An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

School-leav­ing cer­tifi­cates

In Ger­many, school ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant for your fu­ture ca­reer. This is be­cause most com­pa­nies ex­pect their em­ploy­ees to have a school-leav­ing cer­tifi­cate and a vo­ca­tion­al qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Answers to the following questions are provided here: 

  • How do I have my school-leaving certificate recognised in Germany? 
  • How can I gain a school-leaving certificate in Germany?


Having a school-leaving certificate recognised in Germany

You can have your school-leaving certificate recognised in Germany. The certificate recognition bodies of the federal states are responsible for the recognition. You can apply to them. The certificate recognition body checks the equivalence of your school-leaving certificate against a German school-leaving certificate. If your school-leaving certificate is equivalent, you receive a certificate of equivalence. The competent certificate recognition bodies can be found in the anabin database of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

The certificate recognition bodies only carry out the recognition of school-leaving certificates. The recognition of school reports for individual years is not possible.

Would you like to start a higher education course in Germany? If so, then find out about the necessary requirements from the website “Study in Germany” or from the institute of higher education selected by you. You can use the certificate of equivalence for your school-leaving certificate in the application for your university place.

Gaining a school-leaving certificate in Germany

Germany has compulsory schooling. The federal states determine the duration of the compulsory schooling In most federal states, compulsory schooling begins from the age of six. Pupils attend school for a minimum of nine years in total. Further information about compulsory schooling is available on the website of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK).

If you or your children are still required to attend school, then you must go to school in Germany. This enables you to complete a school-leaving certificate. Decisions about the level you are currently at are made by the school leadership team together with the relevant education authority. In order to decide on this level you are required to participate in at least one trial lesson. Please contact the relevant education authority regarding this. This can be found via the website of the German education server.

If you are no longer subject to compulsory schooling, you are able to voluntarily complete a school leaving certificate. You can go to school or attend courses. Information about this can be found on the Federal Employment Agency's (BA) website “Schulabschluss nachholen (“Gaining the school-leaving certificate”).