Updated : 12/2012
If you want to work in another country you might need to get your qualifications and professional experience officially recognised, if your profession is regulated in that country.
This section is about getting your professional qualifications recognised so you can work abroad. It doesn’t apply if you want to study abroad. For information on getting your diplomas recognised for academic purposes, contact the NARIC centres.
When you apply to have your qualifications recognised, the authorities have 1 month to acknowledge receipt of your application and request any documents they need.
They must reach a decision within 4 months of the date on which they received your complete application. If they reject your application, they must explain why.
If they do not take a decision within the time limit, you can take the case to the national courts. You can also call on our assistance services or the national contact points for professional qualifications.
The authorities may ask for certified copies (to prove documents are genuine) and/or certified translations of certain key documents for your application, such as certificates proving your qualifications. (Certified translations come with a guarantee of accuracy from a registered translator.)
But they must accept certified translations from other EU countries, and they cannot ask for certified translations of:
Katarina is a pharmacist from Slovakia wanting to work in Austria. The Austrian authorities ask her to have all the supporting documents for her application translated by a sworn translator.
Katarina cannot be required to provide sworn translations of her diplomas. For several categories of diplomas — doctor, general nurse, midwife, veterinary surgeon, dental surgeon, pharmacist, architect — certified translations are not required.
Your new country might require you to show that you already have some knowledge of their language.
Any language requirements should be for one purpose only — to ensure that you know enough to work in your chosen profession in your new country.
Once your qualifications are recognised, the authorities must allow you to use the academic title you had in your home country, and possibly an abbreviated form, as well as the professional title used in your new country.
If your profession is regulated by an association or organisation in the country where you want to work, you will have to become a member before you can use the professional title.
Before you apply to have your qualifications recognised, read the User guide to recognition of professional qualifications [186 KB] from the EU Commission.
If you are a physiotherapist, you can find out which documents and formalities are required by the national authorities of the country where you wish to work:
We are working to extend the service offered to physiotherapists to other professions. Meanwhile, the regulated professions database can help you find out which professions are regulated in which countries and by which authorities. If you want to work as a baker in Germany, click on “Bäcker (DE)”. You do need to know the name of the job in the local language.
If you do not find your profession in the database and want to know whether it is regulated in the country where you want to work, you can contact the national contact point for recognition of professional qualifications in that country. They can also help you identify the competent authority and which documents you need to submit.Still need help?