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Sports instructor

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1°. Defining the activity

a. Definition

The sports educator is a professional who teaches, facilitates and supervises a physical or sports activity for a fee. It can also train practitioners in a regular, seasonal or occasional way.

He is responsible for the safety of the public for which he is responsible and ensures the good condition of the equipment used.

The sports educator adapts to the characteristics of his audience, he gives directions, corrects gestures and postures to help him progress.

To go further Article L. 212-1 of the Code of Sport.

b. Competent Business Formalities Centre (CFE)

The relevant CFE depends on the nature of the structure in which the activity is carried out:

  • In the case of the creation of an individual company, the competent CFE is the Urssaf;
  • In the event of the creation of a commercial company, the relevant CFE is the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI);
  • in the case of the creation of a civil society, the competent CFE is the registry of the Commercial Court (an exception being provided for the departments of Lower Rhine, Upper Rhine and Moselle in which the person concerned must register with the registry of the district court ).

2°. Installation conditions

a. Professional qualifications

To practise as a sports educator, the person must have a diploma, a professional title or a certificate of qualification:

Among the diplomas, titles or certificates of qualification that meet these two criteria are:

  • Certificate of Professional Qualification (CQP);
  • The Professional Youth, Popular Education and Sport Certificate (BPJEPS);
  • State Diploma of Youth, Popular Education and Sport (DEJEPS).

Each of them is awarded for a specific sports discipline (fencing, judo-jujitsu, golf, etc.) or a group of activities (equestrian activities, all public leisure, motorsport, etc.).

The list of diplomas, titles or certificates to practise as a sports educator in France is drawn up at the  Appendix II-1 of Article A212-1 of the Code of Sport . This list also specifies the conditions of practice attached to each degree (geographic limits of exercise, the category of public that the person concerned can supervise, the exact nature of the sports activity concerned, the maximum annual duration exercise, etc.).

Good to know: the trainee sports educator

Individuals who are in the process of training leading to a diploma, title or certificate of qualification may practice as a trainee sports educator and start a business. However, in this case, they must comply with the regulations attached to these diplomas, titles or certificates of qualification, and be placed under the authority of a tutor and have met the requirements prior to their pedagogical situation.

To go further Article L. 212-1 and the following of the Code of Sport; Appendix II-1 (Article A212-1) of the Code of Sport.

b. Professional Qualifications - European Nationals (LPS or LE)

For Freedom to provide services

Nationals of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) legally established in one of these states may carry out the same activity in France on a temporary and occasional basis provided they have referred to the prefect of department where the delivery is carried out a prior declaration of activity.

If the activity or training leading there is not regulated in the Member State of origin or the state of the place of establishment, the national must also justify having carried out this activity for at least the equivalent of two full-time years in the in the last ten years prior to the benefit.

European nationals wishing to practise in France on a temporary or occasional basis must have the language skills necessary to carry out the activity in France, in particular in order to guarantee the safety of the activities and its ability to alert emergency services.

To go further Articles L. 212-7 and R. 212-92 to R. 212-94 of the Code of Sport.

For a Freedom of establishment

A national of an EU or EEA state may settle in France to practice permanently, if he fulfils one of the following four conditions:

If the Member State of origin regulates access or the exercise of the activity:
  • hold a certificate of competency or a training certificate issued by the competent authority of an EU or EEA state that certifies a level of qualification at least equivalent to the level immediately lower than that required in France;
  • be the holder of a title acquired in a third state and admitted in equivalence to an EU or EEA state and justify having carried out this activity for at least two years full-time in that state.
If the Member State of origin does not regulate access or the exercise of the activity:
  • justify having been active in an EU or EEA state, full-time for at least two years in the last ten years, or, in the case of part-time exercise, justifying an activity of equivalent duration and holding a certificate qualification issued by the competent authority of one of these states, which attests to a readiness for the exercise of the activity, as well as a level of qualification at least equivalent to the level immediately lower than that required in France;
  • be holder of a qualification certificate at least equivalent to the level immediately lower than that required in France, issued by the competent authority of an EU or EEA state and sanctioning regulated training aimed at specifically the exercise of all or part of the activities mentioned in Article L. 212-1 of the Code of Sport, consisting of a cycle of study supplemented, if necessary, by vocational training, internship or professional practice.

If the national meets one of the four conditions mentioned above, the qualification requirement required to practise is deemed satisfied.

However, if the professional qualifications of the national differ substantially from the qualifications required in France which would not guarantee the safety of practitioners and third parties, he may be required to submit to an aptitude test or completing an adjustment course (see below "Good to know: compensation measures").

The national must have the knowledge of the French language necessary to carry out his activity in France, in particular in order to guarantee the safety of physical and sporting activities and his ability to alert the emergency services.

