The country-specific situation on policies and programs that exist to evaluate the pre-acquired key competences has been analyzed in each partner country:


AUSTRIAN Diagnostic

FRENCH Diagnostic

GREEK Diagnostic

ITALIAN Diagnostic

POLISH Diagnostic

SPANISH Diagnostic




This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.


This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

FRENCH Diagnostic


1. A mapping for all laws, policies, and programmes that exist on a national, regional and/or local levels concerning the evaluation of competences

1.a. Basic knowledge, key competence, illiteracy, analphabetism, what do we mean by that?

In France, Key competences cover three major domains:

  1. Linguistic competences: oral communication, written communication (reading, writing);
  2. Mathematical competences: capacity to handle numbers, count, work with sizes (percentages, volumes, …etc);
  3. Cognitive competences: logical reason, problem resolution, location in the space and time, concentration, memorizing …etc

Today, in the professional field, professionals prefer to speak about basic skills, and not about basic knowledge, because by doing so, they refer to the knowledge obtained in a professional context. Basic competences are the "heart" of the "8 key competences" defined by Europe (recommendation of the European parliament, in 2006)


1.b. The texts of law:

Chapter V (Right to equal chances through education and culture - Article 149) of the orientation law n°98-657 in July 29th, 1998 relative to fighting against exclusions stipulate that "fighting against illiteracy establishes a national priority”. This priority is taken into account by the public services of education as well as by public and private bodies who insure missions of training or social action. All public services contribute in a coordinated way to fight illiteracy in their respective spheres of action". 

The law n°2004-391 of May 4th, 2004 that is related to long life vocational training and social dialog introduces actions to fight against illiteracy and learning French language during the vocational training: "Actions that fight against illiteracy and learning French language are part of the long life vocational training" (article L6111-2 of the labour law). This law foresees that training initiatives in favour of the employees who do not master the basic competences will be negotiated every three years depending on the professional branch to decide on the priorities, objectives and financial means for the vocational training. 

The Law of orientation and programming of April 23rd, 2005 for the future of the school defines a common base of knowledge and skills that must be mastered at the end of the compulsory education: "every pupil has to master at the end of his compulsory education a common base of knowledge and skills ".

The recommendation of the European Parliament in December 18th, 2006 decided on a common definition of the key competences. 

The Law of February 19th, 2007 relative to training in the public service registers the trainings that fight against illiteracy and French learning as an independent category of full training.

The DGEFP Circular n° 2008/01 of January 3rd, 2008 related to the policy of the Ministry of Employment to interfere in favour of the people who are in professional insertion and help them access key competences.

The Law of November 24th, 2009 relative to the orientation and long life vocational training indicates that "the capacity to update knowledge, skills and team work completes the base of  knowledge and competences". it creates the FPSPP (Fonds Paritaire de Sécurisation des parcours professionnels ) (Equal Fund for securing professional careers) which finances training initiatives on key competences.


1.c. Financial means:

Training programmes for job-seekers and employees in an integration process

The State is competent in training job-seekers and employees who suffer from illiteracy and in an integration process. The programmes IRILL - Insertion Réinsertion lutte contre l'ILLettrisme (Integration Reintegration fight against illiteracy) which had this mission until 2009, as well as the educational personalized workshops (APP) that concern people who wish to obtain a basic level of knowledge were replaced by a new programme: the market of training that targets "key competences". It is managed by the region through the DIRECCTE.

Regions, although are not obliged to work on this issue, they often offer a linguistic or "basic knowledge" trainings, which are destined to young job-seekers in situations of analphabetism, illiteracy or learning French as a foreign language. Certain regions designed joint relationship between basic competences training offer and other existing trainings (creating a project/leading to a qualification/through learning) in a perspective of considering basic competences rather than illiteracy (as the offer addresses all public and not only those who studied at school in French language). Other regions work on basic competences and key competences in partnership with the OPCA for people in professional transition who can have the status of job seekers.

