The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) is France’s reference in terms of professional training for adults. It delivers more than 450 different diplomas and certificates, from post secondary school to the doctorate level. More than half of the faculty come from business and industry, providing students with both academic and professional knowledge and expertise. The CNAM’s engineering school, EICnam, is present in 29 regions of metropolitan and overseas France, and in a number of foreign countries, including China and Lebanon. The school graduates 1,000 engineers per year in a wide variety of specialties: chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer science, and nuclear energy.



Teaching in the nuclear field has existed at the CNAM since 1948. It includes two specialties: nuclear reactor technology and radiation protection. Four diplomas are awarded: a CNAM certificate and three degrees, namely the “licence”, the “BTS” (two-year programmes post secondary school) and an engineering degree. These programmes have been developed in close collaboration with professionals to ensure that they provide the right skills expected in the market. Work experience is an integral part of the programme, with credits awarded for it.

A professionalizing education

At the CNAM, each student can learn at his/her own pace and build his/her own customized training programme by validating additional modules in chemistry, materials technology, metrology or occupational health. All theoretical modules in the nuclear field are available in e-learning modules to fit in with the busy schedules of professionals working full time. In addition, the CNAM has developed an online platform, Plei@d, available in several languages including English, Arabic and Spanish. This platform offers many services such as chat, video conferencing, email and an open forum. It has been used for nuclear training to impart knowledge to students and provide them with access to exercises. Students can upload videos of their lectures and documents. Every three or four classes, they are given a multiple choice quiz to help them ensure that they have assimilated the theory. A brief summary of each lesson is also provided. A meeting with all students is held once a month. Students can participate in a face-to-face or virtual meeting, live or recorded. The final written test is always organized in one of the different CNAM centers in France. Finally, the only course that cannot be done through e-learning is the practical course. It can take place either on Saturdays, spread out over several days over a long period, or concentrated in a single dedicated week.

Engineering training through apprenticeship

For more than 20 years, the CNAM has been training engineers through apprenticeships. High-quality courses, combining theoretical knowledge and field know-how, are taught by tenured professors and nuclear industry professionals. Thus, apprentices can acquire the skills needed to perform the main functions in the nuclear sector.


Key figures


foundation year



students per year



permanent or contractual professors/lecturers



training centres in France and 41 abroad



research laboratories