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Glossary - E

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German: Erwerbstätigkeit

Employment is work which is regulated by contract. Employed persons include:

  • Employees
  • Salaried employee
  • Self-employed people
  • Freelancers
  • Persons in a mini job



German: Gleichwertigkeit

see recognition

Equivalence assessment

German: Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung
Also: Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung

In Germany, the competent authority checks whether a foreign professional qualification is equivalent to the German reference occupation. This check is called the equivalence assessment and is conducted as part of the recognition procedure.

For this check, the competent authority needs all documents relating to the foreign professional qualification. For example:

Ethnic German resettlers

German: Spätaussiedler
Also: Aussiedler, Russlanddeutsche

Ethnic German resettlers are people of German descent who immigrate to Germany from the former Soviet Union or from eastern Europe. These persons are officially recognised as ethnic German resettlers.

The ethnic German repatriates certificate enables them to apply for a special procedure for professional recognition. Another name for the ethnic German repatriates’ certificate is Expellee Identification Card.

EU attestation

German: EU-Bescheinigung
Also: EG-Bescheinigung
English: Certificate of Professional Experience

To work in an EU state, official proof of professional experience in another EU member state is often required. The so-called EU attestation is particularly important in Germany for professions in the crafts and trades sector and in the area of industry and commerce.

The competent authority for the profession in the home member state grants the EU attestation.

EU Recognition Directive

German: EU-Berufsanerkennungsrichtlinie
Also: Berufsanerkennungsrichtlinie, Anerkennungsrichtlinie

The official name for the EU Recognition Directive is: Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications. The directive regulates the recognition of professional qualifications between countries of the European Union (EU) with respect to regulated professions.

The most important rules are:

The directive entered into force on 15 October 2005 and was reformed by Directive 2013/55/EU.


German:  EU/EWR/Schweiz

EU/EEA/Switzerland is the abbreviation for: European Union/European Economic Area/Switzerland.

The member states of the European Union (EU) include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The European Economic Area (EEA) includes: All EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

Switzerland has entered into a treaty with the European Union. This states that Switzerland participates in the European system of professional recognition.

European Professional Card (EPC)

The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications. It applies only to countries of the European Union (EU).

The EPC currently exists for the following professions:

  • Pharmacist
  • Nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Mountain guide
  • Estate agent

Further information on the EPC 
Your Europe: European Professional Card - EPC

Evidence of formal qualifications

German: Ausbildungsnachweis

Evidence of formal qualifications documents that a professional qualification covers. For example:

  • Certificates
  • Examination certificates
  • Diploma

Evidence of formal professional qualifications is issued by an authority. It must be issued in the country in which the professional qualification was obtained.

Examination fees

German: Prüfungsgebühren

Examination fees are the cost of participating in a state examination. This means that individuals may be required to pay money for participating in an examination.

External examination

German: Externenprüfung

The external examination is a specific examination for dual training occupations.

The external examination enables individuals without vocational education and training to complete a vocational qualification in a training occupation. They must fulfil the following conditions:

  • The individual has already worked in the profession in which they are sitting the examination.
  • The period of working was at least 1.5 times as long as the duration of training in this profession.
  • They must pass the external examination.