VAE (Validation of Prior Professional Experience)

What exactly is a French VAE?

So-called "validation of prior professional experience" (VAE), enacted in a Government decree dated August 23, 1985, under French law January 17, 2002 is the 4th route to the engineering diploma (on a par with initial training, continuous education schemes and apprenticeships).

Any person, whatever his/her age, nationality, statute or level of previous studies, can apply for acceptance in a VAE assessment process, provided the person can justify a minimum 3 years professional (or extra-professional) experience in line with the course (specialty).

In contradistinction with an exam-logic, the VAE uses a proof-logic. The candidate must prove that he/she has acquired via previous professional (or extra-professional) activities, the same level of knowledge or skills as a student who has acquired them traditionally (in classwork). The application consists of a file on the background acquirements and plus an interview with the VAE assessment jury.

Benefits in applying for a VAE

For a salaried applicant, the VAE is a way:

  • to valorize skills and obtain an official recognition for prior experience
  • to encourage professional career evolution and social promotion 
  • to guard against unemployment obtaining a diploma which is professionally recognized
  • to provide added meaning a wide range of possible prior experiences
  • to facilitate possible access to public, civil service jobs.

For an enterprise, the VAE allows you:

  • to reduce training time and costs, inasmuch as prior experience is taken into account
  • to adapt training to salaried workers' personal experience and rack record 
  • to identify and valorise the enterprise's manpower capital 
  • to increase workers' personal motivation offering possibilities for in-house promotion
  • to reduce the costs of recruiting and integrating trainees and also encourage in-house promotion 
  • to develop and maintain the entrepreneurial attractiveness
  • to forearm salaried workers to face getting professionally laid off.

What other validation process exists?

If you wish to pursue studies you started earlier but did not finish, and attend the UTC engineering diploma courses, without possessing the prerequisites, the VAP 85 (Validation of Professional Experience, French Government decree August 23, 1985) can qualify you to register for a validation of your prior studies, your professional experience and personal track-record.

Should this be the case, please contact the relevant diploma secretariat who will advise as to the appropriate allocation file needed.

More information, in French, and access to the candidate applicability file, can be found at the VAE internet site:   

What is the VAE process as practised at UTC?

The main VAE steps taken at UTC are:

  1. identification of a relevant 'awardable' diploma
  2. preparation of the appropriate diploma
  3. completion of the VAE file
  4. presentation of previously acquired skills and knowledge - audition by jury
  5. decision of the VAE jury

Generally speaking a VAE process lasts between 9 and 18 months.

What UTC diplomas can be awarded via the VAE process?

All French national diplomas awarded by UTC can be awarded under the VAE process: the engineering diploma, the Master's degree in Science and Technologies, the PhD degree and the Professional degree.

Moreover, the Master's degree with the Quality Assessment specialty and the professional certification as a Biomedical Hospital Assistant can also be awarded under the VAE scheme.

Our advice to initiate and lodge a VAE application

  • define your personal professional project
  • analyze the contents of the diploma and carry out a self-diagnosis
  • please note that the VAE does not provide an automatic equivalence conversion pf prior experience and you will be required to demonstrate that you have the skills needed to apply
  • prepare the appropriate steps that can help secure financial support for a VAE


Responsable VAE
Magdalena Villette
Phone : 03 44 23 79 48 | Contact by email

Assistante VAE
Nathalie Moutonnet
Phone : 03 44 23 44 82 | Contact by email