Paperasse: Registration, Diploma Validation, Antecedents Judiciaires

• Registration:

Registration takes place online, on the Ministry of Education website, long before you take the exam. When I took it, registration was the summer before the year of the CAPES. So I passed the CAPES in 2011, but I registered in summer 2010 and took the written exams in November 2010.

*UPDATE* Again, this is all changing, and the timeline soon will be nothing like it was when I took the test. So double check the dates and the registration times.

DO NOT MISS THE REGISTRATION DATES. They are available on the Ministry of Education website, which is a treasure trove of information. Check out this page for the new calendar.

And the Ministry of Education website:

Registering for the CAPES is up to you, and if you are signed up for the M2 MEF, your fac will not do it for you.

Once registered, you’ll get confirmation on the internet plus a confirmation mailed to you. The mailed confirmation will ask you for certain pieces justificatives, typically a photocopy of your ID, proof of your masters degree, and your antecedents judiciaries. Depending on your académie, you will have a date before which to send all this to the rectorat (I did), or you will be asked to bring it all the to the written exams with you.

It’s best to get your documents in before the date on your confirmation form, but I didn’t see the date until after it had passed sometime in September. I called the Rectorat and they said I could still send everything in.

• Extrait de casier judiciaire

In English this would be something like your official criminal record. Getting your French criminal record is the easiest thing ever, and a clear win for French bureaucracy over American.

You order your extrait online at this website:

and it will be mailed to you within the week.

Getting your American background check is a much more complicated process, and I know of no Americans who had to actually turn this in with their pièces justificatives. I got mine just in case, but no one ever asked me for it.

Essentially, you have to go to the FBI website to get the application form, find someone to take your fingerprints, mail it all in with $18, and wait a few months for it to come back to you.

I did this process just to be safe. Rather than spend my time going to police stations being told repeatedly that they couldn’t take my fingerprints for me, I went to the American Aid Society in Paris, which can be contacted through the American Embassy.A lovely American woman was doing the fingerprints from her apartment in central Paris. She charged 40 euro for it and took great care to give me three high quality fingerprint pages to send in. *Update*: This service apparently no longer exists (I checked in 2014), though there seems to be another private company/person doing them now. Again, it’s probably a waste of time to even worry about it.

• Validation of a Foreign Masters:

As I had a foreign (American) masters degree, I had to get it validated. The French office for doing this is the ENIC-NARIC, which is run by the CIEP, which you’ll have heard of if you were a language assistant.

If your diplomas are in English, you won’t need to get them translated. This process can take up to several months, so don’t leave it till the last minute. You’ll most likely, depending on your académie, want validation to be done by the time you take the written exams, possibly before. This is the time when they will ask for proof of your masters degree (or proof that you’re enrolled in an M2). However, it’s quite possible that you can send them your diploma to start with and then send them the validation later. The system is at times not nearly as strict as it seems (except for registration; that is as strict as it sounds). Call your Rectorat to ask.

This cost 70 euros when I did it in 2010 and took only around a month. The ENIC-NARIC office is in Paris so you’ll need to mail all your documents in.

Next page: Accord Collégial


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