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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach


12.Educational support and guidance

12.8Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach

Last update: 27 November 2023

Academic guidance

There are various bodies in France that set up information services to guide adults towards adult education and training. These are mainly organizations that provide adult education. The list of authorized organizations is established by the prefecture and is made public every year. The organization “France Compétences” (France Skills), created by the law no.2018-771 of September 5th, 2018, is responsible for organizing, animating and regulating the adult education sector. On the one hand, it allocates the revenue from the single contribution for vocational training and apprenticeship (CUFPA) and on the other hand, observes the costs and training, issues an opinion on the certification framework of training organizations and makes other recommendations.

In addition, other organizations provide adult learners with academic and academic guidance services:

Information and orientation centers (CIO)

The CIOs are open to everyone. Adults in training can benefit from the information and individual counseling services and open access documentation offered by CIOs.

Assessments spaces associated with Greta schools

The assessments spaces receive all types of adult public in need of training and offer different types of services: skills assessment, mobility assistance module, mid-career assessment, support to employment, etc.

Psychological counselling

We can cite the orientation actions specific of two organizations that play a major role in adult continuing education: the Greta and Pôle emploi.

One of Greta's main missions is to help define the project and the qualification path of the adult in formation. Among the Greta's services we find:

  • Help in the development of professional projects;
  • Organize career assessments;
  • Help with retraining, prepare for a job;
  • Support jobseekers in returning to work.

Similarly, Pôle emploi is in charge of welcoming, informing, guiding and accompanying people looking for a job, training or advice on their future.

Career guidance

In France, two main measures allow adults to assess their need for training from the perspective of looking for a job or career development:

Skills assessment

The skills assessment enables the employee to review his skills, aptitudes and motivations and to define a professional or training project. During 20 to 24 hours spread over approximately two months, in the form of individual interviews, the skills assessment allows the employee to think thoroughly, with the help of a qualified advisor, on his/her wishes, skills, constraints, motivations. The assessment can be decided by the employer or implemented at the initiative of the employee with at least five years of salaried activity including 12 months in the company, within the framework of a specific leave. All the conditions for granting this leave are defined by articles L6322-42 to L6322-52 and articles R6322-32 to R6322-62 of the French Code of Labour. The Skills assessment is eligible for the Personal Training Account (CPF).

Council in Career Development (CEP)

The law of June 14th, 2013 created the professional development council (CEP). The law of March 5th, 2014 defines the contours of this new service, specifying in particular the mobilization logic of the CEP.

Counseling in professional development is a service offer in information, advice and personalized support of professional projects, free and accessible to any active person (employees of the private sector, self-employed, people looking for work...) but also to young people out of the school system without qualification or diploma. It can be mobilized at any time of the professional life, and as many times as necessary. It takes place on personal time. The organization France Compétences created by the law no.2018-771 of September 5th, 2018 is responsible for funding the Council in Career Development.

The CEP is provided by councilors from 5 authorized orginazations of adult education:

  • Pôle emploi;
  • Association pour l'emploi des cadres (Apec - Association for managers' employement) ;
  • Local missions;
  • Opacif (Accredited parity organization of the Individual training leave)
  • CAP emploi (for disabled individuals).

The offer of services, structured on three hierarchical levels, is mobilized according to the situation and the project of the person; all services are not necessarily implemented:

  • Level 1: an individualized reception must allow the beneficiary to analyze his professional situation, to decide whether or not to pursue his actions and to identify the actors likely to help him;
  • Level 2: personalized advice must enable the beneficiary: to clarify his request and to define his priorities;
    • To identify transferable skills with a view to professional mobility and / or to acquire in order to promote professional development (training needs);
    • To identify the jobs corresponding to the previously acquired skills;
    • To define his professional project and to assess its feasibility with regard to identified opportunities (strategy).
  • Level 3: personalized support to the realization of his project which consists of establishing and monitoring the progress of an action plan.

In its approach, the active person receives the educational support of a counselor who must allow him to make informed and autonomous professional choices. He is the trainee's referring councilor of course.

Moreover, in France, every active person has a personal training account (CPF) which is part of the personal activity account (created in 2016). The law no.2018-771 of September 5th, 2018 reforms the personal training account (CPF). As of January 1, 2019, the CPF is not fed in hours, but in euros. The account of each asset is credited with 500 euros per year, 800 for low-qualified individuals, up to 5,000 euros and 8,000 respectively. People with disabilities also have a contribution from their CPF. In addition, the Citizen Engagement Account, which is also part of the personal activity account, allows you to acquire training rights through activities of general interest.