Last checked : 16/10/2018

Recognition of qualifications

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Are you recruiting staff who obtained their qualifications in another EU country 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 practise it.

As recognition of professional qualifications is mandatory for certain professions, your employees must consult the database of regulated professions 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 by the national assistance centre for professional qualifications 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 qualification.

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.

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