8.1. – What commitments are there for continuous training?


Every salaried member of staff in the French private sector has an individual right to training (DIF). This authorises them to professional training of up to 20 hours a year, accumulative for a period of up to six years maximum. During this time they benefit from an allowance from their employer of 50% of their salary if the training is done outside work-time and the whole salary if it is done during work-time.

French salaried staff may also benefit from other schemes: CIF (individual training leave), PP (professionalisation periods) and CP (training leave).


Belgian continuous training is organised by the social partners, language communities and the regions. At the federal level, paid training leave was put in place in 1985. This allows each salaried member of staff to benefit from training during work-time while continuing to be fully paid. However, the training must be related to their professional activity. They can benefit from up to 180 hours of training a year.


Continuous training is not a legal obligation in Switzerland and varies according to the profession and the internal policy of the newspaper. Each organisation must subscribe to an ad hoc fund which, currently, is very well provided for. Each professional has the right to a full month of training every five years. A joint commission arbitrates on the training requests. The Swiss press council refers in its 2008 directives to “the journalist’s right to professional training and appropriate permanent training.”


There is no legal obligation regarding continuous training in Brazil. The media sector is generally not very committed to training.


With no legal obligation, the Spanish media does not concern itself much with continuous training for journalists. Training courses are almost exclusively technical, and are associated with IT developments. When the college and council for journalists of Catalonia organise sessions, they are mostly attended by professionals looking for work.

United Kingdom

Continuous training in the United Kingdom relies more on the voluntary approach of employers and is not regulated by the state or negotiated with social partners. The decision to take up studies or training depends on the initiative of the individual. There is no legal obligation.


In Germany there is minimal state regulation in the area of continuous training, both at federal level and Land level. There is no legal obligation but public media employees automatically benefit from training – an average of one week per year – to acquire new skills or to further existing knowledge.


The status of continuous training is rather vague in Polish law and there is no legal obligation to provide it.

Complete answers


De Standaard : Compliance with the law


Europe 1 : Not very developed

Every year, each salaried member of staff has an appraisal to discuss their career. Additional language or web training can be provided at the request of the journalist.

France 24 : Varied

The channel would like to follow through programmes begun with all the managers in 2011 and 2012 to standardise management methods and reinforce mentor managerial skills. In future, training is also offered within a programme put in place for the prevention of psycho-social risk.

The management ensures that regulations regarding hygiene, safety and quality of life are adhered to. Training courses are therefore provided for staff members who have irregular work routines or work in dangerous situations, and there is also training in First Aid.

Team professionalism for all departments is developed by maintaining within each management department the skills necessary for the sector of activity.

The development of a tutoring programme at France 24 has led to training tutors for salaried staff particularly in the context of the collective agreement for senior staff (collective agreement of 21 April 2010).

These staff members welcome new personnel – newly recruited, internally moved, or arriving through a continuous training contract.

The development of language skills is also part of these commitments.

Le Monde : Not much is used

As a general rule, journalists from Le Monde use their right to training very little, except in the case of language learning.

There are occasional, very specific, technical training courses.

Ouest France : There are strong commitments

Ouest-France has been making considerable efforts in terms of continuous training, double the legal minimum.

As well as refresher courses on professional basics, for the past 20 years particular emphasis has been given to the theme of Europe and since five years ago, to learning English. (At any one time there are 36 journalists having English lessons).

An internal continuous training programme was put in place with the creation of ‘competence areas’, an informal network of journalists from Head Office or local editorial offices on broad subjects, such as health, education, the environment, etc.


Berliner Zeitung : The law is adhered to

In the Land of Berlin, each salaried member of staff is entitled to five days for training each year.

Internal training is mostly technical but external training programmes are also supported.

ZDF : No legal obligation


The Irish Times : Minimal

There are limited legal requirements and short training programmes for journalists are mostly based on new technologies and press rights.


Polskie Radio, kanal 3 : No legal obligation

United Kingdom

BBC : Regular training programmes are offered.

There is no legal obligation for continuous training in Great Britain. However a number of training courses are offered to our staff: using new media, press rights, etc.

Every journalist starting at the BBC has the right to a one week training in ‘house culture’.

The Guardian : Accompanying the digital revolution

Lunchtime training was given to all staffers in the Group for two years with a view to providing new knowledge and skills. Some of the themes covered were: searching for information, data journalism, ‘conversation journalism’ (involving information supplied by readers) and managing communities.