Recent developments in France
In the beginning of 2019, a new governmental unit, France Compétences, responsible for the regulation and financing of vocational training and apprenticeship was established. The unit is in charge of the distribution of funds to different actors in the field of vocational training and apprenticeship; regulation of the quality of educational activities in the field; establishing guidelines for VET providers; ensuring the validation of vocational education certifications, including updating the National Register of Professional Certifications (RNCP); and ensuring the proper implementation of the reform on vocational training. The establishment of France Compétences is expected to bring changes to the field of vocational training in the country, both strengthening quality control, ensuring more efficient strategies, and putting pressure on VET providers to comply with new regulations.
In addition to the changes in governmental structures, a more ideological shift took place in the last quarter of 2018. The definition of “training action” was broadened and modified. A bigger stress is now put on the importance of non-formal and informal learning (self-directed training, seminars, social learning, learning in the workplace etc.) and distance learning. The shift means an important step in the process of validation of different forms of education and professional development.