This report is the result of the many drafts produced by the Céreq project team that worked with the NQF-In partnership in order to reach a mutual understanding of the process of incorporating qualifications into National Qualifications Frameworks.
As the following chapters will show, France benefits from a firmly established, centralised qualification system governance whose founding principles date back to the 1960s. To date at least, the many reforms and gradual opening-up of the system to market influence have not weakened regulation by the French state, which retains ‘ownership’ of qualifications and sole responsibility for quality assurance.
The report places emphasis on the accreditation and quality processes, listing a number of different types of qualification awarded in the country and the procedures for their inclusion in the framework.
National Qualifications Framework – Basic Premises
Two actions helped to give the French national qualifications framework the form it has today: the creation of the 1969 classification of training levels and the introduction in 2002 of the National Register of Vocational Qualifications (henceforth RNCP). These two initiatives, which have enabled the state to acknowledge an ever more varied set of qualifications, will be examined in greater detail below. It should be noted that this recognition was achieved by putting these qualifications in a hierarchy, using the 1969 classification, for qualifications accredited by the CTH (as we saw above) and then within the RNCP.
Work on developing the classification had begun earlier and proceeded gradually through the various public planning policies adopted by successive French governments, although it was not formalised and adopted by the Ministry of National Education until 1969.
The starting point for this classification was a desire, expressed by the Committee on School Equipment in the Manpower Commission at the time, to obtain indicators to measure, at a time of shortages of skilled workers, the shares of the population to be enrolled at different levels of qualification. The statistical tool to be built relied naturally on the hierarchy of diplômes that had more stable definitions (unlike jobs) and thereby facilitated statistical analysis. These various levels of diplômes were transposed into training levels (linked to the length of training programmes) corresponding to jobs, which is what is observed in the nomenclature described in the box below: “Personnel holding jobs normally requiring a level of training …”.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at French national qualification framework : its genesis, working and new challenges / Céreq Etudes / publications / accueil – Céreq – Centre d’études et de recherches sur les qualifications