Employment office, within the framework of applying the agreement FPSPP – where the State, can also propose, in its offer, trainings on key competences and basic competences. Every region makes different choices on the subject.

General Councils sometimes develop trainings within the framework of the Department Plan of insertion. Municipalities or big associative networks can propose "evening classes" or "municipal workshops" on basic knowledge, the alpha or the FLE opened to job-seekers, but sometimes also to employees.


Programmes destined to employees

The organisations who are licensed to collect training taxes (OPCA) cover the charges of employees’ trainings. They can finance trainings on key competences and basic competences. These programs have been handled better for a few years now, thanks to the support of (FPSPP)


A National Agency to fight against illiteracy:

Created in October 2000, for public interest, this flexible structure combines public and private partners, ANLCI organizes the work within the framework of competences that is appropriate to each field; it does not grant funding, but works on producing an added value through an action plan around three major axes: 

-          Measure: the ANLCI is in charge of promoting, on national, territorial and local levels, all actions that contribute to measure, prevent and act against analphabetism and favour the access for all to reading, writing and basic skills.

-          Organise: ANLCI favours the optimization of all means mobilized by the State, regions, companies and civil society actors to fight against illiteracy.

-          Equip: ANLCI accompanies and helps the actors who implement prevention actions and fighting against illiteracy to become more professional and develop their skills, as well as improve the quality and efficiency of the services proposed to the concerned persons.

2.  Definition of basic competences recognized in each country and the concerned actors in private and public sectors

Definition by the Ministry of National Education.

In France, the DGEFP (Délégation générale à l’emploi et à la formation professionnelle)  - General Delegation of Employment and vocational training, defined 5 groups of key competences:

  1. Understanding and written expression
  2. Mathematics, sciences and technology
  3. Office automation and internet
  4. Capacity to develop      his/her knowledge and skills
  5. initiation into a      foreign language.

At the AFPA (Association nationale pour la formation professionnelle des adultes) - National Association for the vocational training of adults) 4 transversal competences:

  1. Express      himself/herself easily by using written and oral skills
  2. Calculate
  3. Reason
  4. Use Internet and      simple computing tools           

While at the ANCLI (Agence nationale de lutte contre l’illettrisme) – National Agency to fight illiteracy. 3 areas of competences are defined that include 7 activities (Key competence reference for professional Situations):

  1. Implementation
    1. Execute a task
    2. Understand and justify
  2. Interaction
    1. Communicate
    2. Participate in one decision
  3. Initiative
    1. Seize a chance
    2. Learn, take advantage of the experience
    3. Take initiatives


3.   Tools used, methodology and how are they applied

1-      User guide for key competences in professional situations

2-      Positioning of the key competence "learn how to learn"


4.  Accessibility to these evaluations to vulnerable groups (they need to pay, easy to know about, …etc)

The government covers the costs of these evaluation for the following publics:

– Job seekers;

– Youngsters who left the school system without any qualification or diploma.


Under the vocational training finances: 

– Employees with specific aided contracts under the obligation of training by the employer.

The access to the program "master key competences" is opened to employees, and has to lean on the intervention of professional sectors and OPCA (particularly in terms of financing).


5.  Efficiency and  limitations

Assessment report of 2008 in PACA region – Programme “Territorial Space to Access the First Knowledge (ETAPS):

148 actions were led in 60 municipalities. From the 6880 beneficiaries 20% are estimated to have abandoned. On the other hand, an emergency fund called IRIS (regional intervention for the social investment), that is dedicated to the vocational training in order to take into account the most weakened persons, was created with a co-financing from (OPCA). This action plan between the regional council, the prefecture of the region and the vice-chancellorship also aim at fighting against analphabetism.

Limitations from the professionals point of view: these programs group together many heterogeneous population, who have specific and diverse needs, this makes it very complex to implement a real tailored