To go further Articles L. 212-7 and R. 212-88 to R. 212-90 of the Code of Sport.

c. Conditions of honorability and incompatibility

It is forbidden to practise as a sports educator in France for persons who have been convicted of any crime or for any of the following offences:

  • torture and acts of barbarism;
  • Sexual assaults;
  • drug trafficking;
  • Endangering others;
  • pimping and the resulting offences;
  • endangering minors;
  • illicit use of substances or plants classified as narcotics or provocation to the illicit use of narcotics;
  • violations of Articles L. 235-25 to L. 232-28 of the Code of Sport;
  • as a punishment complementary to a tax offence: a temporary ban on practising, directly or by person interposed, on behalf of himself or others, any industrial, commercial or liberal profession ( Section 1750 of the General Tax Code).

In addition, no one may teach, facilitate or supervise a physical or sporting activity with minors if he has been the subject of an administrative measure prohibiting him from participating, in any capacity, in the management and supervision of institutions and bodies subject to legislation or regulations relating to the protection of minors in a holiday and leisure centre, as well as youth groups or if it has been the subject of an administrative measure to suspend these same functions.

To go further Article L. 212-9 of the Code of Sport.

3°. Installation procedures and formalities

a. Make the declaration of sports educator

Anyone wishing to practice any of the professions governed by Article L. 212-1 of the Code of Sport must declare his activity to the prefect of the department of the place where he intends to carry out his activity as principal. This declaration triggers the obtaining of a business card.

The declaration must be renewed every five years.

Competent authority

The declaration should be addressed to the Departmental Directorate of Social Cohesion (DDCS) or Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and Population Protection (DDCSPP) of the practice department or the main exercise, or directly in line on the official website of the Ministry of Sports .

Timeframe

Within one month of filing the declaration file, the prefecture sends an acknowledgement to the registrant. The business card, valid for five years, is then addressed to the registrant.

Supporting documents

The necessary supporting documents are:

  • Cerfa 12699*02 ;
  • A copy of a valid ID
  • A photo ID
  • A statement on the honour attesting to the accuracy of the information in the form;
  • A copy of each of the diplomas, certificate titles invoked;
  • A copy of the exercise authorization, the equivalency of diploma if applicable;
  • a medical certificate of non-contradictory to the practice and supervision of the physical or sporting activities concerned, less than one year old.

If the return is renewed, you should attach:

  • Form Cerfa 12699*02 ;
  • A photo ID
  • A copy of the valid review certificate for qualifications subject to the recycling requirement;
  • a medical certificate of non-contradictory to the practice and supervision of the physical or sporting activities concerned, less than one year old.

The prefecture will itself request the communication of an extract of less than three months from the registrant's criminal record to verify that there is no disability or prohibition of practice.

Cost

Free

To go further Articles L. 212-11, R. 212-85, A. 212-176 to A. 212-178 of the Code of Sport.

b. Proceed with the company's reporting formalities

The formalities depend on the legal nature of the business. For more information, it is recommended to refer to the activity sheets "Declaration of a Commercial Company" and "Registration of an Individual Company in the Register of Trade and Companies."

c. Make a prior declaration of activity for EU nationals engaged in a one-off activity (Free Service Benefit)

EU or EEA nationals legally established in one of these states who wish to practise in France on a temporary or occasional basis must make a prior declaration of activity before the first provision of services.

If the claimant wishes to make a new benefit in France, this prior declaration must be renewed.

In order to avoid serious damage to the safety of the beneficiaries, the prefect may, during the first benefit, carry out a preliminary check of the claimant's professional qualifications.

Competent authority

The prior declaration of activity should be addressed to the Departmental Directorate in charge of Social Cohesion (DDCS) or to the Departmental Directorate in charge of Social Cohesion and Population Protection (DDCSPP) of the department where the declaring wishes to perform its performance.

Timeframe

Within one month of receiving the declaration file, the prefect notifies the claimant:

  • a request for further information (in this case, the prefect has two months to give his answer);
  • a service delivery receipt if it does not conduct a qualifications check. In this case, service delivery may begin;
  • that it conducts the qualifications check. In this case, the prefect then issues the claimant a receipt allowing him to start his performance or, if the verification of the qualifications reveals substantial differences with the professional qualifications required in France, the prefect submits the claimant to an aptitude test (see infra "Good to know: compensation measures").

In all cases, in the absence of a response within the aforementioned deadlines, the claimant is deemed to be legally active in France.

Supporting documents

The activity pre-report file must include:

  • A copy of the declaration form provided in Schedule II-12-3 of the Code of Sport;
  • A photo ID
  • A copy of an ID
  • A copy of the certificate of competency or training title;
  • A copy of the documents attesting that the registrant is legally established in the Member State of the institution and that he does not incur any prohibition, even temporary, from practising (translated into French by a certified translator);
  • in the event that neither the activity nor the training leading to this activity is regulated in the Establishment Member State, a copy of any documents justifying that the registrant has carried out this activity in that State for at least the equivalent of two years full time over the past ten years (translated into French by a certified translator);
  • one of the three documents to choose from (if not, an interview will be held):- A copy of a certificate of qualification issued after training in French,
    • A copy of a French-level certificate issued by a specialized institution,
    • a copy of a document attesting to professional experience acquired in France.

