Apply for permission to use the professional title for foreign degrees
Would you like to work as a geriatric nurse in Germany? Then your education must be recognized so that you get permission to use the job title
The profession of geriatric care assistant is regulated in many federal states of Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a geriatric care assistant without restriction, you need a state permit.
With this permission, you may use the job title and work in the profession without restriction.
The legal regulations and requirements of the profession differ in the individual federal states. The profession is called differently in the individual federal states. In Rhineland-Palatinate it is called:
- "state-certified geriatric care assistant" or "state-certified geriatric care assistant" in Rhineland-Palatinate
Even with a professional qualification from abroad, you can obtain permission to use the professional title from the competent authority (an authority).
To do this, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised. In the procedure, the competent authority compares your foreign professional qualification with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. Equivalence is an important prerequisite for the granting of state permission.
In addition to the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements. For example, you must be healthy and speak German.
It is important where you did your education. The procedure for professional qualifications from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland may be different from the procedure for professional qualifications from third countries. Third countries are all states that do not belong to the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
You can also apply from abroad.
The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit.
Important documents are generally:
- Proof of identity (for example, your passport or identity card)
- If you change your name: marriage certificate
- Curriculum vitae in tabular form and in German (list of your training courses and professional experience)
- Proof of your professional qualification (certificate, detailed overview of subjects and hours on theory and practice, Diploma Supplement)
- A certificate that you are allowed to work in geriatric care assistance in your training state
- Proof of your professional experience in geriatric care assistance (e.g. certificates from employers)
Proof of your other qualifications
(e.g. continuing vocational training, courses, seminars)
- Registration certificate or proof that you want to work in the state where you are applying
- In the case of professional qualifications from the EU/EEA/Switzerland: A certificate from the competent authority in your training state on the equivalence of your professional qualification in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC ("Certificate of Conformity")
- A written declaration as to whether and to which body you have already submitted an application for a declaration of equivalence. If available, also the received notification
- Proof of your German language skills
Proof of your personal suitability:
Official certificate of good conduct of a German authority. Another name for the official certificate of good conduct is "Certificate of Good Conduct Document Type O".
In Germany, you can obtain the certificate of good conduct from your residents' registration office or citizens' office. As a rule, the official certificate of good conduct should be a maximum of 3 months old when it is presented.
It is also possible to obtain a certificate from an authority in your home country: for example, a criminal record extract, a Certificate of Good Standing
- Possibly sufficient: A signed declaration that there are no legal proceedings against you and that you are not being investigated
- Official certificate of good conduct of a German authority. Another name for the official certificate of good conduct is "Certificate of Good Conduct Document Type O".
- Proof of fitness for health: A medical certificate or a medical certificate. The proof may not be more than 3 months old when you submit the application.
The competent authority will inform you which documents you must submit in the original or as a copy.
You must submit your documents in German. This often means that your documents need to be translated. Translations must be carried out by translators who have been publicly appointed or authorised.
- You have a professional qualification as a geriatric care assistant or geriatric care assistant from abroad.
- You are healthy (health suitability). This means that you are mentally and physically healthy and can work in your profession.
- They are personally suitable for the profession (personal suitability). This means that you are reliable and have no criminal record.
- You have sufficient knowledge of German. You will normally need to prove language level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Freedom to provide services
As a citizen of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland with professional qualifications from these countries, you do not need a state permit if you only want to work temporarily and occasionally as a service provider in Germany However, special requirements apply: You must report your work to the competent authority before your first job. The competent authority will inform you exactly about the procedure.
In the permit procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification (equivalence test / equivalence determination). For the result of the examination, you may be able to apply for a separate decision (equivalence notice).
You can also submit your application electronically. You may be able to submit the application directly to the competent authority. In any case, you can submit the application to the point of single contact. The Point of Single Contact will help you and forward the application to the competent authority. However, the transmission of documents is often only possible if they have been issued or recognised in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a ethnic German repatriate, you can either go through the procedure according to the respective law of the federal state or according to the Federal Displaced Persons Act. You can decide for yourself. Your competent authority will advise you on this.
The legal basis is different in each federal state.
The relevant specialist laws apply (e.g. Berufsfachschulordnung, Ausbildungs- und Prüfungsordnung Altenpflegehilfe, Altenpflegehilfegesetz).
Often, the regulations of the Professional Qualification Assessment Act (BQFG) or "Recognition Laws" of the federal states also apply.
All recognition laws can be found here:
Recognition laws of the federal states
The procedure may vary from one federal state to another. In most federal states, the procedure is as follows:
You shall submit an application for authorisation to the competent authority.
The application is called differently in each federal state.
The competent authority will then check whether you meet all the requirements. An important prerequisite is the professional qualification. The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a geriatric care assistant. The competent body will check whether your professional qualification is equivalent. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German professional qualification.
Possible results of the test
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authority can confirm the result in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will receive permission to use the job title.
If the competent authority identifies significant differences, you may be able to compensate for the differences through your professional experience. You must prove your professional experience.
However, it may be that your professional experience is not sufficient. You will then not be able to compensate for the essential differences. The competent authority will tell you in writing the essential differences and why you cannot compensate for them through your professional experience. However, the competent authority offers you a compensatory measure. If you successfully complete this measure, you can compensate for the essential differences. Your professional qualification will then be recognised.
As a compensatory measure, you can choose between an adaptation period and an aptitude test (for professional qualifications from the EU/EEA/Switzerland) or a knowledge test (for professional qualifications from third countries). The adaptation course is a practical post-qualification and can last the entire German training period for the profession (12 months). In the aptitude test, only the differences identified by the competent body are examined. In the knowledge test, your knowledge is tested in certain subjects and areas. If you complete the adaptation course or pass the aptitude test or knowledge test (and meet all other requirements), you will receive permission to use the job title.
The competent authority shall record its decision in writing in a decision. You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision is then reviewed. Details can be found in the notice of appeal at the end of the decision. We recommend that you first talk to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.
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Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
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