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Individualising training access schemes: France – the Compte Personnel de Formation (Personal Training Account – CPF)

The creation of the Compte Personnel de Formation (CPF), an individualised financing scheme for professional training, marked an important step for the French professional training system. Implemented in 2015, it is the only example at the international level of an individual learning account in which training rights are accumulated over time. Born from a compromise between social partners, the CPF has generated significant improvements in training quality. The law of September 5, 2018 “For the freedom to choose one’s professional future” brought significant changes to the account in order to strengthen the role of the individual in the system, to reduce the role of collective actors – in particular sectors – and to increase that of free competition and market forces. After reviewing the design of the CPF before and after the reform, this paper provides evidence on its use in practice, discusses the extent to which it succeeds in reaching groups usually under-represented in training, as well as issues related to the quality of training. It concludes with a discussion of the CPF strengths and weaknesses.

Published on July 03, 2020Also available in: French