The French classification of education levels was produced in 1969 by the National statistical commission on vocational training and social advancement. It distinguishes six education levels.
Level VI corresponds to the middle years of lower secondary education (6e, 5e, 4e) and vocational training courses of one year duration.
Level Vbis corresponds to the final year of lower secondary education (3e) and to the middle years of short vocational tracks (CAP/BEP) in higher secondary education.
Level V corresponds to the final years of short vocational secondary education (CAP/BEP) and to the middle years of upper secondary education (general, technical and vocational 2de and 1re, and first year of preparation for Brevets professionnels).
Level IV corresponds to the final years of upper secondary education and to dropouts without diploma from tertiary education.
Level III corresponds to diplomas graduating two years of tertiary education (DUT, BTS, Deug, health and social training courses, etc.).
Level II corresponds to tertiary education diplomas which can be awarded three or four years after the Baccalauréat (license, vocational license, etc).
Level I corresponds to diplomas which can be awarded five years or more after the Baccalauréat (master, doctorate, etc. ) and Grande Ecole diplomas.
Short tertiary education diplomas cover Level III diplomas. Long tertiary education diplomas cover Level I and II diplomas.
This classification has been replaced since 2019 by the national framework for professional qualifications according to the following correspondence :
- Level V corresponds to level 3 of the new framework
- Level IV corresponds to level 4 of the new framework
- Level III corresponds to level 5 of the new framework
- Level II corresponds to level 6 of the new framework
- Level I is divided between level 7 (Masters and equivalents) and 8 (doctorate and equivalents) of the new framework.