Recognition of professional qualifications, including vocational education and training

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Recognition of professional qualifications, including vocational education and training

Recognition of qualifications in Germany

Do you have a permanent job in a Member State of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland?

Would you like to provide services in this profession for a limited period, on a temporary and occasional basis, in Germany?

  • Depending on your profession, you will have to have the following criteria checked before providing your services in Germany for the first time: Are the services you intend to provide really limited in time?
  • Do you need recognition of your professional qualification or is a simple notification sufficient?

The check will be carried out by the body responsible for your place of work in Germany.

The contact details of the competent body can be found on the Anerkennung in Deutschland  website (information portal of the German government for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications).

If you want to provide your services in Germany for a limited period only, you will usually only need to submit a prior notification, even if you work in one of the regulated professions. You may also need to provide proof of your qualification.

There are, however, some exceptions: Some regulated professions are related to public safety or health in Germany.. Specific standards do not exist in all Member States of the EU for each of these professions (as is the case with the professions with automatic recognition, such as the professions of doctor or nurse).

You may therefore need to obtain recognition of your professional qualification before you can provide services in these regulated professions on a temporary and occasional basis.

Examples of these regulated professions include: emergency paramedic or driving instructor.

Recognition of your qualification in the case of permanent residence in Germany

If you wish to work in a regulated profession on a permanent basis in Germany, you will always need to obtain recognition.

For recognition, the competent body in Germany will check that your foreign qualification corresponds to a German qualification.

This check will be based on the documents relating to your training and will be carried out according to fixed formal criteria. Such criteria will include the content and duration of your education, for example. Your professional experience will also be taken into account.

The recognition procedure will vary, depending on the profession. Different applications are therefore needed for different professions.

You may submit the application for the procedure directly to the competent body or to a Point of Single Contact . The Point of Single Contact will forward your documents to the competent body and assist you in the procedure.

Note: Before applying for recognition, you must first identify your reference occupation in Germany. During the recognition procedure, your professional qualification will be compared against the reference occupation.

There are many advisory services in Germany. Get personal advice from an IQ advisory servicefor example, on the reference profession for your qualification.

You can find all the necessary information on the Anerkennung in Deutschland website. There you can quickly and easily find answers in 11 languages to your questions on recognition:

  • Do I need to have my professional qualification recognised?
  • Is it worth obtaining recognition in my case?
  • Can I apply? Am I entitled to it?
  • Who do I need to contact?
  • What does the recognition procedure involve?
  • What documents are needed?
  • What form should the documents be in?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • What will the procedure cost?
  • What legislation is relevant in my particular case?

Further information

  • Recognition in Germany
  • EU Assistance Centre in Germany
  • Points of Single Contact in Germany
  • IQ counselling centres

You are welcome to call the "Working and Living in Germany"- Hotline to get support on the telephone. 

Responsible for the content
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Last update or date of publication
20.12.2022