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Certificate of competence

German: Sachkundenachweis
See also Befähigungsnachweis


Certificate of conformity

German: Konformitätsbescheinigung

The certificate of conformity is an official document within the European Union (EU). This states that the individual concerned has completed their training in accordance with the minimum EU standard. This is also referred to as conformity of training.

The certificate of conformity is required in the following situation:

The certificate of conformity is issued for foreign professional qualifications with automatic recognition. Individuals receive the certificate of conformity from the competent authority of their home member state.

Certificate of entitlement

German: Berufsurkunde
Also: Zulassungsurkunde, Erlaubnisurkunde

A certificate of entitlement confirms that an individual is permitted to practice a specific occupation. It is written evidence and is primarily issued for regulated professions. A certificate of entitlement contains the designation of occupation, the name of the individual permitted to practice the occupation and other information such as location and date.

Examples of a certificate of entitlement are:

In some cases the certificate of entitlement from the country of origin must also be presented in the recognition procedure.

Certificate of good conduct

German: Führungszeugnis
Also: polizeiliches Führungszeugnis

A certificate of good conduct is a document from an authority. it contains all of an individual's registered previous convictions.

From the age of 14, all individuals are able to apply for a certificate of good conduct. The application is submitted as follows:

  • In Germany: To the municipal administration of the individual’s primary residence.
  • Abroad: To the German diplomatic mission.

Most countries have a document which is comparable to the German certificate of good conduct.

Certificate of Good Standing

German: Certificate of Good Standing
Erworbene Rechte
Letter of Good Standing

The certificate of good standing is an important document for recognition in many regulated professions—for recognition in a medical profession for example. The certificate of good standing allows an individual to demonstrate their personal aptitude. The document states that:

  • The person applying is permitted to work in their profession without restrictions in another country.
  • There are no criminal proceedings being brought against the individual.
  • There are no sanctions or disciplinary measures imposed on the individual.

The certificate of good standing is issued in the country in which the person applying has most recently worked.


German: Kammer
Also: berufsständische Körperschaft, Standesvertretung

Institution which administers individuals in the same or similar profession. There are different types of chambers. For example:

  • Chamber of Crafts and Trades
  • Chamber of Physicians
  • Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)

A chamber undertakes government tasks and looks after the interests  of the members. A chamber has a range of responsibilities. For example:


Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

German: Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen für Sprachen (GER)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a recommendation from the Council of Europe regarding language skills in a foreign language. The CEFR divides foreign language skills into various competence levels and levels of language. This makes language skills more comparable. The CEFR is also used as a standard for acquisition of language skills.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Self-assessment grid from Europass

Compensation measure

German: Ausgleichsmaßnahme
Also: Anpassungsmaßnahme

A compensation measure allows individuals in a regulated occupation to compensate for substantial differences between a foreign professional qualification and a German reference occupation.

In the process, these individuals learn skills they are still lacking for recognition of a foreign professional qualification or they complete an aptitude or knowledge test. After successfully participating or passing the tests, these individuals then still receive full recognition of their foreign professional qualification.

A range of compensation measures exist. The legal regulation depends on the profession and on the nationality. There are the following, for example:

The knowledge test must be taken, for example, in healthcare occupations if you come from a third country.

Competent authority

German: zuständige Stelle

The “competent authority” implements the recognition procedure. The competent authority can be, for example, a government agency, an office or a Chamber. The Recognition Finder can be used to determine the authority responsible for recognition.

Continuing education

German: Weiterbildung

Practising and extending your own skills and knowledge following training. The following types of continuing training exist:

  • Continuing vocational education and training
  • General continuing education
  • Political continuing education
  • Continuing education at universities (also referred to as continuing academic training)

Continuing vocational education and training includes courses for consolidating and supplementing vocational knowledge. The learning involved in continuing vocational education and training is formal, non-formal, and informal.

Today, the terms “advanced vocational training” and “continuing education” are frequently used synonymously in a vocational context
In practice, continuing vocational education and training can include the following:

  • Retraining
  • Upgrading training (e.g. master craftsman courses)
  • Updating training

An examination may need to be taken at the end of continuing training. At the end of continuing education you generally receive evidence of participation or of passing the examination. This evidence is referred to as, for example:

  • Certificate of participation
  • Certificate
  • Reference

This evidence helps in the recognition procedure. This is because individuals can often use this to compensate for substantial differences between their professional qualification and the German reference occupation.

Continuing education qualification

German: Weiterbildungsabschluss

A continuing education qualification is a professional qualification. An individual gains a continuing education qualification if they successfully complete formal continuing vocational education and training. The individual must also successfully pass the state or state-recognised final examination.
Continuing education qualifications following upgrading training included for example

  • Master craftsperson
  • Specialist

Both of these continuing education qualifications are regulated in the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (HwO) and the Vocational Training Act (BBiG).

There are also continuing education qualifications at trade and technical schools These are regulated by the federal states. For example:

  • State-certified business specialist
  • State-certified technician

Specific continuing education also exists for certain specialisms in academic medical professions. For example:

  • Medical specialist
  • Specialist pharmacist

The relevant Chamber regulates this continuing education in so-called continuing education regulations.


Costs of the procedure

German: Verfahrenskosten

The costs of the procedure are the costs of the recognition procedure. This means that individuals going through the recognition procedure must pay money to the competent authority.

The recognition procedure may also involve further costs For example for:
•    Translation of certificates
•    Certification of documents
This is because translations and certifications cost money. However, financial support is available for individuals going through the recognition procedure.
Information regarding this is available under “Financing possibilities”.

Financing possibilities

Country of origin

German: Herkunftsland
Also: Herkunftsstaat, Heimatland

The country of origin is the country in which an individual was born or grew up. In most cases the individual has citizenship of this country.

Country of training

German: Ausbildungsland
Also: Ausbildungsstaat

The country in which the final certificate for a professional qualification was issued.

Craft or trade, requiring a licence

German: Handwerk, zulassungspflichtiges

Certain professions in the crafts and trades sector require a licence. A craft or trade which requires a licence is a trade involving potential hazards. This means that if the trade is not correctly performed, there may be risks for customers and other people. There are 41 crafts and trades requiring a license These professions include for example:

  • Electrical engineer
  • Carpenter
  • Pastry chef

The crafts and trades which require a licence are listed in Appendix A of the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code.

Craftspeople are able to become self-employed and set up a business. A requirement of the crafts or trades which require a licence is entry beforehand in the Register of Craftsmen. Tradespeople in the crafts and trades which do not require a licence and those similar to the skilled crafts and trades not need to do this.

Master craftspersons in the crafts or trades which require a licence are entered in the Register of Craftsmen. Individuals with a foreign professional qualification must also undertake an equivalence assessment. If the equivalence of the foreign vocational qualification is established with the relevant German master craftsman qualification, then those individuals can be entered in the Register of Craftsmen. They are then allowed to run a craft trade business independently.

There are also trades and businesses which do not require a licence and which are similar to the skilled crafts and trades. Other rules then apply to self-employment.