The Law of 2002 also provides the possibility of validating a candidate’s academic experience, with validation being awarded for all third-level studies followed by the candidate in a public- or private-sector institution or training organization, in France or abroad, whatever the conditions and duration of said studies. This is known as the “Validation des Études Supérieures” (VES, validation of graduate studies).
For French universities, all qualifications are concerned by the VAE procedure, from the Diplôme d’Accès aux Études Universitaires (DAEU), a diploma granting secondary education “Baccalauréat” equivalence and access to university studies, right up to Ph.D.
The 6 step procedure
- Informing, counselling people asking for accreditation
- Admissibility procedure
- Filling the portfolio (+coaching)
- Setting an accreditation board (Jury) and organising an interview
- Deliberation and decision of the jury.
Validation in the Labour Market
Skills audits are a well-developed tool in France.
This tool is used mostly for workers, but also for jobseekers. Its objective is to allow individuals to identify and analyse their professional and personal competencies, their aptitudes and motivation, with a view to define a professional project or training project. A skills audit is personalised and is not related to a specific qualification or standard.
In practice, professionals in charge of performing skills audit are often also trained to provide guidance on VAE procedures and support to candidates.
The skill audit can be a tool to undertake a VAE, but it does not have the same objective than a VAE procedure. It does not therefore lead to the award of a qualification. The approach is “formative”: it aims at identifying the strong and weak points of an individual’s professional profile.
Validation in the third sector
There are no separate validation systems in the third sector
Funding of VPL
The French legal framework also provides the possibility of funding for the university to support and coach the VAE candidates. In France, validation of non-formal and informal learning is funded by public and private sources.
Stakeholders which intervene in the financing of VPL are :
- Regional councils, for the organisation and funding of information centres which provide information on VAE to the general public and provide support to candidates
- Employment centre, provides funding for the costs which are not covered by regional councils, for candidates who are job seekers (unemployed)
- OPCA, which collect contributions from companies in relation to training, can also provide information on VAE and finance the set of costs related to support an assessment of candidates who are employees.
- Companies can finance some VAE actions
- The State, through the DGEFP, with the framework of collective actions supporting employment
- The candidates themselves
An example for validation fees at Université de Bretagne occidentale (UBO):