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Glossary - P

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Partial access to a profession

German: Partieller Berufszugang

A foreign professional qualification may differ significantly from a German professional qualification. Recognition is then not possible. However, sometimes the competent authority is able to approve so-called partial access to a profession. Partial access to a profession permits a person to work in Germany. The following prerequisites apply for working with partial access to a profession.

The competent authority grants authorisation for partial access to a profession. An application must be made for this. This authorisation permits a person to work in Germany. However, the person is only permitted to perform certain activities. The person must also use the professional title from their country of training.

Personal aptitude

German: persönliche Eignung
Also: Reliability

Personal aptitude is important in some regulated professions for an application for recognition. For example, for occupations in the areas of public health, security and in the social and education sector. In this case, the competent authority requires evidence of personal aptitude for the recognition application or before starting a compensation measure. However, in some cases, evidence first needs to be presented to a new employer. An individual is personally suited when: The person has committed no criminal offences and is reliable

Evidence of personal aptitude may be provided, for example, by:

All evidence must be a maximum of 3 months old.

Positive list

German: Positivliste

The positive list is a list of all shortage occupations. It is recompiled regularly by the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

In Germany there are specific occupations with not enough employees. These professions are known as shortage occupations.

Practising a profession

German: Berufsausübung

Working in a profession in which you are qualified.

Professional experience

German: Berufserfahrung
Also: Berufspraxis

Working lawfully in a profession and gaining professional experience in the process. In Germany or in another country.

Professional qualification

German:  Professional qualification

Professional qualifications are qualifications for which evidence of training is provided by means of evidence of formal qualifications or qualification certificates These lead to a clearly defined profession. Evidence of a professional qualification may also be provided by professional experience gained in Germany or abroad.

These are examples of professional qualifications:

The recognition procedure exists for professional qualifications from abroad. This checks the equivalence of the vocational qualification.
Recognition procedures for higher education qualifications exist only for higher education qualifications leading to a regulated profession. For example: Dentist
There is no recognition procedure for higher education qualifications which do not lead to a regulated profession. The statement of comparability exists for these higher education qualifications. This is the case, for example, for geologists.

Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG)

German: Berufsqualifikationsfeststellungsgesetz (BQFG)

The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act is an important element of the Recognition Act. The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act exists in Germany at federal level and in the 16 federal states. It is always Article 1 of the Recognition Act for the Recognition of Professional qualifications. It regulates the recognition procedure.

Professional register

German: Berufsverzeichnis
Also: Berufsregister, Berufsliste, Verzeichnis

A list of individuals permitted to work in a profession in a specific region. For example: the Register of Craftsmen or Directory of Architects. A professional register is generally maintained by the relevant Chamber.

A professional register is therefore important for recognition of a foreign professional qualification: In some regulated professions an individual may only work if they are entered into the relevant professional register. This may also apply to the use of the designation of occupation. Entry into the professional register does not take place until after successful recognition.


German: Profi-Filter

The Profi-Filter is a specific tool on the website of The Profi-Filter provides particular search functions for these individuals:  

  • Experts
  • Specialist advisers

This enables these individuals to search specifically for important information. For example:

  • Competent authorities
  • Professions subject to statutory regulation
  • Professions subject to specific regulations
  • Occupation groups (based on the standardized national classification of occupations 2010 (KLDB 2010) of the Federal Employment Agency and the Federal Statistical Office.

Many people want use the website to find out about recognition of their professional qualification. For these individuals, the Recognition Finder is better suited for this purpose.