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1°. Defining the activity
The operator of a driving and road safety education institution (otherwise known as a "auto-school") is in charge of the administrative, legal and fiscal management of the school.
It also recruits driving and road safety teachers and coordinates the work of the teams.
In accordance with the provisions of Section D. 114-12 of the Public Relations Code and the Administration, any user may obtain an information certificate on the standards applicable to the professions relating to the teaching of expensive driving and road safety awareness. To do so, you should send your application to the following address: email@example.com.
2°. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
The operation of a driving training facility is reserved for prefectural licensees.
The latter is obtained if the person concerned meets the following conditions:
- conditions of honourability (see infra "3 degrees). a. Conditions of honorability");
- Be at least 23 years old
- justify the ability to manage an institution by holding either:- a state diploma, a higher or technological degree or higher education degree, at least equal to a level III (legal, economic, accounting or commercial) or a comparable foreign diploma,
- Certificate of Professional Qualification (CQP) "responsible for road safety and driving education units"
- a professional qualification acquired in a Member State of the European Union (EU) or party to the agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);
- justify minimum guarantees regarding the institution's means of training. These guarantees concern the premises, vehicles, material means and the organisation of the training;
- to justify the professional qualification of teachers who must be licensed to practice.
For further information: Articles L. 213-1 and R. 213-2 of the Highway Traffic Act.
The CQP "responsible for road safety and driving education units" is issued by the National Association for Motor Training after a 126-hour training session and a final jury examination. The programme of this training is specified in an appendix to the decree of 13 April 2016 relating to the Certificate of Professional Qualification " Head of road safety and driving education units ) ».
Costs associated with qualification
Training leading to the CQP is paid for. For more information, it is advisable to approach an institution or training organization providing it.
b. EU or EEA nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Freedom to provide services)
There are no regulations for a national of an EU or EEA state wishing to practise as an operator of a driving school in France, either on a temporary or casual basis.
Therefore, only the measures taken for the Freedom of establishment of EU or EEA nationals (see infra "5°. a. Apply for accreditation for EU or EEA nationals") will apply.
c. EU or EEA nationals: for a permanent exercise (Freedom of establishment)
Any national of an EU or EEA state, who is established and legally operates a driving and road safety education institution in that state, may carry out the same activity in France on a permanent basis. if it:
- holds a certificate issued by the competent authority of an EU or EEA state that regulates access to or exercise of the profession;
- has worked full-time or part-time for one year in the last ten years in another Member State which does not regulate training or the practice of the profession.
Once the national fulfils one of these conditions, he must first apply for recognition of his professional qualifications from the prefect of the department where he plans to open his establishment (cf.infra "5o). a. Request recognition of the EU or EEA national's professional qualifications for permanent practice (LE).
Recognition of his professional qualifications will allow him to apply for administrative approval from the same competent authority (see infra "5o). b. Apply for accreditation for EU or EEA nationals").
However, if the examination of the professional qualifications attested by the training credentials and the work experience shows substantial differences with the qualifications required for access to the profession and its exercise in France, the person concerned will have to submit to a compensation measure.
For further information: Article R. 213-2-1 of the Highway Traffic Act; 13 September 2017 decree on the recognition of qualifications acquired in a Member State of the European Union or in another State party to the European Economic Area Agreement by persons wishing to practise in the professions regulated road education.
3°. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics
a. Conditions of honorability
The operator of a driving school must meet conditions of honour and justify:
- not to have been sentenced to a criminal or correctional sentence under section R. 212-4 of the Highway Traffic Act;
- not having been the subject of a licence withdrawal in the last three years.
Operating a driving school without obtaining administrative approval is punishable by one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros.
For further information: Articles L. 213-3 and L. 213-6 and R. 212-4 of the Highway Traffic Act.
b. Obligation for continuous professional development
A refreshment of knowledge is organized before any renewal of accreditation. It consists of a three-day consecutive course consisting of 21 hours of training, designed to strengthen the knowledge and skills of the operators.
The themes of the training are specified in the Appendix I of the 18 December 2002 order setting out the conditions for updating the knowledge of operators of driving educational institutions, for a fee, motor vehicles and road safety and operators of establishments approved to provide an expensive education for candidates with the qualifications required for the profession of driving and road safety teacher.
The operator is required to take out professional liability insurance covering him and his employees for any damage caused to third parties by acts carried out during their professional activity.
In addition, it will also be required to insure vehicles in case of damage caused by students at the school to third parties during driving instruction.
