An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Professional recognition

With recognition, a foreign professional qualification is made legally equivalent to a German professional qualification. Recognition is necessary for certain occupations and professions, for others it is an advantage.

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Anerkennung in Deutschland, 2023

Recognition of foreign professional or vocational qualifications in Germany

The current flyer describes important stages on the way to recognition and lists free sources of information and advice. Now available in 12 languages for viewing and ordering.

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What does professional recognition mean?

A foreign professional qualification is recognised in Germany if it is equivalent to a German Professional qualification. In Regulated professions further criteria for authorisation to practise must also be met. Upon application, both are checked in the recognition procedure and information regarding the outcome is provided in a notice. With recognition applicants receive the same professional rights as persons with a German professional qualification. In Germany, professional recognition is regulated by the Federal Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG) and the sectoral laws under legislation relating to occupations and by the relevant federal state legislation.

When is recognition necessary?

Recognition is necessary for foreign Skilled workers if they want to work in Germany in a regulated profession. The only exception to this is skilled workers from the EU/EEA/Switzerland who only occasionally practise their occupation or profession in Germany. The so-called Freedom to provide services is regulated in the EU Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications.

Recognition is not required for working in non-regulated professions. In some cases, however, recognition may be necessary for entry from a third country. A recognition procedure or the assessment of the university degree can generally have advantages for the professional future in Germany.

Advantages of recognition

What are regulated and non-regulated professions?

Regulated professions are professions in which the activities are legally protected. In addition to a specific professional qualification, additional requirements are often necessary for these professions for authorisation to practise. This applies primarily to professions in the health, safety and social services sectors such as medical practitioner or teacher. Other forms of regulation are a protected professional title such as engineer, certificates and certificates of competence for some independent activities and trades and businesses, and Advanced training qualifications such as Master craftsperson or specialist.

Non-regulated professions are not legally protected. These include the Training occupations in the dual system (approx. 330 in total) such as motor vehicle mechatronics technician and office manager, and many academic occupations such as chemist or mathematician. Whether or not a profession or occupation is regulated in Germany can be found out using the Profi-Filter.