European Professional Card

© Harald Richter / Fotolia

The European Professional Card (EPC) was introduced in 2016 and can be used by pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, mountain guides and real estate agents from EU and EEA member states who wish to work in another member state. It comprises an electronic certificate which simplifies the recognition procedure.

You may apply for a European Professional Card via the European Commission’s Your Europe page. The precise link is provided in our Quick Guide below. All relevant documentation regarding your professional qualification will need to be submitted or uploaded via a special online instrument. Documents will be checked for genuineness and validity by the competent body in your home country and uploaded to the Internal Market Information System (IMI), an electronic European database. The application will then be forwarded to the host state in electronic form.

You will need a licence if you wish to exercise the profession in the host country. Application for this may be made to the competent body in Germany. The issuing of a European Professional Card does not automatically entitle you to exercise a profession. The EPC provides electronic evidence that all administrative checks of your professional or vocational qualification have been carried out and that your qualification has been recognised by the country in which you wish to work (host country). It may also show that you fulfil the prerequisites for temporary provision of services in the country in question.

The competent body is able to access the documents that have been uploaded to the IMI. It will then merely need to check the equivalence of qualifications (for automatic recognition) rather than need to ascertain the genuineness of the documents once more. If the qualifications are equivalent, the Professional Card can be issued. A person can be permitted by the competent body in the host country to exercise the profession in question if the other prerequisites (language knowledge etc.) have also been fulfilled.

If you do not wish to apply for a European Professional Card, the competent body in Germany will decide upon recognition of your qualification acquired abroad within the scope of the procedure for giving permission to exercise the profession. You can use the Recognition Finder to identify the right competent body. 

A quick guide to the European Professional Card
1. You apply for your European Professional Card (EPC), register with the European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS), create your EPC profile and submit your application.
2. The competent body in your home country will check that your documentation is complete, genuine and valid.
3. The competent body in the host country will evaluate your documentation. If the evaluation is positive, your European Professional Card will be issued.


Video explaining the European Professional Card

The European Commission explains the advantages of the European Professional Card as well as the application procedure in a Youtube video.