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1°. Defining the activity
The water system installer is a professional whose activity consists of the installation and repair of water pipes, sanitary facilities (bathroom, sink, swimming pool, etc.) and their equipment.
2°. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
To be a water system installer, the professional must be professionally qualified or placed under the effective and permanent control of a qualified person.
The person who practices or controls the exercise must hold one of the following diplomas or training titles:
- Master's certificate (BM) "Sanitary Installer";
- Technical Patent of Trades (BTM) "Health Installer";
- Certificate of Professional Qualification (CAP) "Health Installor."
In the absence of one of these diplomas, the person concerned will have to justify an effective three years' professional experience, in a European Union (EU) state or party to the agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), acquired as a leader self-employed or salaried in the job of water system installer. In this case, the person concerned will be able to apply for a certificate of recognition of professional qualification from the relevant Chamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA).
For further information: Article 16 of Law 96-603 of 5 July 1996 on the development and promotion of trade and crafts; Article 1 of Decree 98-246 of 2 April 1998; Decree 98-246 of 2 April 1998 relating to the professional qualification required for the activities of Article 16 of Act 96-603 of 5 July 1996.
The WB "sanitary installer" is a Level III diploma (bac 2) issued by the Permanent Assembly of Chambers of Crafts and Crafts (APCMA). This diploma is available to the candidate on an apprenticeship contract, after a continuing education course or by validation of the experience (VAE). For more information, you can see VAE's official website .
The BTM "Health Installor" is a Level IV diploma (bac) issued by the APCMA, accessible in an apprenticeship or professionalization contract, after a continuous training course or through the VAE procedure.
The CAP "Health Installator" is a level V diploma, accessible after a training course under student status, apprenticeship or professionalization contract, after a continuing education course, by application individual or VAE.
For further information: National directory of professional certifications ( RNCP ).
Costs associated with qualification
The training leading to the diploma of water system installer is usually free. For more details, it is advisable to get closer to the training centre in question.
b. EU nationals: for temporary and casual exercise (Freedom to provide services)
Any national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) or party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), legally established and operating as a water system installer in that state, may exercise in France on a temporary and occasional, the same activity.
Where the EU or EEA Member State does not regulate access to or exercise of the profession, the professional must justify having carried out this activity for at least one year, in the last ten years preceding the benefit, in one or more years EU member states.
In the event of substantial differences between the professional qualification of the national and that required in France, in order to carry out the activity of installer of water systems, the competent CMA may require that the person concerned submit to an aptitude test.
If he fulfils these conditions, he must first make a declaration of activity with the CMA of the place where he wishes to practise (see below "Make a prior declaration for the EU or EEA national for a temporary exercise (LPS)).
c. EU nationals: for a permanent exercise (Freedom of establishment)
In order to operate as a water system installer in France, on a permanent basis, the EU or EEA national must meet one of the following conditions:
- have the same professional qualifications as those required for a Frenchman (see above: "2. a. Professional qualifications");
- hold a certificate of competency or training certificate required for the exercise of the activity of water system installer in an EU or EEA state when that state regulates access or the exercise of this activity on its territory;
- have a certificate of competency or a training certificate that certifies its readiness to carry out the activity of water system installer when this certificate or title has been obtained in an EU or EEA state that does not regulate or regulate access nor the exercise of this activity;
- be a diploma, title or certificate acquired in a third state and admitted in equivalency by an EU or EEA state on the additional condition that the person has carried out this activity for three years in the state which has admitted equivalence.
Once the national of an EU or EEA state fulfils one of the above conditions, he or she will be able to apply for a certificate of recognition of professional qualification (see below "5o). b. Request a certificate of professional qualification for the EU or EEA national for a permanent exercise (LE))
Where there are substantial differences between the professional qualification of the national and the training required in France, the competent CMA may require that the person concerned submit to compensation measures (see infra "5°. a. Good to know: compensation measures").
For further information: Articles 17 and 17-1 of Law 96-603 of 5 July 1996; Articles 3 to 3-2 of the decree of 2 April 1998 amended by the decree of 4 May 2017.
3°. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics
No one may work as a water system installer if they are:
- a ban on directly or indirectly running, managing, administering or controlling a commercial or artisanal enterprise;
- a penalty of prohibition of professional or social activity for any of the crimes or misdemeanours provided for in Article 131-6 of the Penal Code.
For further information: Article 19 III of Act 96-603 of July 5, 1996.
The liberal water system installer must take out professional liability insurance.
On the other hand, if he practises as an employee, this insurance is only optional. In this case, it is up to the employer to take out such insurance for its employees for the acts carried out during their professional activity.
