About us

Created in May 1960 by General de Gaulle, the École nationale supérieure de Sécurité sociale (National School for Social Security) is the school of reference in the field of social protection.

Established in 1978 at Saint-Étienne, this institution, belonging to the public administration, is under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Security. EN3S is in charge of training, research and promotion in the field of social protection.




1960 – The Decree of 12 May 1960 established the CESSS (Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Sécurité Sociale – Centre for Advanced Social Security Studies), with the main mission of pursuing the recruitment, training and development of the managerial staff, executive officers and accounting officers of social security agencies.

1970s – The CESSS was established as a public institution belonging to the public administration by Decree dated 10 June 1977. In 1978 its name was changed to CNESSS, National Centre for Advanced Social Security Studies and its premises were moved to Saint-Étienne.

A Decree of 8 May 1988 strengthened its operational independence. This important reform allowed the School to recruit staff under private-law contracts, governed by the collective agreements applicable to the staff of social security institutions. By then, the School had strengthened its focus on the social security sector.

2004 – Article 62 of Law of 13 August 2004 on health insurance transformed the CNESSS into the National School for Social Security (EN3S).

This change of name reflected further the School’s focus:

●     to meet the challenge of an ageing administrative workforce in the context of a decline of the active population;

●     to adapt to the challenges posed by the evolution of the social protection system, in particular by designing training courses adapted to the current social policies;

2013 – The training programme “Cap Dirigeants” was established by Decision of 31 July 2013. With this new training course, the School became the mandatory channel for access to executive positions in Social Security agencies.

2018… Decree no. 2018-353 of 14 May 2018 broadened the School’s mandate giving it the mission to promote the principles and objectives of Social Security, by implementing training or information actions. EN3S also participates in the creation and distribution of teaching resources on Social security themes.


EN3S contributes to the operation of social protection bodies by recruiting and training its leaders.

It also ensures the promotion of social protection, its organisation and its professions, in France and abroad

Its mission encompasses the following activities:

1. Organise admission tests and selection tests for the staff of social security institutions

2. Deliver qualifying training in the duties of executive and accounting officers to the winners of recruitment competitions and to the staff of social security agencies.

3. Contribute, together with the social welfare administrations or bodies concerned, to the recruitment and qualifying training of:

  • Consulting medical doctors, consulting engineers and other senior technical staff of social security organisations;
  • Inspectors and controllers of the regional health agencies;
  • Any other category of senior technical positions;
  • Senior officials of foreign administrations or agencies operating in the field of health and social protection;

4. Issue diplomas certifying the successful completion of its training courses.

5. Organise continuing education sessions and support cycles for professional transitions, aimed mainly at:

  • Senior staff of social security bodies, regional health agencies, and the relevant public administrations and institutions operating in the field of health and social protection;
  • Members of professional and trade union organisations;
  • Senior managers from the public and private sectors;

6. Undertake studies and research on health and social issues;

7. Implement international cooperation initiatives in the field of teaching and research;

8. Manage the Institut des hautes études de protection sociale (Institute of Advanced Studies in Social Protection).

9. Contribute to the promotion of the principles and aims of Social Security, through training and information actions, and participate in the preparation and dissemination of educational resources related to Social Security.


Management of the School

The general director of the School is Dominique Libault, former director of Social Security, appointed Director of EN3S by Decree of 27 April 2012.

The School’s activities are organised into the following directorates:

  • Directorate for Strategy and Institutional Relations (DISRI)
  • Directorate for General Administration (DAG)
  • Accounting Department
  • Directorate for Initial Training and Diploma Courses (DiFi)
  • Directorate for Continuing Training (DFC)
  • Directorate for International Relations (DRI)
  • Institute of Advanced Studies in Social Protection (IHEPS)


Board of Directors

Its composition and tasks are governed by Articles R 123-11 et seq. of the Code of Social Security.

The Board manages the general affairs of the School by means of its decisions (activity, rules of procedure, etc.). It meets three times a year.

The members of the Board of Directors, representing the different social security schemes, are appointed for a term of four years by order of the Minister for Social Security and the Minister for Agriculture.

The current Chair is Mr Gérard Mardiné, appointed by Decree of 27 March 2018.

The National Educational Commission (CPN)
The National Educational Commission is a body chaired by the Director of the School. The Commission delivers its opinion on all matters related to the research and training developed at EN3S.

Its current composition was established by the Order of 17 July 2012. The Commission includes, in particular, representatives of the national Social Security funds and it meets twice a year in order to:

  • Establish the access to diploma courses and the assessment of result and progress
  • Identify the training and support activities required by the networks
  • Co-build specific or cross-cutting training offer
  • Conduct comparative analyses and benchmarking between the networks to enrich the School’s educational toolbox

The Scientific Council

The Scientific Council of EN3S is composed of social protection experts. The Council supports the School in designing and coordinating the courses on offer.

It currently comprises four experts acting as scientific advisors to the School

  • Julien Damon : Associate Professor at Sciences Po Paris
  • Dominique Polton : President of the National Institute for Health Data (INDS)
  • Marine Boisson-Cohen : analyst and forecasting advisor to the High Commissioner for pension reform
  • Jean-Louis Rey : President of the Social Debt Redemption Fund (Cades)




  • 72 employees divided between Saint-Étienne and Paris
  • Nearly 10,000 managers and professionals in social protection agencies trained in 2017
  • More than 1,000 external participants selected each year