additional experience.

    Example

    Marc, a mechanic, would like to take over the family business

    Marc, 33, has worked at his uncle's garage as a mechanic for 13 years, and holds a Technical and Vocational Training Certificate (Certificat d’Aptitude Technique et Professionnelle – CATP/DAP) in car and motorcycle mechanics. He also helps his uncle with the day-to-day running of the business.

    Keen to take over the business one day, Marc obtains information from the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l'Education Nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse) on the possibility of obtaining the Master Craftsmanship qualification in automotive electronic mechanical engineering. The Ministry replies that, based on his years of experience, he can submit a validation of non-formal and informal learning with a view to obtaining the Master Craftsmanship qualification.

    This application is broken down into two stages. Firstly, Marc submits an admissibility application to the Ministry together with the required supporting evidence, indicating which Master Craftsmanship qualification he wishes to obtain. Then, having received a positive reply, he submits his validation application based on content, through which he provides evidence that he has gained the knowledge, aptitude and skills required for the Master Craftsmanship qualification in matters relating to employment and social security laws, company law, salary calculation, accounting tools and financial analysis, cost price calculation, communication techniques, staff management, running a business, setting up a business, vocational training reforms, applied educational theory and professional theory and practice in the relevant trade.

    He is granted only partial validation of non-formal and informal learning status, as the Validation Committee deems his salary calculation, accounting tool, financial analysis and cost price calculation skills to be incomplete. Marc decides to attend evening courses in these areas; he has three years to acquire the missing skills.

     

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