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France: MobilitéPro – boosting international and European mobility in upper secondary VET

Moving forward the national strategy to reform vocational school and increase attractiveness of professional qualifications, 2019 legislation regulates the conditions for, and eases recognition of, mobility periods abroad.

Mobility in Europe was introduced in 2014 in the Education Code in the general regulation of the vocational baccalaureate; an optional mobility test was created on an experimental basis. From 2015, learners who successfully passed the mobility test were awarded the Euromobipro certificate. An assessment report on the measure was produced by the Erasmus+ agency at the end of 2017 highlighting growing success: from 4 000 candidates in 2015 to nearly 8 000 in 2018. The report includes suggestions to extend the mobility target area to all international countries outside the EU and extend the optional mobility test to diplomas other than the professional baccalaureate, in particular the professional certificate (Brevet ProfessionnelBP) and the professional skills certificate (certificat d’abtitude professionnelleCAP).

Longer mobility periods within and outside Europe

The 2018 national strategy to reform the upper secondary vocational stream (Transformer le lycée professionnel) supports the opening of VET schools to international mobility. In 2019, in line also with the principles of the European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET), a new decree (No 2019-907) regulated international mobility periods in all upper secondary programmes delivering vocational qualifications. VET learners enrolled in school-based or apprenticeship programmes can spend part of their studies abroad, both within and outside the EU. During the mobility period, training may take place in a training institution and/or a professional environment, based on an agreement between the VET institution and the company. The 2019 decree does not specify a time limit for periods of workplace training carried out abroad, whereas previously this period of transnational mobility during the preparation of the vocational baccalaureate was limited to one third of the total duration.

A mobility certificate linked to EQF level 3 and 4 vocational qualifications

Transnational mobility can be simply formative (the optional mobility unit is assessed as part of the curriculum of the vocational programme) or for certification purposes. In the latter case, two ministerial orders of 30 August 2019 introduced a new mobility certificate ‘MobilitéPro’, which will be attached to the vocational qualification achieved.

The certificate can be assessed either as part of one of the compulsory units/tests of the vocational training programme or assessed and recognised through a ‘mobility test’. Assessment is two-fold, with one part during the mobility period abroad and a second part taking place in France. Each set of ministerial order annexes include: the MobilitéPro exam reference frame in terms of expected competences, an assessment grid for foreign assessors and a model certificate. The MobilitéPro replaces the Euromobipro certificate, which will no longer be offered.

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