What is the experience validation programme?

29 Jul 2019


Validating your professional experience without going through studies, this is in a nutshell what is  the experience validation programme with at the end the obtention of a national diploma or a professional certification. A rather enticing  scheme on paper, the experience validation programme (Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience or VAE in French) is an individual right that concerns both jobseekers and employees. But what is it exactly? Is  the programme really useful and wh diploma can  you claim? What about the experience validation programme application process?  Today, we share with you the professional purpose and the many advantages of the experience validation programme.


Experience validation programme: Definition


Written in the Labor Code as well as in the Education Code, the experience validation programme is a right connected  with professional development:  from the moment a person is engaged in a professional activity, whether on  a job or not,  sheis entitled to assert the validation of skills acquired throughout her career, or even her volunteer work. All the knowledge assimilated outside the school path are thus taken into account and allow to obtain a State graduation or certifications registered by the RNCP (National Directory of Professional Certifications). The experience validation programme is therefore, with Executive Education, a scheme that promotes the smooth evolution of your professional situation throughout your career.


What is the experience validation programme?


For an employee, obtaining a diploma in line with his job enables him to strengthenhis career, for instance, if he is doing a job without having necessarily followed the appropriate studies. In this case, the experience validation programme will allow the valuation of an employee's actual qualification level and a consistency between his level of responsibility and his academic level.

There may be also some other cases: in professional life, Reaching a job that requires a specific diploma is sometimes necessary. With the experience validation programme, the job can become accessible if the required diploma is obtained. Therefore, this programme can give you access to some particularly regulated industries, which is the case for the service or security sectors.

Finally, in the context of a professional transition or if  you wish to manage a company that requires specific studies (accounting, law, management, marketing, real estate, communication, project management, human resources, etc.) the experience validation programme will also prove to be particularly useful.


What diplomas can you get with an experience validation programme?


The first requirement for starting an experience validation programme is the mandatory registration of the diploma or certificate of professional qualification in the RNCP. It should be noted that diplomas and titles  granted under this scheme are exactly the same as those acquired during a period of initial programme and that the document provided once obtained does not mention whether the diploma has been obtained through the experience validation programme or through the initial training.

Agriculture, sport, sales, cultural or crafts jobs are all accepted under the scheme. For each professional area, the diploma will be delivered by the approved certifying organisation, such as the Ministries of Agriculture, Sports, Health or the Ministry of Labor. Chambers of Commerce and Trade and Crafts are also part of the scheme, but it is especially the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation that is the  organisation that offers the largest panel with its various diplomas of CAP, BAC Pro, BTS, Professional License, Master etc.

Higher education institutions, some training institutions, Business schools such as IPAG and the CPNE (Commission Paritaire Nationale de l’Emploi) also deliver diplomas, titles and certificates of professional qualification.

However, be aware that some certifications can’t be obtained via the experience validation programme. This is the case for certain professions related to national defense or the health sector: for example, a medical degree cannot be obtainedthis way.


How to start an experience validation programme ?


How to organise your individual approach to go through an experience validation programme?

As a reminder, this programmeis accessible to all, only if you have at least one year of professional experience, you  aim to targeta title or diploma whose content is directly related to your professional branch and that you have already acquired a certain amount of experience in the field of your work.

Once you have identified the qualification, it will be the time to make your application form for the experience validation programme. To do so, you can be accompanied during the different steps, get all the information regarding the financial support and funding opportunities from a counselor, in a relay point. There are many structures, such as Pôle emploi or local centers. If you are a permanent employee, the CPF (Personal Training Account) as well as the experience validation programme leave, can offer ways of financing your experience validation programme. Then, you will have to take an “admissibility file” from the organisation that grants the diploma, it includes a CERFA form, downloadable online, it will have to be completed and returned with all the required documents. An answer from the certifying organisation will then be sent to youto determine the admissibility of your request.

If the answer is favorable, a validation file outlining the achievements of the course will be examined and the jury's decision taken after a possible presentation consisting in evaluating the skills mobilised by the applicant's professional practice. The validation can be total or partial.

The experience validation programme is a significant asset, especially for people who have never graduated, and thus demonstrates that it is never too late to obtain a better level of qualification. Finally, if you are ready to embark on a journey that can sometimes appear a little tedious, the benefits are well worth it.


For more information on experience validation programme or Executive Education, contact executive-education@ipag.fr