Validation of prior experience
The 2002 “social modernisation” law created an individual right to validation of prior experience for use in awarding all or part of a degree.
France therefore has a relatively original system whereby individual experience acquired throughout someone's professional and personal life is recognised through certification (diplomas, degrees and professional qualifications). There is therefore no longer a need to take the course to obtain a diploma. Validation of prior experience is nowadays the fourth way of obtaining a diploma, with initial training, continuing education and apprenticeship.
All engineering degrees can be acquired through validation of prior experience, as all the schools take the specialised skills training approach.
During their professional life, employees are led to change jobs, employers, be promoted, adapt to changes in the business and live through disruptions. To remain adaptable to these changing circumstances, a diploma is viewed as a stable marker attesting to acquired knowledge and know-how, which favours employability.
Validation of prior experience therefore offers anybody, graduate or otherwise, who has employed, self-employed or voluntary professional experience, which may or may not be continuous, for an accumulated period of at least three years, the chance to seek to obtain a diploma, degree or professional qualification.
To have exercised an employed, self-employed or voluntary activity for at least three years in the sphere of activity of the target diploma.
- Administrative admissibility appraisal of the candidate's request based on a CV, a letter of motivation and a “pre-validation of prior experience” file.
- Advice and orientation interview: the person responsible for validation of prior experience within the institution interviews the applicant for two hours in order to validate the plan and direct the applicant towards the diploma which best matches his professional experience.
- Embarking on the approach and support, if appropriate
- Preparing a file on the formalisation of activities and knowledge, capabilities and skills linked to the target diploma.
Submission of the file and enrolment in the diploma, then presentation in front of a judging panel which then announces one of the following decisions:
- full validation: the diploma is awarded
- partial validation: the judging panel asks the applicant to acquire supplementary skills through a training programme, works (dissertation, for example) or feedback.
- non-validation: the diploma is not awarded.