VAE, an asset to business, by Gerald MAURY, CIBC 33

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Updated on 12 August 2020. The Validation of Experience Acquired (VAE) is a means of obtaining certification (diploma, title or certificate of professional qualification):

Recognising that professional activity produces competence. Everyone acquires skills by confronting work situations. Whether they are professionally or volunteered

A different route from training: recognizing one’s skills through a detailed description of work activities provides an overview of the acquisition process. This shortens any training pathways

Who can respond in a way adapted to the needs of the company. But also an opportunity that can be seen as an ingredient of professionalization

Over the years, an increasing number of companies have taken over the VAE to professionalize employees. But also to develop their employability and allow them to evolve in the company.

It is generally referred to as a collective approach to VAE. On the one hand initiated and carried by the company, and integrated into a global strategy, and on the other hand employees previously identified and able to be accompanied collectively.

A strategic approach for companies, preparing for the future

For many companies, the VAE has established itself as a human resources management tool. It helps to improve working conditions and in particular to address three types of issues.

The first is the importance for the company to cultivate its performance through a renewed commitment and an up-to-date qualification of the employees concerned. This approach allows to keep in use, to make emerge and recognize new functions. As well as ensuring positive communication and retaining employees.

The second challenge for the organization is to develop its responsiveness and flexibility. In order to better anticipate and integrate the evolutions of its sector and/or its trades. Thus, the company accompanies economic changes and maintains employability. It promotes conversions, energizes and reduces training costs.

Finally, the VAE is also a means for society to implement its social responsibility. By preventing the risk of professional wear and professionalisation

A rewarding approach for employees, renewed confidence

For the employee, the VAE is a tool for recognising a qualification related to a trade, a function, a mission. A collective approach by VAE allows a working collective to weld itself around a certification project. To support each other in thinking and formalizing his professional practices and skills.

A collective approach initiated and supported by the company also allows recognition beyond the financial aspect. On the one hand, it leads to the establishment of new relations between the employee and the management through the development of social dialogue. On the other hand, it promotes a logic of forward-looking management of jobs and skills, a structuring approach for all parties.

And yet, even if it remains stable in its structure, the VAE – individual or collective – has been running out of steam since 2011.

Recognition of skills in many sectors

VAE is developing in many sectors, such as IT. The evolution of this sector in the face of studies that are created around these technical occupations compensates by taking up positions. In a company, an employee develops field skills, which must be highlighted and recognized. This can also be explained by the completion of a self-taught career in the targeted area. This is the whole point of the VAE, which makes it possible to formalize the know-how and experience gained over the years of experience. The IT VAE is thus an excellent way to promote an expertise acquired in business, which completes a diploma.

According to Studyrama’s figures, 42% of validation procedures for obtaining an VAE are successful. More often than not, it is the diplomas at the Bac-2 or Bac-3 level that finish (46%), far ahead of the Bac-5 levels that require more skills. This is a fairly long process (between 6 and 12 months), which allows the candidate to demonstrate his know-how and knowledge. 25,600 certifications were granted in France in 2014, out of some 61,300 files originally selected. The VAE is an appreciation of experience and knowledge, but it is still selective.

A legal framework in favour of a generalisation of the VAE

Thus, on the strength of these findings, institutional and political actors have seized on this subject through two other laws which are in line with the necessary evolution of the VAE scheme within the framework of a joint interest between employer and employee.

In 2014, The 2014-288 Act of 5 March on vocational training, Employment and Social Democracy amends several points relating to the EEA by stating, among other things, the eligibility of vaE support to the Personal Training Account (PCF), the extension of its access for persons who have exercised trade union or political responsibilities, and a relaxation of the conditions of experience required for persons who have not reached level V.

Recently,the Act No. 2016-1088 on work, the modernization of social dialogue and the securing of career paths of 8 August 2016 incorporates many changes to the system, including:

Changing the minimum duration of activity required to submit an EEA, from three to one year;

The introduction of the obligation to inform the VAE during the professional interview;

The possibility for companies with more than 50 employees to put in place an agreement that can determine how to promote the VAE for the benefit of employees;

The change in the conditions for the opening of the right to leave VAE and the remuneration of CDD holders, which are in line with that of employees in CDI;

The possible increase in the duration of the VAE Leave by agreement or collective labour agreement for employees who have not reached a level IV or whose employment is threatened by economic or technological developments;

The possibility of enhanced support for certain audiences financed by branch agreement.

An approach supported by New Aquitaine

In New Aquitaine, the Validation of Experience Acquired is considered by the Regional Council as one of the means that can be used as part of a policy of human resource management and skills development.

Thus, in order to develop this device in the territory of The Region, CIBC 33 was commissioned by the Regional Council to inform, raise awareness and advise employers and HR actors on the value of implementing an internal VAE approach to existing HR issues. This approach is free for businesses because it is funded by the Region.

Operationally, CIBC 33 – PRC VAE 33 will focus on:

To make the business manager and/or his HR manager aware of the existence of the VAE device and its process

Put it in perspective under the Law of March 5, 2014. Especially professional maintenance but also the Law of August 8, 2016. And its evolutions on this device

To allow their understanding of the use of VAE as a mobilizable tool. Both in an “offensive” posture (GPEC) and in a so-called “defensive” posture (reclassification plan). Or any other shared human resources approach

Identify the opportunity to integrate the VAE into a company. In view of the company’s unique issues and contexts

Inform about the possibilities and conditions for implementing employee VAE courses or collective VAE approach in companies

Advise on the methodology to be implemented within the company. In light of existing internal and external needs and resources

The author:

Gérald MAURY

Psychologist of Training Work and after a career course as a Career Management and Technical Coordination Advisor. His management role has led him since 2007 to operationalize CIBC 33’s action strategy. In the field of securing career paths, lifelong orientation and validation of acquired paths. This is in line with all the regional operational and institutional actors of the Public Employment Service, Regional Public Orientation Service, and HR, RF actors of the regional territory. For more than 15 years, he has been coordinating, supervising and insimating formative actions in the field of securing the routes. Professional mobility and its practices, especially at the University of Bordeaux.

Member of the National Office of the National Federation of CIBC. In charge of Quality and European Issues within the European Federation of Assessment and Career Guidance Centres (FECBOP). He is currently involved in the work of COPANEF on the evolution of the Skills Review.


CIBC 33’s role is to support adult audiences on its territory. Whatever their professional situation, in the management and management of their professional trajectory. But also companies around career management issues. His expertise is also recognized in the field of Validation of Experience Acquired. It acts – with funding from the Region – as a Regional Point Council in VAE to inform and advise any public and any employer on the approach of VAE.

05 57 54 25 00

CIBC 33 – Regional Tip Point in VAE

15-17 Thiers Avenue



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