Educator with a foreign professional qualification, apply for recognition

Do you have a foreign professional qualification as an educator? In order for you to be able to work in the profession in Germany, you need the recognition of your professional qualification.

The profession of educator is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to be able to work in the profession without restrictions, you must prove a specific qualification.

To prove a foreign qualification, you can apply for recognition of your professional qualification. You can also apply for the recognition procedure from abroad.

In the recognition procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the professional qualification in the selected federal state. The procedure is called: Equivalence determination.

You will receive a notification of the result of the equivalence determination. The decision will indicate your professional qualifications. If you lack professional qualifications for recognition, the decision also mentions the main differences.

In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must meet other requirements for working as an educator. You often only have to prove these requirements at a later date:

  • Knowledge of German at the necessary level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • Personal suitability
  • Health suitability

The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:

  • Application form from the competent authority
  • Proof of identity (e.g. passport or identity card)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of content and duration of your training (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
  • Proof of your professional experience as an educator (e.g. job references)
  • Information about an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Then indicate where you submitted the application.
  • Proof of content and duration of your training (e.g. subject list and grade lists, study book, diploma supplement, transcript of records)
  • You come from a third country and do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you have to prove that you want to work in the profession in the chosen federal state (e.g. applications, entry visa for employment, personal declaration).
  • Maybe: Your birth certificate
  • Perhaps: Proof of your general school leaving certificate
  • Perhaps proof of your German language skills: Language certificate
  • Perhaps: Proof that you are allowed to work as an educator in your country of training.
  • Perhaps: Proof of your personal suitability: Certificate of Good Standing
  • Perhaps: Proof of your health suitability: medical certificate

Some documents must be submitted in officially certified copies. The competent authority will inform you which documents you must submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.

Related Links

  • Application form as well as corresponding notes and information


  • You have a completed professional qualification as an educator from abroad.
  • You want to work as an educator in the chosen federal state.

You may also need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have german language skills at the necessary language level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The responsible body will inform you about the necessary language level.
  • Health suitability: You are healthy.
  • Personal aptitude: You are reliable for working as an educator and have no criminal record.


Freedom to provide services

You only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? Then you usually do not need recognition. You must meet these requirements:

  • You must be established in another EU, EEA or Swiss country.
  • You must prove your professional qualification.
  • You must report or register your activity in writing with the competent authority.
  • You may need to prove: At least one year of professional experience in the profession in the last 10 years.

Working as a pedagogical specialist

You may be able to work as a so-called pedagogical specialist without recognition as an educator. You can then work in a day care centre, for example. The competent authority or your employer will inform you about this possibility.

Related Links

  • § 1 Brandenburg Social Professions Act BbgSozBerG
  • § 8 et seq. Brandenburg Social Professions Act BbgSozBerG
  • §§ 9 to 13 Brandenburg Professional Qualification Assessment Act - BbgBQFG

Related Links

  • Information on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications on the portal Recognition in Germany
  • Financial aid for the recognition procedure
  • Publicly appointed translators in Germany
  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you.

The competent authority receives the application. It will confirm that the application has arrived after one month at the latest. Once the competent authority has received all the documents from you, it will process your application.

The competent authority then checks: Is your professional qualification equivalent to the professional qualification in your federal state? For the comparison, for example, the content of the training and the duration of the training are important. The competent body shall also take into account your professional experience, other qualifications and qualifications.

To work as an educator, you must meet other requirements. These include, for example: Your personal suitability, your health suitability and your knowledge of German. The competent body often checks the other conditions after the equivalence has been established. Sometimes the other requirements are only important when hiring. You may need to submit additional documents for this. The competent authority will inform you.

If your qualification is equivalent and you meet all other requirements, you will receive state recognition. You may use the professional title of state-approved educator. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification. Your professional qualification will be recognised.

Are there significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Then your professional qualification will not be recognised.

In most cases, you can then take a compensatory measure. This allows you to compensate for the essential differences.

There are various compensatory measures:

  • Adaptation course: You work as an educator and do additional training at a technical school.
  • Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only those areas in which significant differences have been identified are examined. The aptitude test is a practical examination. Perhaps written and oral work is also necessary.

Often you can choose between an adaptation course or an aptitude test.

If you successfully complete the compensatory measure, you will receive the recognition.

Responsible for the content
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Ministry of Education Saxony-Anhalt

Last update or date of publication