Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is

A new way to obtain a part of or an entire professionally-oriented diploma, a title or a professional certification included in a list validated by the French National Commission of Professional Certifications:

In ways other than training, it is now possible for persons employed for at least 3 years, to obtain the professional title of “Cultural Manager” by applying for the accreditation of professional experience and of the skills developed during their work experience. The law acknowledges that work enables the acquisition of skills, knowledge and qualifications, as does professional training. Accreditation of prior experiential learning is now an individual right enshrined in the IX book of the French Labour Code and in the Education Code by the law for social modernisation passed on 17 January 2002. It is not an obligation. It is performed per request.
Candidates need to file an accreditation application to the EAC. Candidates can file one application per year for a same diploma, at one institution at the time. Three applications for three different diplomas are possible.

APEL - Conditions and accreditations: procedure and jury

APEL procedures apply to

Any person with at least 3 years of professional experience related to the professional title of Cultural Manager may apply for the accreditation of prior experiential learning at the EAC. Any person, regardless of their status, education, qualification, may benefit from APEL to obtain a professional title of Cultural Manager.

APEL concerns

  • young or adult job-seekers
  • young people without professional qualifications (according to the French denominations)
  • persons employed in the private sector, with short-term or long-term contracts, temporary workers, etc.
  • non-employed professionals: members of liberal professions, farmers, artisans, business owners, independent workers, etc.
  • candidates to an administrative exam (to certify prerequisites)
  • volunteers with experience in associations or trade unions, etc.

How to prepare an application file

For information on the steps for the creation of a file for APEL, contact our admissions office at :

For more information on APEL

In the Ile-de-France region, informations point are open to the public, provide general information on APEL and help candidates build their accreditation project according to their professional strategy.

Such information point, called pôle régional d’information conseil en VAE (Regional Centre for information and counselling on VAE) includes a regional resource centre and information and counselling points dealing with the public. Information and counselling points dealing with the public have two main objectives

  • General information on VAE, certificates, procedures, and access modes
  • Personalised counselling, aimed at
  1. Confirming the relevance of the certification objective with regards to the candidate’s professional project and the different steps of their professional pathway
  2. Helping candidates single out the certification(s) more suited to their qualification project and exploring ways that may facilitate their strategy of access to the accreditation procedure
  3. Orienting candidates towards the accreditation institutions which will ensure the follow-up of the accreditation procedure and, possibly, offer support

Estimate the duration of the procedure

Accreditation procedures require 3 to 8 months of preparation; before filing your application

  • Acquire information on available programmes and single out the diplomas which meet your personal and professional experience at best
  • Study with us the relevance of your accreditation application, its feasibility in the light of your professional and education projects
  • Draft and build your file, with our advice and support

You may also ask for the help of APEL advisers, if your experience is not in line with EAC diplomas

APEL - Regulations

In France, APEL used to be governed by two laws: law 84-52 of 27 January 1984, and law 92-678 of 20 July 1992, on accreditation of professionally-acquired skills.

The Social Modernisation Law of 17 January 2002 n° 2002-73 reformed legislation on accreditation, replaced VAE (Validation of Previous Experience) with VAP (Accreditation of Professionally-acquired skills) and enabled the official recognition of experience to access to all professionally-oriented diplomas and titles.