The “Tanning” certificate course

In 2011, CTC (the Economic Development Committee for the Footwear, Leather and Leather Goods Industry), the Fédération Française de la Tannerie Mégisserie, the ITECH-Lyon college and OPCALIA – a body that provides funding for continuing vocational training – set up a certificate training course for the French tanning industry’s employees.

A response to a growing need for training

This training course, which is recognised by the Leather and Hides sector, enables tanning companies to:

  • Improve the professional skills of their staff by sending them on a training course that provides a vision of the overall process, and boosts their skills by giving them a specialisation.
  • Recruit newcomers to the industry more easily, by considering candidates from initial technical training courses outside the tanning industry.

Positive effects

58 people from a variety of backgrounds were trained between 2011, when the course was first run, and 2013. Some were employees who already had many years of experience in the tanning industry, while others were newcomers, whose qualifications ranged from self-taught to 5 years of higher education.

Everyone taking the course has said they are satisfied with the training provided. Leather industry stakeholders too, have expressed their satisfaction: they view this operation as part of a dynamic to perpetuate know-how that is of increasingly strategic importance for an industry with many outlets in international and luxury goods markets.


OPCALIA is a body that provides funding for continuing vocational training.
Under an agreement, the FFTM belongs to OPCALIA-TMC (Textiles-Fashion-Leather branch), as part of the joint vocational representation body (SPP) covering the entire tanning industry.
For further information, please visit (in French):


The Institut Textile et Chimique de Lyon – ITECH – is the only engineering college descended from the various schools and colleges of textiles, leather and chemistry founded by industry experts in Lyon over the past century and more. It came into being in 1988, following a merger between two higher-education establishments set up by prominent industry figures:

The Ecole supérieure des Industries Textiles de Lyon was founded in 1840, reflecting the extraordinary tradition of Lyon’s silk industry.
The Ecole Française de Tannerie, created in 1899. This was originally a branch within Lyon University’s Institute of Industrial Chemistry, specialising first in the field of leather and later plastics technology (in association with CNAM). It then set up a Paints, Inks and Adhesives department in 1969, and in 1983, became the Ecole Supérieure du Cuir et des Peintures, Encres et Adhésifs [‘Advanced College for Studies of Leather and of Paints, Inks and Adhesives’].

ITECH incorporates specialities associated with leather, textiles, plastics technology, and the paints, inks, adhesives and cosmetics industries. The education it provides revolves around polymer science.

A diploma with a major in leather

This is the only college in the world that prepares students for a diploma in leather engineering, for the tanning industry and for leather applications (e.g. footwear, leather goods).
A leather engineer’s expertise lies in converting raw hides and skins into leather, and thereby endowing these with most of their added value.
The course is primarily focused on practical work, and trainee engineers require many skills: they need to be practical, observant, and to have a rigorous approach, a sense of aesthetics, an “eye” for leather and an ability to judge its fullness.
ITECH leather engineers go on to work for large chemical companies, tanneries and firms that use leather, such as footwear manufacturers, leather goods producers, etc.

The Leather Platform

At the request of the Fédération Française de la Tannerie Mégisserie, ITECH has set up a partnership with CTC (Economic Development Committee for the Footwear, Leather and Leather Goods Industry) for the benefit of trainee engineers on the "Footwear, Leather and Leather Goods" course. One of the facilities that students can use is the Leather Platform, which houses a collection of machinery and tools they can use for their practical work.

A certificate course

Since 2011, ITECH has been involved in delivering the certificate course created by the Fédération Française de la Tannerie Mégisserie for the employees of French tanneries: the “Tanning” certificate course.