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EPALE - Piattaforma elettronica per l'apprendimento degli adulti in Europa


Short imaginary conversation on the subject of work-based learning

di Camille POIRAUD
Lingua: EN
Document available also in: FR DE CS



Et si les formations en situation de travail (FEST) nous conduisaient à repenser la formation ?
Et si les formations en situation de travail (FEST) nous conduisaient à repenser la formation ?

L: ...You know, work-based learning has always existed but, like Molière’s character Monsieur Jourdain who spoke prose without knowing it, no one has really paid it any attention. However, if you listen to people talking about the way they’ve learned, it’s mainly been on the job or through work.

E: Yes. So what are the implications?

L: Shouldn’t we be thinking about the way people learn at work and the consequences of this learning so that we can rethink training provision? The law covering continuing professional development is opening up new opportunities which will enable us to provide more effective work-based learning.

E: Why?

L: Because the rationale behind the law is now based on outcomes rather than means.

E: So what does that mean for training?

L: It means that even though some of the legal requirements covering training[1] have been removed, professional development for employees still remains a concern. So businesses are going to have to use performance management interviews to prove that their employees have made progress either in terms of their skills or their career development...
 They’ll have to show that, even though the tax obligations no longer exist, their employees’ professional development needs are not being ignored.

E: So, actually, we haven’t any more freedom than we had before!

L: YES and NO! YES, it gives us more freedom: businesses will no longer be forced to spend money on training if it is not useful. So no more trips away on work placements, just to spend the training money! Everyone complained about this wasteful expenditure and so now it’s gone and businesses are no longer forced to do it! They gain, if not in freedom then at least in terms of relevance, from their training investment.

NO, the lifting of the tax obligation does not mean complete freedom! As a business’s performance depends to a large extent on the commitment of its employees and the way they do their work, we cannot afford to ignore their development. The lifting of the tax obligation is not just about freedom! It creates a new obligation: the requirement to prove that the business takes its employees’ professional development seriously, enabling them, among other things, to develop their skills and acquire new qualifications.

E: So how do we go about this?

L: The law will lead us to take a closer look at how people are trained on the job or through work.

E: But that’s something completely new...

L: Yes, and no... Have you never come across employees who have developed new skills as they worked, thanks to the Validation of Experience scheme?

E: Yes, of course...

L: So understanding how working provides training and how we can train people as they work is not something totally new. We probably need to look more closely at what people actually do at work and how they learn to do what they do...

E: That’s because you don’t learn how to work by going on a placement... In my case, for example, if I hadn’t had a colleague who...

L: So, basically, you feel the same way I do? Perhaps we’ll stop thinking of a work placement as the only way of learning or training

E: Let’s hope so!

L: So we’re in complete agreement! What if work-based learning​ led us to rethink our approach to training? 

Anne-Lise ULMANN is a lecturer at CNAM and a thematic expert for EPALE. 


[1] In France the legal requirements are a percentage of payroll that the companies have to expend on staff training. If not, this amount has to be paid back to the State. 

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  • Ritratto di Jean Vanderspelden

    Merci pour ce partage ; Le sigle FEST, porté par la DGEFP, est peut être un rappel pour que le lieu de travail, le lieu de production, le lieu ou les espaces des interactions porfesionnele soient aussi intégrés dans les nouvelles modalités de mise en oeuvre la formation TLV ; les formations multimodales ou FOAD, telles que le prévoit la réforme de la formation professionnelle de 2014, et en particulier le décret sur la FOAD.

  • Ritratto di Thierry Ardouin

    Merci pour ce dialogue sans doute pas si imaginaire. Effectivement la Formation en Situation de Travail (FEST) invite à la réflexion et questionne la formation, tant au niveau individuel de notre rapport  à la formation, tant au niveau des dispositifs d'apprentissage, et surtout son intégration dans la logique plus large de le Formation Tout au long de la Vie (FTLV). Cela interroge aussi les lieux et les temporalités de la FTLV. Dans ce contexte et ses évolutions,avec les risque de confusion, il est de plus en plus important de dire la formation, c'est à dire de chercher à utiliser les termes les plus justes au regard de la diversité des situations. Alors : "Formation, dis moi qui tu es?"


  • Ritratto di Simon BROEK

    DearAnne-Lise, I would be more than happy to comment on your article. Is there any way to receive it (hopefully in English)? Thanks!


  • Ritratto di Hélène Paumier

    Dear Simon, 

    The new article about Workplace Learning written by AnneLise is available here : /node/24235

  • Ritratto di Anne-lise Ulmann

    Cher Simon Broek,

    Thank you for your comments on my blog. Making a student working environment is actually a very sensitive issue. I have just published an article about this because it is important to differentiate between learning in work through the exercise of the activity and learn the job of developing a reflexive analysis on its own activities.

    I would enjoy having your comments on this.

  • Ritratto di Simon BROEK

    Dear Anne-Lise,

    Thanks for your interesting blog. I especially liked the idea that it firmly states that the working environment is at the same time a learning environment. It is therefore very interesting to think about what are the conditions to make the working environment a stimulating learning environment. These conditions concern a variety of aspects such as the diversity of work tasks people conduct; possibilities for informal exchanges with colleagues; incentives and motivations for learning (career progression); recognition of acquired skills and competences, etc.