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Analysis of context

Legal framework in France

What do we mean by « basic skills » and/or « key competences » in France ?

The « key competences » approach in France


A lack of basic skills (write and read), particularly functional (i.e understand a message on daily life topics) and numeracy along with digital skills, can be an obstacle to find a job or to obtain a qualification.

This situation leads to problems of professional integration and/or professional mobility or problems to stay in a job.

Consequently, the ANLCI (National Agency facing illiteracy issue, that unites public and private partners in highlighting literacy issues), to address the social pressure of various social partners, has constructed and proposed a Framework of « key competences in professional contexts » (2009).

The objective is to facilitate professional integration and anticipate professional deployments/transfers, along with coordinate the actions at the national level.

Some key dates

  • 2006 : European framework of key competences for lifelong learning : introduction of the notion of competency (composed of knowledges, skills and attitudes).

The European key competences framework defines 8 key competences which complete/ enhance the basic skills (read, write and count).

• Communication in native language

• Communication in foreign languages

• Numeracy and basic skills in science & technology

• Digital skill

• Learning to learn

• Social and civic competences

• Entrepreunership

• Cultural awareness and expression

  • The European framework of key competences for lifelong learning was adapted by the French Ministry of Education with the creation of a specific framework including 7 competences (“Socle commun de connaissances et de compétences »).
  • In 2016, it became « Le socle commun de connaissances, de compétences et de culture», focusing on 5 themes to define knowledge and competences that one student is supposed to achieve at the end of his/her education.

Introduction of the term “competences”:

  • Languages to think and communicate

  • Methods and tools to learn

  • Education to be a person and a citizen (citizenship)

  • The natural and techonological systems

  • The representations of the world and of the human activity

  • DGEFP (Délégation Générale à l‘Emploi et à la Formation Professionnelle, section of the Labour Ministry, in charge of the implementation of the Government policy, regarding employment and vocational training) influences the specifications decided by the sponsors establishing public contracts related to key competences (instructions of 2006)

2014 : law on vocational training (introduction of the obligation of competency acquisition)