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France: excellence in VET – a new generation of ‘Trades and qualifications campuses’

The ‘Trades and qualifications campus’ label (Campus des métiers et des qualifications – CMQ) brings together secondary and higher education VET institutions, research centres and companies. To realise the label’s aspirations, its requirements have now been revised and a new ‘Excellence campus’ category created.  

This second generation of campuses aims at establishing VET as an excellence pathway, strengthening the linking between the world of education and the world of business. It is part of the actions taken under the ongoing VET reform of May 2018.

95 campuses in 12 economic sectors

Since its creation in 2014, the CMQ label has been awarded to 95 campuses across France. The existing campuses cover 12 economic sectors with strong prospects for growth and job-creation. Half of them are industry-focused. In many ways, the campuses resemble the European initiative for the development of transnational platforms of centres of vocational excellence.

The new requirements

A new specification document for the CMQ label was published in December 2018, defining 11 criteria required for the label to be awarded or renewed.

First, applicants must provide solid analysis of their growth potential and skills needs in their business sector. Their Governance Board must include, at regional level, a representative from the Ministry of Education, the regional authorities, and the respective economic sector.

Innovative training pathways must be offered, both in IVET and CVET, with links between secondary and higher VET levels. Special-needs groups must be targeted.

Particular attention is paid to communication promoting VET and to international visibility. Opportunities for international mobility must be offered to students, apprentices and trainees as part of the standard programme.

A new ‘excellence’ category

The new ‘excellence’ category includes a higher level of requirements. At least three excellence campuses are expected in each region by 2022. Excellence campuses address the issues faced by a specific economic sector at national level. They will have a specific location, in contrast to current campuses, some of which are run as local networks. Excellence campuses will include infrastructures for educational purposes, business development and innovation, research, sports, cultural life, etc.

Emphasis is placed on an international dimension: European and international partnerships must be developed for purposes other than mobility of trainees and teachers alone; these could include technical resource sharing, commonly issued qualifications, or training platforms. They should also be able to accept requests from other countries to train foreign technicians and trainers.

More information:

Page dedicated to the CMQ label on the Ministry of Education website

Presentation on the new call for labelling issued in December 2018

Specification document of the renewed label including the new ‘Excellence category’