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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Validation of non-formal and informal learning


8.Adult education and training

8.5Validation of non-formal and informal learning

Last update: 27 November 2023

Validation of non-formal and informal learning (VAE; validation des acquis de l’expérience) allows citizens to obtain secondary education diplomas or a master craftsman’s diploma via recognition of their non-academic experience and knowledge. Each person who has at least a three-years long (5 000 hours) professional or voluntary experience in a field relating to one of these diplomas is thus entitled to submit a request for validation.

Validation may be total (obtention of the diploma) or partial (implying that the candidate must acquire the missing competences by means of additional training or experience, to be completed within 3 years).

In order to find out which diploma corresponds their hitherto acquired experience, candidates may obtain assistance from the VAE unit of the ministry of Education, Children and Youth, or contact the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Employees.

The following certifications are managed by the ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE):

  • Diplomas of General secondary education (ESG):
    • Certificate of professional capacity (CCP)
    • Diploma of professional aptitude (DAP)
    • Technician's diploma  (DT)
    • Diploma of general secondary studies
  • Master craftsman's diploma.

The decisions on the diplomas awarded (full or partial qualifications) are taken by a validation commission on the basis of an applicant folder. The commission is made up of two representatives of employers, two representatives of employees and two representatives from the field of education. Decisions are taken during the attribution sessions, which are organised twice a year.

The procedure for the validation of non-formal and informal learning foresees the following steps:

  • The applicant has to file a request for eligibility check at the ministry of Education, Children and Youth
  • The ministry sends an answer on the application's eligibility within 30 days (this answer remains valid for the next two sessions)
  • The applicant prepares a comprehensive validation request (demande de validation sur le fond) involving proofs and concrete examples of situations corresponding to the curricula of the programmes leading to the target diploma (the ministry proposes a support and follow-up service to individuals preparing this application)
  • The applicant submits the full application file, at the latest two months before the next commission session 
  • The commission analyses the request
  • Commission session and decision
  • The commission communicates the decision one month after the session at the latest
  • For partial validations (validations partielles): a time period of 3 years to add further competences or, if requested by the commission, to provide additional proofs in order to obtain full validation.