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Accelerated procedure

German: Beschleunigtes Verfahren

Accelerated procedure means that the time needed for a recognition procedure is less than usual. Companies are able to apply for the accelerated procedure for the entry of skilled workers from third countries. To do this, the company concludes an agreement with the competent central immigration office. The competent immigration office applies for the recognition procedure. It acts as the central point of contact for the company and the competent authority. Certain prerequisites are necessary for an accelerated procedure. An accelerated procedure can mean that the duration of the recognition procedure is shortened to two months. Coordination by the central immigration office means that the visa procedure can also be accelerated.

Adaptation period

German: Anpassungslehrgang

An adaptation period is a compensation measure for regulated professions. An individual trains in the areas they are lacking for recognition of a foreign professional qualification. Successful participation enables the individual to compensate for the substantial differences compared to the German reference occupation. The individual is then still able to receive full recognition of their foreign professional qualification.

During an adaptation period, the individual works in the relevant regulated profession. They are supervised by a person qualified in this profession. For example by someone who is a registered general nurse in a hospital.

The adaptation period is sometimes also additional training. An adaptation period lasts for a maximum of three years. The duration depends on which differences are specified in the recognition notice and on what the individual still has to learn.

Advanced training qualification

German: Fortbildungsabschluss

An advanced training qualification is a professional qualification. Individuals who have successfully completed advanced training receive the advanced training qualification.

Advanced training qualifications exist which are comparable in terms of level with higher education or university degrees. For example, to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Advanced training includes:

Advanced vocational training

German: Fortbildung
Also: berufliche Fortbildung, Aufstiegsfortbildung

Advanced vocational training enables individuals with vocational education and training to acquire or to practice vocational knowledge and skills. This enables these individuals to improve their professional training and their professional prospects in the labour market.
In Germany, there is also advanced training for individuals without vocational education and training. However, these individuals must normally have professional experience.

Advanced training courses are regulated by the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) or by the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (HwO). A distinction is made between upgrading training (e.g. master craftsman courses), retraining and updating training.
There is also an examination the end of the advanced training. Those who passed the examination receive an advanced training qualification.

Application for recognition

German: Anerkennungsantrag
Also: Antrag auf Anerkennung

The application for recognition is generally made via an application form. This allows individuals to apply for recognition of their foreign professional qualification.

The application for recognition is sent to the competent authority together with the necessary documents. Or it can be submitted in person. The application for recognition can be downloaded from the website of the competent authority.

Occasionally, an application for recognition is not available for download. If so, the person must apply without an application form. In this case the person must write a letter to the competent authority. The person must apply for the recognition procedure in the letter. The competent authority will provide information on how this is done.

Approbation (licence to practise medicine in Germany)

German: Approbation

Approbation is official state authorisation to practice. With an approbation, individuals are permitted to work permanently and without restrictionsin an academic medical profession in Germany.
For example:

  • Medical practitioners
  • Pharmacists
Aptitude test

German:  Eignungsprüfung
Also: Defizitprüfung

An aptitude test as a compensation measure for individuals involved in a recognition procedure.

An aptitude test allows individuals in a regulated profession to compensate for substantial differences between a foreign professional qualification and a German reference occupation.

The following is examined in an aptitude test: Knowledge and skills which are important in the German reference occupation and for which no evidence is provided by documents.
The aptitude test takes into account the professional qualification in the country of origin. An aptitude test is not a new final examination. In an aptitude test, only those areas are tested in which substantial differences have been established.

Authorisation to practise a profession

German: Berufserlaubnis

Authorisation to practise a profession is state authorisation to practice. This means individuals are permitted to work in Germany in a specific profession. For example in an academic medical profession.

Authorisation to practice a profession in the academic medical professions is time-limited and generally contains further restrictions.

With an approbation, individuals are permitted to work in an academic medical profession in Germany permanently and without restrictions. For example medical practitioners may obtain authorisation to practice a profession in the recognition procedure, however this is still not an approbation.

Authorisation to practise a profession

German: Berufszulassung

Authorisation to practice a profession is permission from one of the official competent authorities to work in a profession. Or authorisation from an official competent authority permitting use of a specific designation of occupation.

Authorisation to practice must be applied for from the competent authority. The individual is only permitted to work in the profession if they have been granted the authorisation to practice.

An authorisation to practice a profession includes for example:

This applies to professions in the trades or crafts which require a license. Only then is the individual permitted to refer to themselves as a master craftsperson or to start to trade or establish a business themselves.

The competent authority provides information regarding professions within their area of jurisdiction involving authorisation to practice.

Automatic recognition

German: automatische Anerkennung

Some regulated professions are automatically recognised within the European Union (EU). These professions are always equivalent. This is because, in the EU, uniform standards exist in the vocational qualification in these professions. Individuals in these professions are therefore permitted to work in all countries of the EU. They must, however, have completed the training in a country which is part of the EU.

Automatic recognition applies to the following occupations:

  • Medical practitioner
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Pharmacist
  • Nurse
  • Midwife and obstetrician
  • Architect

A list of these professions is provided in the appendix of the EU Recognition Directive (2005/36/EU).

An application for recognition must also be made to the competent authority for automatic recognition. However, in the recognition procedure there is no assessment of equivalence.