Cost

Free.

Remedies

Any litigation must be exercised within two months of notification of the decision to the relevant administrative court.

To go further Articles R. 212-92 and subsequent articles A. 212-182-2 and subsequent articles and Appendix II-12-3 of the Code of Sport.

d. Make a prior declaration of activity for EU nationals engaged in permanent activity (Freedom of establishment)

Any EU or EEA national qualified to carry out all or part of the activities mentioned in Article L. 212-1 of the Code of Sport, and wishing to settle in France, must make a statement to the prefect of the department in which he intends exercise as a principal.

This declaration allows the registrant to obtain a professional card and thus to practice legally in France under the same conditions as French nationals.

The declaration must be renewed every five years.

In the event of a substantial difference from the qualification required in France, the prefect may refer the qualifications recognition committee to the Minister for Sport for advice. They may also decide to subject the national to an aptitude test or an accommodation course (see below: "Good to know: compensation measures").

Competent authority

The declaration should be addressed to the Departmental Directorate in charge of Social Cohesion (DDCS) or to the Departmental Directorate in charge of Social Cohesion and Population Protection (DDCSPP).

Timeframe

The prefect's decision to issue the business card comes within three months of the submission of the full file by the registrant. This period may be extended by one month on a reasoned decision. If the prefect decides not to issue the professional card or to subject the declarant to a compensation measure (fitness test or internship), his decision must be motivated.

Supporting documents for the first declaration of activity

The activity report file should include:

  • A copy of the declaration form provided in Schedule II-12-2-a of the Code of Sport;
  • A photo ID
  • A copy of a valid ID
  • a medical certificate of non-contradictory to the practice and supervision of physical or sporting activities, less than one year old (translated by a certified translator);
  • A copy of the certificate of competency or training title, accompanied by documents describing the training course (program, hourly volume, nature and duration of internships carried out), translated into French by a certified translator;
  • If so, a copy of any evidence justifying work experience (translated into French by a certified translator);
  • If the training document has been obtained in a third state, copies of the documents attesting that the title has been admitted as an equivalency in an EU or EEA state that regulates the activity;
  • one of the three documents to choose from (if not, an interview will be held):- A copy of a certificate of qualification issued after training in French,
    • A copy of a French-level certificate issued by a specialized institution,
    • A copy of a document attesting to professional experience acquired in France;
  • documents attesting that the registrant was not the subject of any of the convictions or measures referred to in Articles L. 212-9 and L. 212-13 of the Code of Sport (translated into French by a certified translator) in the Member State of origin.

Evidence for a renewal of activity declaration

The activity renewal file must include:

  • A copy of the return renewal form, modeled on Schedule II-12-2-b of the Code of Sport;
  • A photo ID
  • a medical certificate of non-contradictory to the practice and supervision of physical or sporting activities, dating back less than one year.

Cost

Free.

Remedies

Any litigation must be exercised within two months of notification of the decision to the relevant administrative court.

To go further Articles R. 212-88 to R. 212-91, Articles A. 212-182 and Appendixes II-12-2-a and II-12-b of the Code of Sport.

Good to know: compensation measures

If there is a substantial difference between the qualification of the applicant and that required in France to carry out the same activity, the prefect refers the commission for recognition of qualifications, placed with the Minister in charge of sports. This commission, after reviewing and investigating the file, issues, within the month of its referral, a notice which it sends to the prefect.

In its opinion, the commission can:

  • believe that there is indeed a substantial difference between the qualification of the registrant and that required in France. In this case, the commission proposes to subject the registrant to an aptitude test or an adjustment course. It defines the nature and precise modalities of these compensation measures (the nature of the tests, the terms of their organisation and evaluation, the period of organisation, the content and duration of the internship, the types of structures that can accommodate the trainee, etc.) ;
  • that there is no substantial difference between the qualification of the registrant and that required in France.

Upon receipt of the commission's opinion, the prefect notifies the registrant of his reasoned decision (he is not obliged to follow the commission's advice):

  • If the registrant requires compensation, he or she has one month to choose between the aptitude test and the accommodation course. The prefect then issues a business card to the registrant who has complied with the compensation measures. On the other hand, if the course or the aptitude test is not satisfactory, the prefect notifies his reasoned decision to refuse to issue the professional card to the person concerned;
  • if he does not require compensation, the prefect issues a business card to the person concerned.

To go further Articles R. 212-84 and D. 212-84-1 of the Code of Sport.