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How can you earn decent money as a freelance teacher...without Qualiopi?

First of all, if you don't know what Qualiopi is and why you would need it, make sure to read my other blog post here first.


A lot of teachers find themselves in a situation where every French adult they meet wants to do their training using their CPF fund. Most French working adults have some kind of CPF fund and it's a no-brainer to get "free" training rather than paying out of your own pocket.


Different euro note denominations

For anyone who is a freelance trainer, or would like to be, it's a big decision to make: jump through all the many hoops of Qualiopi, and CPF site approval to tap into this market, or try and make money another way.


I'm aware that you're probably not in teaching for the money, but let's be honest: there's nothing wrong with earning as much as you can for your experience, knowledge and hard work.


A huge amount of my business turnover comes from CPF and OPCO training: I'm talking about approximately 95% of my business income. However, I've been lucky in that I've been in the French training system for a long time...

Ok, not that long. It just feels like it sometimes.


I had my first NDA (numéro de déclaration) back in 2010, which I never used and actually lost it because I didn't do my BPF 😰


I then started over with a new NDA in 2015. Back in those days, this was the only thing you needed to offer OPCO funded training (which in those days were called OPCA's. The CPF was only a twinkle in some minister's eye at that point...)


Then in 2017 Datadock came along (if you don't know about Datadock, it was a platform where you uploaded proofs for different indicators of quality - a bit like the very little cousin of Qualiopi.) After that, when the CPF site opened at the end of 2019, we could put our training offers onto EDOF (the CPF back-office) without having to have Qualiopi. By 2022, Qualiopi certification was obligatory and you had to be approved to offer a certification. Now the requirements to be habilité by one of the CPF certificateurs (for EFL I'm talking about Toeic, Lilate, Bright, English 360 etc) are becoming more and more onerous.


If you are a nouvel entrant - someone who has not done any CPF or OPCO training before - it's become extremely difficult to get into the system. Not to say that it's impossible: if you think you can make it work, it opens up a big market. However, there is more to life than CPF training.

If you decide that it's not for you, how can you make some decent money going it alone?

  1. Niche: I cannot stress how important this is if you want people to pay you a high price for your services, without falling back on their OPCO or CPF. If you offer a very specific service that someone really wants and needs, you can charge accordingly. General English? You can find a teacher on Superprof for 10€ ph. Coaching for a job interview? That's a specialised skill worth paying for.

  2. B2B: this is where the money is. Especially since OPCOs have been reformed, companies pay for a lot of their training themselves. Again, if you have a niche and you can propose specific training programmes to certain industries, or to particular functions, you are more likely to find clients. Remember that B2B includes consultants and small business owners: the clients who have paid me directly for their training are usually people who know that the training is crucial for their job, and they will see an ROI.

  3. Think about non-competing markets. If you try to target working adults who want to improve their business English, you'll be competing against all the organismes de formation offering CPF training. It's almost impossible to win this as people are going to choose not to pay out of their own pockets. Where are the gaps not covered by the CPF? Adults who have no more budget, retirees, kids..

  4. Go high budget. Set yourself apart as a specialist and charge accordingly (obviously you'll need to have implemented number 1) and you won't need to sign up as many clients.

  5. Go for lower budget and higher volume: that means groups. It takes a lot of work to arrive at a point where you can attract enough people to set up groups, but if you start your marketing with this strategy in mind, it's be a great way to help more people in less time.

  6. Work for other organismes de formation or schools. Not all jobs pay 20€ ph. There are occasionally well-paying jobs that come up in linguistic organismes de formation, and working in private schools (university-level) can pay very well. If you have a niche (see number 1 again) try pitching yourself to organismes de formation who offer other training, such as management or communication skills in French. I have been paid 150€ ph sub-contracting like this, delivering specific courses that I created.

If you'd like to go deeper into this, we'll be looking at how to find B2B clients and how to position yourself to get clients in a market where people don't want to pay out of their own pocket in my marketing course. If you're interested, leave your name and email here and I'll let you know when it opens.

I know this article is about not doing Qualiopi at all, but remember that you also have the option to do your Qualiopi yet not to offer CPF training: this avoids all the hassle of getting approved by a certification but it still means you can offer OPCO training to companies, freelancers and people with their own companies. Depending on your niche, this could be an interesting compromise.




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