VET teachers are recruited either as public agents or as state employees and do have to satisfy to certain qualification requirements. Teacher candidates for the public agent career have to follow a three year induction phase. Companies offering apprenticeship training do have to be in possession of a training authorisation which is also linked to specific qualification requirements. Tutors in companies in charge of the training of apprentices do have to participate in a mandatory train the trainer course of a minimum of three days.
The initial qualification required to become a VET teacher in a technical secondary school is a Bachelor or Masters’ degree for the teaching of theoretical classroom and laboratory courses and a Master craftsperson certificate and 5 years of professional experience for the courses organised at a school practical workshop.
Most VET teacher candidates are recruited under the status of public agents by the State and do have to pass an entrance examination in order to be admitted to a consecutive three year induction phase. The induction phase includes:
- a pedagogical training phase offering general and vocational training courses that intends to support candidate teachers at a personal, social, and professional level. It also includes an integration of the candidate to the teaching in a technical secondary school;
- a probationary phase accessible to the teacher candidates that successfully concluded the pedagogical training phase. During this phase, the candidate has to go through class inspections in front of a jury consisting of teachers and usually the school director of the establishment;
- an application phase of 18 months during which the candidates have to elaborate an application paper. If the application paper is accepted they are appointed according to their function.
The induction phase is followed by a phase of continuous professional development during which the VET teacher candidate has to further develop his competences.
A growing number of VET teachers are recruited under the status of state employees (chargé d’éducation). They also need to be in possession of adequate qualifications in order to be eligible for the VET teacher career. However the conditions for the public agents are usually higher than those of the state employees. A law of 30th July 2015 tends at harmonising the status as well as the qualification and training requirements of both teacher careers.
A law of 30th July 2015 created the Training Institute of National Education (Institut de formation de l’éducation nationale, IFEN) responsible for organising the induction phase as well as the continuous professional development of all public teachers in primary and secondary education.
The career of the adult trainer was created in the frame of the VET reform of 2008. Adult trainers will receive specific practice-oriented teacher training that takes account of the specific teaching needs of adults. As of September 2016, adult trainers in VET will be recruited and trained according to the same procedure as initial VET teachers.
Companies offering apprenticeship (apprentissage) or internship (stage en entreprise) positions must be holder of a training authorisation (droit de former) that is subject to specific qualification requirements. Thus, the company leader (patron formateur) respectively the tutor (tuteur) appointed by the company to take care of the apprentice’s training must be holder of at least a DAP (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle, vocational aptitude diploma) degree in the profession or craft for which the authorisation to train has been requested or an equivalent qualification. In some trades or professions the company leader also needs to be in possession of a Master Craftsperson certificate or equivalent. The company leader also needs to be of a minimum age of 21 years.
If the company leader is not in charge of the training of the apprentice, he or she needs to designate one or more tutors in charge of the training. The number of tutors necessary is fixed by decree according to the number of apprentices a company engages. The tutors are obliged by decree to participate in a train the trainer course of a minimum duration of three days where the pedagogical and social competences as well as the role of the tutor are developed. The train the trainer courses are organised by the Employers chambers (Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Trades and Skilled crafts). Tutors that are holders of a Master craftsperson certificate, that dispose of many years of experience as an in-company trainer or that have already followed a pedagogical training in the past are exempt from the train the trainer courses.