The CPF and your foreign language course - how does it work?
- Create your “Compte personnel de formation” (i.e. ‘personal training account’) account online.
- Check the number of hours to which you are entitled.
- Choose a qualifying course. For example you can use the CPF to undertake an English language training course as long as it results in a certification found in the CNCP's list.
- Enjoy your course. And don't forget to complete the language qualification that is necessary to meet the CPF funding requirements.
Find out more detail regarding each of these steps by reading the sections below.
What is the CPF?
The “Compte personnel de formation” (i.e. ‘personal training account’) was created in order to provide training opportunities throughout an employee’s professional life in France, encouraging everyone to undertake training or study throughout their working life until retirement age.
The CPF is made available to employees working in the private sector, job seekers, and youth who are entering the world of work (at 15 or 16 years old).
How many hours am I entitled to?
Employees accumulate 24 hours for the CPF each year until reaching the threshold of 120 hours (e.g. 5 years full time work), and then 12 hours per year until reaching the maximum of 150 hours.
The number of hours that you acquire also varies according to whether you are working full-time or part-time. For example, if you were working 50% of normal working hours, you would gain 12 hours per year instead of 24.
In some cases specific collective labour agreements, your employer, the national employment agency (Pôle Emploi), or local government may allow you to take advantage of additional hours for training.
How to take advantage of the CPF? What is the procedure?
All CPF training requests must be made using the official website, through which it is possible to create a personal account.
For your English courses with British Council enter the training code 131205, which corresponds to the BULATS English test that you will take at the end of your course.
You may wish to consider contacting your HR department in order to obtain the detail of the hours that you have accumulated.
Tip: if you undertake training outside of working hours you can take advantage of the CPF without informing your employer. Using the training hours "autonomously" in this way is known as “CPF autonome” in French. In this case, tick the confidential box ("dossier confidentiel") in your online CPF account when filling in the request for training.
In order to learn more about the steps to take in order to finance your training using the CPF, visit our page on how to get funding for my course at the British Council.
Which training courses are available via the CPF scheme?
You can use the CPF to undertake an English language training course as long as it results in an English language certification that figures in the list established by the CNCP (Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle).
At the British Council we use the BULATS English language test to certify your course for the CPF, which figures in the list (corresponding with the code 131205).
Since the beginning of 2015 the list of training courses compatible with the CPF has evolved frequently and it continues to do so. A full list of courses and certifications is available on the CNCP website.
You can also consult the list of training courses on the official government website for the CPF.
What is the difference between the DIF and the CPF?
As part of the reform of continuing education system in France, from 1 January 2015 the CPF replaced the DIF (“Droit individuel à la formation”). The DIF offered a maximum of 120 hours of training, while the CPF has a higher maximum limit of 150 hours (accumulated over 9 years); however the training available using the CPF is limited to ones resulting in an approved certification.
Any DIF hours that were not used before 1 January 2015 are not lost – they will be available within your CPF account for a period of 5 years.
Hours that are acquired via the CPF scheme are not lost if your situation changes, for example if you change or lose your job.