Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in vocational upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.8Teaching and learning in vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 17 June 2022

Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

The curricula in the professional path call for general, compulsory and which are common to all specialities, and specific teaching for each specialities. The CAP has more than 200 specialities; and the professional baccalauréat has about 70.

The curricula for the general subjects were reviewed within the framework of the reform of the professional path implemented starting in 2009.

Definition of Curricula

The general education curricula for the professional path are developed on a national level, according to the same procedure followed for the curricula of the other school education levels.

Specialised structures, the Commissions Professionnelles Consultatives (CPC - Consultative professional commissions), are in charge of developing the curricula for the specific education and reference bases for the professional education diplomas, from the CAP to the BTS, according to the change in professions. The CPCs are bodies composed of employers, employees, public authorities and qualified professionals. Decree no. 2012-965 of August 20th, 2012 institutes 14 consultative professional commissions, corresponding to the major field of economic activity (Metallurgy, Transports, Health and social sector, marketing and distribution, etc.).

Contents of Curricula

General education - CAP (school status)

The compulsory general subjects for all pupils preparing a two-year CAP under school status are:

General education - professional baccalauréat (school status)

The compulsory general pupils for all students preparing a three-year baccalauréat under school status are:

Timetables by subject

Since the implementation in 2009 of the reform on the professional path, there are:

  • three timetables for CAP specialities prepared in two years. Each CAP specialiy is associated with a timetable according to the duration of the training period in a professional environment (PFMP).
  • two timetables for the specialities in the professional baccalauréat.

Timetables - CAP:

Order of June 12th, 2015

Timetables – professional baccalauréat:

Order of June 12th, 2015

Specialities that provide physics and chemistry sciences classes, such as aeronautics, specialities related to food processing, etc.

Specialities that provide a second Modern Foreign language classes, such as business, logistics, etc.

Teaching Methods and Materials

Teaching Methods

The principle of educational freedom for teachers, written in the Guidance and Planning Law for the Future of Schools of 2005, applies to all levels and all types of teaching, including vocational teaching.

In relation to general upper secondary education, initial vocational training is characterised by the offer of teaching in relation with the company. This generates original teaching practices, in particular:

At the professional lycée

  • the possibility of developing a "pluridisciplinary project of a professional nature" (PPCP), i.e. an activity on a project that combines several fields of teaching. Pupils are asked to carry out a project (for example, creating a product or a service partially or entirely) calling upon various skills and knowledge, through teamwork assisted by the teacher;
  • the periods of training in a professional environment, which are required and represent a teaching method that is specific to the professional lycée. Training sessions that make it possible to discover the world of the company and to apply knowledge acquired at the lycée in a production atmosphere.

Training through apprenticeship

Consists in combining the training at an employer's and a general education provided outside of the professional environment in an apprentice training centre.

Teaching Materials

Professional lycées have premises and equipment that make it possible to reproduce the conditions for exercising professional activities on an actual or simulated scale. Installing equipment and premises is based on lycée equipment guides, which are reference documents for those responsible at the rectorat and regional levels.

The material operation of the professional lycée, as well as for other lycées, is the responsibility of the region.