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Federal Recognition Act

The Federal Recognition Act regulates and standardises the procedure for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. It applies to professions regulated by federal law.

Here you can find answers to the questions:

What is regulated by the Recognition Act?

The full name of the Recognition Act is actually “Law to improve the assessment and recognition of professional and Vocational education and training qualifications acquired abroad” and it entered into force on 1 April 2012. It comprises the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (Article 1) and amendments to the sectoral laws under legislation relating to occupations (Article 2 to 61). It standardises the Recognition procedures for professions at federal level for the purpose of attracting skilled foreign workers and supporting their long-term integration.

As a result of the Recognition Act, Germany has extended the regulations under the EU Recognition Directive to Non-regulated professions and to professional qualifications from third countries. The Recognition Act relates only to occupations under federal jurisdiction. The entitlement to a recognition procedure applies regardless of nationality or place of residence. This means recognition can be applied for from abroad.

What is the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act?

The key part of the Recognition Act is the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG). The BQFG contains standardized regulations and criteria for recognition and enshrines in law the right to a recognition procedure. It applies to around 330 non-regulated Training occupations in the dual system. For Regulated professions, recognition is governed directly by sectoral laws under legislation relating to occupations. These include the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (for Master craftsperson qualifications), the Federal Medical Code and the Nursing Act. These sectoral laws were amended by the Recognition Act and take precedence over the BQFG (principle of subsidiarity)

To which professions does the Recognition Act apply?

The Recognition Act applies to more than 600 occupations which fall under federal jurisdiction. These include non-regulated occupations such as the dual training occupations and regulated occupations such as medical practitioner, pharmacist or nurse. The Recognition Act does not apply to professions regulated at federal state level such as teacher, nursery school teacher, or engineer. For these professions, recognition is governed by the relevant federal state laws. Higher education qualifications in non-regulated professions such as biologist, physicist or linguist; as well as school-leaving certificates and higher education and examination performances achieved abroad also fall outside the scope of the Recognition Act

Using the Profi-Filter on this portal, you can find out whether the profession is regulated, and which professions come under federal or federal state jurisdiction.

The Federal Institute for Vocational education and training (BIBB) uses its scientific expertise to monitor and support the implementation of the recognition acts. This includes the evaluation of the annual recognition act statistics as well as empirical investigations, the findings of which are published in the recognition report of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Data and reports