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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for academic staff in higher education

Belgium - French Community

9.Teachers and education staff

9.4Initial education for academic staff in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023


Teachers’ initial training depends in particular on the type of institution in which they teach.

Hautes écoles

Teachers at hautes écoles must acquire the higher education teaching proficiency certificate (CAPAES – created by the decree of 17 July 2002): this consists of the examination by a committee appointed by the minister for higher education of a professional and educational dossier which is formed at the end of a training course based on the specific skills that need to be acquired by teachers working in higher education, and given by the universities and institutions of social advancement education.

The aspiring teacher may decide to spread his/her training across several years, and in this case he/she will be required to pay the registration fee only once. Exemptions can be granted, depending on the teaching certificate already obtained.

The objective of the controlling authorities is to have teachers who enrol for the CAPAES develop the following fourteen competencies :

  • promoting students’ success, taking account of the diversity of learning pathways ;
  • facing up to the profession’s responsibilities and ethical dilemmas ;
  • working in a multidisciplinary team by sharing the collective responsibility for the training ;
  • building a relational context with the students that is propitious to training ;
  • anchoring the content and actions in the realities of the profession to which the training relates ;
  • supporting the students in their theoretical and practical training as well as in the development of their career plans ;
  • planning the courses and devising teaching methods appropriate for adults;
  • mastering and using training evaluation tools appropriate to the teaching given and being able to account for the choices made ;
  • mastering disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and being involved in its construction ;
  • maintaining a critical and autonomous relationship towards knowledge related to one’s discipline and research in education ;
  • taking a reflective and interdisciplinary view of one’s scientific knowledge and teaching ;
  • keeping one’s knowledge and practices up-to-date ;
  • maintaining a policy to manage the quality of teaching ;
  • being an active partner in the organisation and development of one’s institution.

To develop these competencies, the CAPAES includes training of a theoretical nature of 120 hours maximum, training of a practical nature of 90 hours which supposes that the person is actively teaching, supplemented by the production and submission of a professional dossier (a personal, written document in which the candidate analyses his/her professional career in the haute école in which he or she is teaching, or has taught, and proves that he or she has practised in the area of expertise and its teaching methods).

The training officer in charge has responsibility for the assessment leading to the award of the CAPAES: he/she delivers an attestation of successful completion, which is not associated with a specific title. This attestation is required in order to submit a professional dossier with the Commission in charge of issuing the CAPAES. Upon completion of their studies, graduates take the Socratic oath.

Universities and arts colleges

There is no initial training that specifically prepares lecturers to teach at university or in higher arts education.