5°. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities
a. Make a pre-declaration for the EU or EEA national for a temporary and casual exercise (LPS)
The national must apply to the CMA where he wishes to provide services.
Its application must include the following documents, if any, with their approved translation into French:
- A photocopy of a valid ID
- a certificate justifying that it is legally established in an EU or EEA state;
- a document justifying his professional qualification, i.e.:- A copy of a diploma, title or certificate,
- A certificate of competency,
- any documents attesting to his professional experience.
When the file is incomplete, the CMA has a period of fifteen days to inform the national and request all the missing documents.
Outcome of the procedure
Upon receipt of all the documents in the file, the CMA has one month to decide:
- either to authorise the benefit where the national justifies three years of work experience in an EU or EEA state, and to attach to that decision a certificate of professional qualification;
- or to authorize the provision when the national's professional qualifications are deemed sufficient;
- either to impose an aptitude test or an adjustment course when there are substantial differences between the professional qualifications of the national and those required in France. In the event of a refusal to perform this compensation measure or if it fails to perform, the national will not be able to perform the service in France.
In the absence of a response from the CMA within the aforementioned time frame, the national can begin his service delivery.
For further information: Article 2 of the decree of 2 April 1998; Article 2 of the October 17, 2017 regarding the submission of the declaration and the requests provided for by Decree 98-246 of 2 April 1998 and Title I of Decree 98-247 of 2 April 1998.
b. Request a certificate of recognition of professional qualification for the EU or EEA national for a permanent exercise (LE)
The person concerned wishing to have a diploma recognised other than that required in France or his professional experience may apply for a certificate of recognition of professional qualification.
His request must be addressed to the competent CMA of the place in which he wishes to settle.
An application receipt is sent to the applicant within one month of receiving it from the CMA. If the file is incomplete, the CMA asks the person concerned to complete it within a fortnight of filing the file. A receipt is issued as soon as it is complete.
The application for certification of professional qualification is a file with the following supporting documents:
- An application for a certificate of professional qualification
- a proof of professional qualification in the form of a certificate of competency or a diploma or a vocational training certificate;
- A photocopy of the applicant's valid ID
- If work experience has been acquired on the territory of an EU or EEA state, a certificate on the nature and duration of the activity issued by the competent authority in the Member State of origin;
- if the professional experience has been acquired in France, the proofs of the exercise of the activity for three years.
What to know
If necessary, all supporting documents must be translated into French by a certified translator.
The CMA may request further information about its training or professional experience to determine the possible existence of substantial differences with the professional qualification required in France. In addition, if the CMA is to approach the International Centre for Educational Studies (Ciep) to obtain additional information on the level of training of a diploma or certificate or a foreign designation, the applicant will have to pay a fee Additional.
Within three months of the receipt, the CMA may decide to:
- Recognise professional qualification and issue certification of professional qualification;
- submit the national to a compensation measure and notify him of that decision;
- refuse to issue the certificate of professional qualification.
What to know
In the absence of a decision within four months, the application for a certificate of professional qualification is deemed to have been acquired.
If the CMA refuses the CMA's application for professional qualification, the applicant may challenge the decision. It can thus, within two months of notification of the CMA's refusal, form:
- a graceful appeal to the prefect of the relevant CMA department;
- a legal challenge before the relevant administrative court.
Good to know: compensation measures
The CMA notifies the applicant of his decision to have him perform one of the compensation measures. This decision lists the subjects not covered by the qualification attested by the applicant and whose knowledge is imperative to practice in France.
The applicant must then choose between an adjustment course of up to three years and an aptitude test.
The aptitude test takes the form of an examination before a jury. It is organised within six months of the CMA's receipt of the applicant's decision to opt for the event. Failing that, the qualification is deemed to have been acquired and the CMA establishes a certificate of professional qualification.
At the end of the adjustment course, the applicant sends the CMA a certificate certifying that he has validly completed this internship, accompanied by an evaluation of the organization that supervised him. The CMA issues, on the basis of this certificate, a certificate of professional qualification within one month.
The decision to use a compensation measure may be challenged by the person concerned who must file an administrative appeal with the prefect within two months of notification of the decision. If his appeal is dismissed, he can then initiate a legal challenge.
A fixed fee covering the investigation of the case may be charged. For more information, it is advisable to get closer to the relevant CMA.
For further information: Articles 3 to 3-2 of Decree 98-246 of 2 April 1998; decree of 28 October 2009 under Decrees 97-558 of 29 May 1997 and No. 98-246 of 2 April 1998 relating to the procedure for recognising the professional qualifications of a professional national of a Member State of the Community or another state party to the European Economic Area agreement.
French Assistance Centre**
The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.
SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each Member State of the European Union 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 an 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 ).