5°. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities
a. Request recognition of professional qualifications for EU or EEA nationals for permanent exercise (LE)
The prefect of the department where the national wishes to settle is competent to decide on the application for recognition of professional qualifications.
The application is made by filing a file that includes the following supporting documents:
- The request for recognition, dated and signed to be sought from the services of the prefect of department;
- A photocopy of an ID
- An identity photograph less than six months old
- proof of residence of less than six months
- photocopying the two-sided driver's licence. A driver's licence is not a requirement for certification;
- A photocopy of certificates of competency or training documents obtained for the exercise of the activity of operator of a driving school;
- A statement regarding his knowledge of the French language for the practice of the profession concerned;
- if applicable, a certificate of competency or a training document justifying that the national has been active for at least one year in the last ten years, in a state that does not regulate the training or its exercise.
The prefect acknowledges receipt of the file within one month and has two months from that same date to decide on the application
In the event of substantial differences between the training he has received and that required to carry out this activity in France, the prefect may submit him to an aptitude test or an adaptation course.
The aptitude test, carried out within a maximum of six months, is in the form of an interview before the jury of the certificate of professional qualification "responsible for teaching road safety and driving". The adaptation course is carried out for a minimum of two months in a driving school.
After checking the documents in the file and, if necessary, after receiving the results of the chosen compensation measure, the prefect will issue recognition of qualifications whose model is specified in the Annex September 13, 2017.
For further information: decree of 13 September 2017 relating to the recognition of qualifications acquired in a Member State of the European Union or in another State party to the agreement on the European Economic Area by persons wishing to practise the professions regulated road education.
Upon receipt of the file, the prefect will have one month to inform the national of any missing documents. In the event of substantial differences between the training and experience of the national and those required in France, he may decide to submit him to a compensation measure. The prefect completes the file with an extract from criminal record 2 to verify that the inters interested party has not been the subject of any conviction under sections L. 213-3 and R. 212-4 of the Highway Traffic Act.
Good to know: compensation measures
The prefect may subject the national to an adjustment course of up to one year or an aptitude test. These measures must take place within six months of the prefect's decision.
b. Apply for accreditation for EU or EEA nationals
The prefect of the department of the place of exploitation is competent to decide on the application for approval of the national.
The application is made by filing a file that includes the following supporting documents:
- The accreditation form to be withdrawn from the services of the department prefect;
- A valid piece of identification
- if he is a foreign national not belonging to a European Union state or a party to the agreement on the European Economic Area, the justification that he is in good standing with regard to legislation and regulations concerning foreigners in France;
- Proof of residence
- An identity photograph
- a document justifying the ability to manage an institution:- or any document to justify that the national has practiced this profession, for at least one year in the last ten years, in an EU or EEA state that does not regulate access or the practice of the profession. The national must also hold a certificate of competency or a training document attesting to the preparation of this training,
- either a title acquired in a third state but recognised as equivalent by an EU or EEA state,
- either a certificate of competency or a training certificate issued by an EU or EEA state that regulates the profession,
- or one of the training titles covered by the "2nd. a. National requirements";
- the justification for the declaration of the territorial economic contribution or, failing that, a declaration of registration with the USSRAF;
- if he is the legal representative of a legal person, a copy of the statutes and extract from the register of trade and companies dating back less than three months;
- The name and quality of the establishment (social reason, SIREN or SIRET number, etc.);
- photocopying the title or lease of the premises, the characteristics of which are defined in the January 8, 2001 order relating to the operation of educational institutions, for a fee, the operation of motor vehicles and the Road safety
- The plan and a description of the activity room
- the justification of the ownership or rental of the teaching vehicle or vehicles, as well as the insurance certificate covering damages caused to third parties with these vehicles;
- list of driving and road safety teachers with their permission to teach.
What to know
If necessary, the pieces must be translated into French by a certified translator.
The accreditation is issued for five years renewable. In the event of a renewal, the national must apply at least two months before it expires.
For further information: order of 8 January 2001 relating to the operation of educational institutions, for a fee, of motor vehicle driving and road safety.
French assistance centre
The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas. Recognition of a foreign diploma is a procedure that evaluates the foreign diploma submitted in relation to the French nomenclature of training levels and the European Certification Framework (CEC). The ENIC-NARIC Centre France issues certificates of comparability.
SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.
The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:
- that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
- that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).
The national must complete a online complaint form .
Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.
To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:
- Full contact details
- Detailed description of his problem
- all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).
SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.
Outcome of the procedure
At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:
- If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
- if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.
SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).