- Fostering mobility
- Recognition of informal and non-formal training
Compte Personnel de Formation (CPF)
Personal training account (CPF)
Applies to all workers (employees, self-employed, civil servants) older than 16 years of age.
The personal training account (CPF) allows workers with 16 years of age or more to acquire training entitlements that are registered in the account for the whole working life. Changing jobs or alternating between work and unemployment does not affect an individual's right to training.
The CPF replaced the individual right to training (DIF). Employees do not lose the hours acquired under the DIF. They must integrate them into the CPF before 31 December 2020 to keep them.
The CPF is part of the occupational personal account (Compte personnel d’activité, CPA), which aims at securing the individual's professional career by strengthening freedom of action and removing obstacles to mobility. The CPA can be opened by any person with 16 years of age or older, who is employed, looking for a job or accompanied by public employment services in a career orientation and integration project. The service is accessible from an online website.
From 1 January 2019, training entitlements acquired under the CPF are monetised and deducted in the Euro currency. Rights acquired in hours, in the public sector can be converted into Euro. The rights acquired in hours are converted at the rate of €15 per hour.
From 2020, if an employee works at least half of the legal or contractual working time for the whole year, the employer credits the CPF with up to €500 per year (subject to a total maximum of €5,000) at the end of the year. If the employee works less than half of the legal or contractual working time for the whole year, the employer credits the CPF at the end of that year in proportion to the time worked. Regarding self-employed workers, the CPF is credited with €500 per work year, up to a maximum of €5,000. If the self-employed person has not carried out his/her activity for a full year, CPF entitlements are calculated in proportion to the time he/she carried out the activity during the year
Rights stated on the account can be supplemented at the time of use if the holder does not have sufficient money to complete the course taken. It can be topped up by the employer, the employee, sectoral-level collective agreements or by the public employment services. In case of unemployment, the account can be supplemented by the state or the competent regional employment authority. Collective agreements at company level might also provide for additional financial contributions paid by the employer towards personal training accounts.
In order to be eligible for the CPF, courses must be mentioned on an official list accessible online. Examples of listed courses include training programmes awarding a professional qualification, accreditation of prior experiential learning and training courses dedicated to business creation.
The account holder has full control over the use of the CPF, which cannot be debited without his/her consent.
The Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) manages the service under the mandate of the Ministry of labour.
- Regional funds
- National funds
Ministry of labour (Ministère du travail); Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC): design, operation, maintenance, IT processing and technical assistance.
Public employment services
From 2015 up to November 2019, 8.5 million French people had opened their personal training account (CPF). After the launch of the new CPF formula in November 2019 more than a million new users activated their account for a total of around 10 million users. The total number of accounts which could be activated is 28 million. 3,650 certifications or diplomas are available on the application of the CPF new formula.
From November 2019 to February 2020, 160,000 French people have created 211,000 training files, of which 136,000 have been validated. 49,000 have started their training. The breakdown by type sector shows that 67% of the people having activated their account belong to the private sector. A big change from the period 2015-2018 when they were 1.7% (900,000 people) of the total.
At the end of October 2019, €1,040 was the average sum on CPFs. This amount represented the credits available to fund training through the CPF.
The training requests validated since November 2019 cost €1,190 on average. According to the Ministry of labour, the beneficiaries paid out of their own pocket €490 for these training courses.
The CPF aims at empowering people, irrespective of their situation in the labour market, and at making them active in the development of their own competencies and employability. This is thus a valuable tool to secure career paths. The 2018 reform of the vocational training aimed to make this tool more accessible and easy to use. The online application 'Mon compte formation' makes it easy for workers to get a clear view on their training rights (in euros) and to find an eligible training as well as additional possibilities to finance it if needed.
As highlighted recently by the OECD (2019), the individualisation of career paths, an idea the CPF is based on, might lead to widen the disparities between the most trained and advantaged workers and the most disadvantaged ones, by favouring the former. Managers and people with a high level of education are indeed usually over-represented in individual training paths. In this respect, the CPF should not be considered as a magical solution to foster employability of all.
In addition, the limited available funding through the CPF can limit access to necessary training by vulnerable people on the labour market. The isssue of supplements to rights stated on the account is thus key.