In addition to the IQ Network guidance centres, there are many other service points in Germany that also provide guidance on the process of recognition of foreign professional qualifications.
Other guidance services
- Job market counselling from the Federal Employment Agency
The employment offices and joint institutions carry out their tasks as entrusted to them in the Social Code SGB III (employment promotion) and the Social Code SGB II (subsistence guarantee for job-seekers). The Federal Employment Agency adopts a holistic individual approach in its provision of job market guidance. Issues involving the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad are handled as part of statutory job market counselling in so far as they are relevant to integration into training courses and employment.
- Chambers of Industry and Commerce
The local chambers of industry and commerce provide free advice on applications and procedures regarding the recognition of foreign vocational qualifications. They also assist in determining the German reference qualification. This can accelerate the process at the Foreign Skills Approval Competence Centre (IHK FOSA). You may receive guidance either face-to-face or by telephone. You can call your Chamber of Industry and Commerce beforehand to check whether you need to bring any documentation along to the meeting.
Visit the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Finder to identify your own personal contact partner.
- Chambers of Crafts and Trades
If you have trained in a craft trades occupation abroad, you can seek advice from your local Chamber of Crafts and Trades. You can receive a free consultation in person or over the telephone on how you can have your qualification assessed for equivalence with a German qualification and on which German qualification may serve as a reference for the occupation which you have learned abroad.
You can find your local Chamber of Crafts and Trades here.
- Counselling for adult migrants (MBE)
Germany has over 600 counselling centres for adult migrants, known as MBE. These centres are usually associated with charity agencies. Their target group is all adult migrants age 27 and older. On request, the MBE also provide migrants with initial information about recognition issues. Many MBE work in close cooperation with the regional initial contact points within the IQ network. You can find a counselling centre for migrants near you on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
- Young migrant services (JMD)
There are more than 420 young migrant service centres for migrants aged between 12 and 27 (JMD). They are sponsored by juvenile social work associations and their guidance services target the special issues that young people face. The JMD also provide initial information about recognition of foreign qualifications. See the central JMD-Portal for more information.
- Educational counselling 'Garantiefonds-Hochschule'
Ethnic German resettlers, young refugees and persons entitled to asylum aged younger than 30 and who have higher education entrance qualifications acquired in Germany or would like to take up university study or continue an academic career in Germany can seek guidance at the 'Garantiefonds-Hochschule' educational counselling centres. The 'Garantiefonds-Hochschule' educational counselling centres are organized by the young migrant services. See the JMD-Portal for more information.
- Information centre on the EU Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive
Every country in Europe has an information centre which can provide information on qualifications and vocational recognition in the respective country within the framework of the EU Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive. As a rule, this function is performed by the NARICs (National Academic Recognition Information Centres). The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) is responsible for this task in Germany.
- Providers of (continuing) education counselling
Many counselling centres in Germany specialize in matters of education and continuing education. In addition to information about Germany's education system, continuing education courses and grant programmes, migrants can also get initial information about how to gain recognition of their foreign qualifications. The following organizations provide education and continuing education counselling
- Refugee guidance centres
Many cities and communities in Germany have guidance centres for refugees sponsored by charity agencies, refugee initiatives or human rights organizations. They are an important contact point for asylum seekers and refugees. Many of these centres also provide initial information about integration onto the job market and on the recognition of foreign qualifications.
- Migrant organizations (MO)
Migrant organizations provide a wide range of counselling services. A number of organizations also provide guidance on the process of recognition of foreign professional qualifications.
- Assistance centre pursuant to Article 57b of EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications
Since 2016, the Federal Government information portal “Recognition in Germany” has also been the German assistance centre for questions relating to the recognition of foreign professional and vocational qualifications at an EU level (in accordance with Article 57b of EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications). In this capacity, it provides EU citizens and assistance centres in other member states with information on the recognition of professional and vocational qualifications in Germany. If you have not found the information you are looking for regarding the recognition of your qualification on our portal, you can use the contact form to send us an enquiry or call the “Working and Living in Germany” hotline (please note that advice is only available in German and English). If you have a direct question relating to the topic of the assistance centre, if you are the representative of an assistance centre or if you wish to get in touch with an assistance centre in another member state, you can reach us via the assistance centre contact form.