Information and Counselling Centre for Recognition Saxony (IBAS)

Claudia Poldrack

Claudia Poldrack, IQ Project Advisor at the Information and Counselling Centre for Recognition Saxony (IBAS)

The Information and Counselling Centre for Recognition Saxony (IBAS) has been in operation since October 2011 and acts as a hub for all questions relating to the recognition of foreign qualifications. We receive enquiries regarding qualifications from all over Saxony and from abroad on a daily basis and have been contacted by people from over 60 different countries thus far. We provide assistance to everyone regardless of whether the qualification concerned is covered by the new law or not. Each person seeking advice is given an individually tailored information sheet on recognition procedures or alternatives. The sheet also contains information on updating training and work opportunities. Our aim is to highlight a range of possible solutions to all those seeking advice. This enables them to decide for themselves which route to go down.

We are receiving increasing large numbers of enquiries from the field of education and teaching. Women with teaching qualifications from the former states of the Soviet Union are especially hopeful that the Federal Recognition Act will be able to bring about a positive change to their qualifications situation. Such women have mostly worked as teachers or nursery teachers in their country of origin. Their expectations are, however, mostly disappointed due to the fact that these two occupations are governed by federal state law. Saxony is also looking to modify its federal state legislation in the near future.

In our capacity as contact partners for the recognition of foreign qualifications, we also provide support right across Saxony to all stakeholders who are confronted with issues relating to recognition within their own daily work.  Since the beginning of 2012, we have trained approximately 100 Employment Agencies, Job Centres, migration advisory centres and other advisory bodies. Over 350 people have attended our one-day or two-day seminars during this period. Some of our trained stakeholders are able to undertake the direct processing of standard cases such as the referring onwards of non-regulated academic qualifications to the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). Nevertheless, they still continue to make use of the advisory services we are able to offer here at the IBAS. More complex cases and enquiries regarding alternative occupational pathways have recently accounted for an increasing proportion of our advisory work. The high amount of positive feedback we receive serves to motivate us as we continue our work.