Why do a skills assessment in 2024?

Whether you are an employee or a job seeker, you have certainly already heard about the skills assessment…

You don’t really know what the point is, because you know your skills, your background and what you like about your job on a daily basis. Nevertheless, a professional and objective analysis can bring you much more than you might have imagined, or even open up new professional horizons, a professional reconversion, especially if you have CPF credit.

Why should I do a skills assessment?

There are many reasons to do it! And above all, they are very personal from one person to another.
For example, there are the following reasons why an employee might want to do a skills assessment

  • to change jobs or professional sectors: to retrain for a new career
  • because you need to validate your skills acquired during your professional career, with a view to obtaining a diploma for example!
  • to enhance and give credit to your CV
  • because you don’t know where you stand anymore, you ask yourself lots of questions: it’s normal!
  • to leave the workforce and start your own business: become self-employed!
  • to change departments within the same company
  • to move up, have more responsibilities, earn more money too!
  • because you are unemployed: it’s time for a career change!
  • because the skills assessment is free: it can be financed with your CPF!

What is a skills assessment?

The best definition of a skills assessment can be found in the French Labour Code

Its objective is to enable employees to analyse their professional and personal skills as well as their aptitudes and motivations in order to define a professional project and, if necessary, a training project. A skills assessment is an objective and professional look at an individual’s experience and skills and the professional horizons open to them for a fulfilling career.

Labour Code

Skills assessments and APEL: what is the difference?

While the former allows you to take stock of your acquired professional skills, it gives you the keys to change career and professional direction, to take the step of professional reconversion.

APEL(Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) allows you to validate your skills and professional experience with the aim of obtaining a diploma or a recognised title.

Who can benefit from the skills assessment?

Whether you are an employee in the private sector or a civil servant, or a job seeker, you can benefit from a skills assessment with a view to professional development. The law allows you to apply for a skills assessment from your employer or from an approved joint body, for example as part of redeployment leave.

What is the procedure for accessing it?

The skills assessment is a decision-making tool that enables employees to take stock of their aptitudes, motivations and professional abilities and to define a professional or training project with a view to professional development.

The assessment can be carried out on the employee’s initiative with the consent of the employer (or that of the joint body) under certain conditions

To do this, the employee must have been an employee for at least 5 years, consecutive or not, whatever the nature of the successive contracts over the last 5 years, including 4 months on a fixed-term contract over the last 12 months.

The skills assessment may take place during working hours (with continued remuneration) or outside working hours, but with the written agreement of the employee and after having informed the employer

In the latter case, the employer must be notified at least 60 days before the start of the service if it takes place during working hours. If the employee leaves during the course of the service, the assessment can only be carried out after written agreement between the two parties.

Where can a skills assessment be carried out?

Do I have to go through an organisation?

Yes, you can choose between several approved parity organisations, each of which offers different services.

It is a service that provides support in carrying out a professional project. It can be carried out at the request of the employer if you are an employee, or by an external body authorised by the OPCA (now called OPCO – Opérateur de Compétences).

Pôle Emploi for jobseekers, or the National Association for Adult Vocational Training (AFPA), for employees.

The Bilan de Compétences is carried out in an approved centre, with the support of a consultant who has been specifically trained in this type of support. It is an individual service, the cost of which is covered either by the employer or via your Personal Training Account (CPF).

Talk to your CEP: Professional Development Advisor

The career development advisor (Conseil en évolution professionnelle or CEP) provides each employee with free support to take stock of his or her professional situation and, if necessary, to draw up a career development plan (retraining, taking up or creating a business, etc.).

Career development counselling is a free public service and is also provided by APEC (Association pour l’Emploi des Cadres) counsellors.

Employees on permanent contracts can be assisted within the framework of career development advice

  • either by one of the regional operators selected by call for tenders ;
  • or by Pôle emploi, under certain conditions.

The regional operators selected through a call for tenders are responsible for organising the career development counselling sessions, financing the CEP and ensuring the follow-up of the beneficiaries.

The beneficiary of the career development advice is free to choose his or her operator.
The duration of the CEP is between 12 and 24 months, renewable once for a maximum of 24 months. The cost of professional development counselling is covered by the FONGECIF (Fonds de gestion du CIF).

Why do a skills assessment?

Requirements to Pass a Skills Assessment

A skills assessment may be of interest first of all to find one’s way, to change career when one does not know what professional project or training to follow. The motivation may be to carry out this assessment before starting one’s professional life, to define the training to be carried out before choosing the profession one wishes to exercise, but one can also carry out an assessment within the framework of a professional reconversion with a view to exercising a profession in which one will be able to flourish.

A skills assessment can also be motivated by redundancy and the beginning of a period of unemployment, so that one’s job search or training wishes correspond to one’s future professional project.

Other reasons for a skills assessment may be a professional promotion with a change of position, a goal to change company or to create a company. The skills assessment is useful for the proper management of one’s professional career, putting all the chances on one’s side to move towards a fulfilling job.

How does a skills assessment work?

A skills assessment is carried out in a maximum of 24 hours by an approved professional, in three distinct phases spread over several days or weeks.

Preliminary phase

The first phase is the preliminary phase of validating the request and providing information on the assessment process.

Investigation phase

The second phase of investigation corresponds to the analysis of professional and personal interests and motivations, through professional and personal experience, training, interests, motivations and values.

Conclusion phase

The last phase involves a personal interview detailing the summary document drawn up at the end of the skills assessment.

How long does a skills assessment last?

The duration of the assessment varies, from 8 to 24 hours. It can be spread over several weeks, or it can be concentrated on the first phase, during which the consultant conducts interviews with the consultant himself and the other participants in the assessment.

What will I be paid during the assessment?

Very simple: if you do your assessment during your working time, you will keep your salary. If it is carried out outside of your working hours, you will not receive any additional remuneration.

How can I finance my skills assessment?

How can I get a free skills assessment?

Employees and jobseekers who wish to have a free skills assessment can benefit from a free skills assessment, which is eligible for the CPF

If the request is made at the employee’s initiative, the employee can use his or her Personal Training Account (PTA) to finance all or part of the skills assessment. The educational costs and ancillary costs of the skills assessment can be charged to the CPF.

On the other hand, if it is the employer who requests it (in the context of redeployment leave or a development plan), it is the employer who will be fully responsible for financing the Bilan de Compétences (excluding remuneration). The financial responsibility is determined at branch level. It must be paid to the OPCO designated by the branch.

Use the credits in your Personal Training Account: the CPF

The CPF is an account that allows you to acquire professional training hours and helps you finance your professional project.

How does the CPF work?

To benefit from the CPF, you must have worked for at least 4 months during the last 5 years. The account is fed each year by hours you have worked in your working time.

Is the training account compulsory?

In theory, the CFP is optional, but it may be highly recommended for training for a new job or for changing jobs.

You can therefore decide not to use your cpf and to use your personal account to finance your skills assessment. But in this case, your accumulated hours will be lost and will have to be used in another year. If you want to know more about managing your hours

For employees, this free skills assessment can be carried out with the rights acquired under the personal training account (CPF). It can be initiated by the employee or the employer, and carried out outside working hours or during working hours.

The rules differ according to the situation, with the employer paying the cost when the assessment is carried out during working time. Whatever the case, the skills assessment will be free of charge for the employee if the eligibility conditions are met.

For a jobseeker, the request to carry out a skills assessment is also free and must be addressed to his or her job centre adviser.

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