What is les Compagnons du Devoir?
Updated: May 28, 2020
Learn about the organization steeped in history where Picardie's co-founder, Julien Worms, mastered his trade.
The Compagnons du Devoir is an organization that dates back to the Medieval Ages during times when the organization built the churches and castles of France. Today it is known to be one of the best trade schools in the world and has trained generations of skilled craftsmen.
The Compagnons du Devoir teaches a variety of disciplines including finished carpentry, timber framing, stone masonry, plastering, culinary trade, and many more. It is a demanding but successful training model and has a network of nearly 30,000 partner companies and a 90% job placement rate after completion.
The organization prides itself on more than just educating and training at the highest level, but also on its principles. There are many principles the Compagnons du Devoir highlights including the commitment of transmitting knowledge and building a community of high moral standards. The commitment of passing along knowledge is transmitted not only in the profession, but throughout community. This makes it more than a career path, but a training on how to be good stewards for future generations.
The training model follows an intensive work-study method that involves the students to travel and gain practical knowledge while learning a new culture, a new language, and a new way of working. There are several stages during the training path. The first stage is the Apprenticeship where the student spends 1 to 3 years learning the trade while living in the compagnon house. The next stage is the Aspirant where the student begins to perfect their skills with practical application during their Tour de France. During the Tour de France the student will change companies and cities once or twice a year. The third stage is the Traveling Companion where the student continues the Tour de France but is now a supervisors of the Aspirants. The final stage, but the journey certainly does not end here, is the Sedentary where the Companion settles into a community where they are an active member and continues to educate and pass along the knowledge of the Compagnons du Devoir.