An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Opportunities for training

If substantial differences are identified in the recognition procedure, these can usually be compensated for with the help of training.

Answers to the following questions are provided here:

  • What types of training exist?
  • Who is offering the training?
  • Where can I find support for training guidance?


What types of training exist?

Training for Recognition is divided into two groups:

In many regulated professions, knowledge of German at a specific level is required for authorisation to practise. However, even if knowledge of German is not required, it is an advantage when seeking work and in everyday working life.

Regarding training for recognition

Substantial differences in the equivalence assessment

In the case of regulated professions, the competent authority specifies that a compensation measure must be completed which can be used to compensate for substantial differences. For non-regulated professions the substantial differences compared to the German reference occupation are described in a notice. Refresher training enables full equivalence to be achieved.


Training guidance

Those interested in recognition should make use of the training guidance offers so that training also results in recognition. Those interested in recognition are able to seek free guidance, for example from the employment agency or job centre, from Network IQ and from other providers. Counselling offers can be found in the “Counselling” section.

All the information about the person, the professional qualification and the substantial differences is brought together in the training guidance. Different qualification pathways are highlighted on the basis of this. The cost of training and potential financial support should also be discussed in the counselling. Financial support usually has to be approved before the start of the training.



A training provider or company carries out the training and supervises the participants. The content of the training and the way the outcomes are documented should be agreed beforehand with the competent authority. Counselling is available to those interested in recognition during the training to help with basic and general questions.

Citizens of third countries are able to enter Germany for training on the basis of Section 16d of the Residence Act (AufenthG) (previously Section 17a). This requires, for example, at least sufficient knowledge of German, usually at level A2.


Completion of training and recognition

In regulated professions, equivalence of the professional qualification is established once the applicant successfully completes the compensation measure (knowledge test/ aptitude test, adaptation period). The further criteria for authorisation to practise are then assessed. For non-regulated professions – e.g. dual training occupations – those interested in recognition are able to submit a follow-up application following successful training in order to receive full recognition of their professional qualification.


Summary - Training

Compensation measures for regulated professions

Adaptation period

In an adaptation period, applicants work in the regulated profession under the responsibility of a qualified member of the profession. The practical work can be supplemented by theoretical additional training. The adaptation period relates only to Substantial differences.

Examples from practice

Physiotherapist Andelina Budimir used a six-month adaptation period at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic to compensate for the substantial differences in the Recognition Notice. In the adaptation period, practical deployments in clinical areas were supported by practical teaching and workshops.


Preparation for the Knowledge test

This type of training is often the alternative to an Adaptation period for persons with a qualification from a Third country.

In the knowledge test, the applicants demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies for the occupation. The test relates to the content of the key core subjects in the Professional qualification. This is not, however, a full final examination. A further subject or a related area in which Substantial differences were identified can also be tested. Relevant preparation courses prepare you for sitting the examination.


Example from practice

Dispensing chemist Lama Al Khouja from Syria completed online training to prepare for the knowledge test. She then successfully completed the knowledge test and the specialist language examination.

Preparation for the Aptitude test

As an alternative to an adaptation period, applicants with a qualification from the EU/EEA/Switzerland can also take an aptitude test. The aptitude test assesses the ability to practise a regulated profession. It is used as evidence that the substantial differences are compensated for. Relevant preparation courses prepare you for the content of the aptitude test.


Refresher training for Non-regulated professions

No specific refresher training is required by the competent authority for non-Regulated professions. The substantial differences can, for example, be compensated for by theoretical measures or by training in the company. Since substantial differences are often very individual, this is also the case for the training. Often, therefore, these are not offered in groups, but only as individual measures.

Examples from practice

Samad Hamuch from Spain attended refresher training for his recognition as an electronics technician specialising in automation technology. Here he was taught the knowledge and skills which are not part of his training.

Training and alternative procedures regardless of Recognition

Those interested in recognition who receive a negative outcome in their Recognition notice or with poor prospects of recognition are able to participate in training. For example, coaching on integration in the labour market is offered regardless of any recognition procedure. If you do not receive recognition in a dual Training occupation, then under certain conditions you are able to immediately sit a final examination and in this way obtain the German journeyman certificate. Specific preparation courses are offered for this type of External examination. The external examination is regulated under Section 45(2) of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and Section 37 of the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (HwO).

Example from practice

Psychologist Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani from Iraq used a virtual training measure to make use of the time until he received his Statement of Comparability. This was a combination of phases of independent learning, tutorials and several events at which attendance was mandatory.

Who is offering the training?

Training provision from the Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” and other training can be found using the KURSNET database. Network IQ also has an interactive map available which can be used to search for subprojects relating to training. Other courses offered and general continuing Vocational education and training can be researched in the IWWB database (InfoWeb Weiterbildung). The Chambers of commerce and industry (IHK) and the chambers of crafts and trades (HWK) also offer training. The competent authority is able to help you with this. Where required, practical training can also be completed with the employer or in the company.

UBAconnect: Finding skilled workers via refresher training

The “UBA connect” pilot project brings together companies and skilled workers to support refresher training: With help from UBAconnect, companies are able to find appropriate skilled workers in Chamber of Industry and Commerce occupations and in the craft trades. They employ the skilled worker for the period of the refresher training and also undertake parts of the training. They also provide practical educational experience, for example in the use of specialist machines, and release the skilled worker for external training. In this way they support the skilled worker on their path to full recognition and, over the long-term, are able to recruit new employees. Companies which are interested can find out more information on the “Professional recognition for business” (UBA) project page and register free of charge.

UBAconnect project page

When choosing it is important to carefully check whether substantial differences can be compensated for with the training. Whether the relevant courses and its providers are eligible for funding is also important when financing the training. For example, only training and providers with approval under the German Regulation on the Accreditation and Approval for Employment Promotion (AZAV) are funded via SGB II and SGB III (German Social Code Book II and III).


Support for training guidance

The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)" funding programme regularly issues publications through the Competence Centre for Counselling and Job Training of Migrants on various aspects of Recognition, and also on training and on recognition counselling and qualification guidance:


Publications about training and about recognition and training guidance