Last checked: 23/06/2022

Recognition of qualifications

Are you recruiting staff who obtained their qualifications in another EU country (In this case, the 27 EU member states) and employing them in regulated professions in your country? If so, you may need to make sure that their experience and professional qualifications are recognised in the country where they plan to work.

A profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree, sit special exams, or register with a professional body before you can practice it.

As recognition of professional qualifications is mandatory for certain professions, your employees must consult the database of regulated professionsOpen as an external link to find out if their professions are regulated in EU countries and by which authorities. If your staff cannot find their profession in the database, they can ask for assistance from the national assistance centre for professional qualificationsOpen as an external link in the country where they want to work.

Sample story

Laszlo owns a restaurant in Hungary and he needs to hire a new cook. After the selection process, he decides to hire Blaž, a chef from Croatia. Laszlo learns from the online database that this is a regulated profession both in Croatia and in Hungary. Blaž has to contact the competent authority in Hungary to obtain the recognition of his professional qualifications so that he can work in Laszlo's restaurant. To get support in this process, Blaž can contact the assistance centre in Hungary.

Both employees and the self-employed must follow the rules for the recognition of professional qualifications abroad. Application and recognition procedures differ depending on whether they want to provide their services permanently or temporarily.

For more details on the two schemes, you can check the rules on recognition of professional qualifications.

There are specific EU rules for the recognition of professional qualifications of certain sectors such as lawyers, air traffic controllers, and pilots.  Doctors, general care nurses, midwives, dental practitioners, pharmacists, architects, and veterinary surgeons enjoy automatic recognition of their qualifications.

European Professional Card

The European Professional Card (EPC) allows five professions to have their qualifications recognised in an online procedure. The professions covered by the scheme are:

If your candidate holds a European Professional Card, you can check its validity in the European Professional Card database.

See also

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

You can also use the assistance service finder to find the right help for you.

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