Last checked : 18/10/2018

European Professional Card - EPC

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information

For the time being, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in and to the UK:

If your profession is regulated and you need to apply for the recognition of your professional qualifications, you may apply for recognition using the European Professional Card (EPC). The EPC is an electronic procedure you can use to have your regulated profession recognised in another EU country.

For the moment, you can use the EPC procedure only if you are:

Advantages of the European Professional Card

Your home country authorities will assist you with your application and check that it is correct and complete. They will also certify the authenticity and validity of your documents.

For any future applications, you won't have to upload your documents again.

If the host country authorities in charge of your application do not take a final decision within the set deadline, recognition will be granted automatically and you will be able to generate an EPC certificate from your online account.

If the authorities refuse to issue an EPC based on your application, they have to give you reasons and information on how to appeal this decision.

The EPC procedure is currently available only for a limited number of professions.

Check if you can apply with the EPC

 

Choose a situation

 

Did you obtain your professional qualification from an EU country?

 

Choose a situation:

 

You can't apply for an EPC. You need to use the standard application procedure.

 

You can apply for an EPC regardless of whether you want to provide your services permanently or temporarily in your host country.

The EPC procedure is easier and quicker to manage than the standard recognition procedure, and more transparent: you can keep track of your application online and re-use documents previously uploaded to start new applications for different countries.

The EPC is an electronically generated certificate, not a physical card. It is electronic proof that you have passed the professional qualifications administrative checking procedure and that you have met the conditions required to provide services temporarily or permanently in that country.

When an application is approved, you will be able to generate an EPC certificate in pdf format. It will include a reference number any prospective employer can use to check your EPC validity online.

If you are not sure whether you need to apply for an EPC for temporary mobility or establishment purpose, you can ask the national authorities.

If you plan to settle in the country long-term (establishment) you may also need to register with a professional body or undergo additional checks before starting to practise your profession. You can also check with the national authorities whether this is required in your case.

The EPC is optional so you can decide whether to use this procedure or use the standard (paper-based) procedure for professional recognition.

 

You can't apply for an EPC. You first need to have your qualifications recognised in one EU country and work there for at least 3 years before you can apply for an EPC.

You can apply for an EPC only if you are a nurse, a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, a mountain guide or a real estate agent. If you have a different profession, you must use the standard application procedure.

 

Applying for an EPC

To apply for an EPC, you need to:

Once the first application is submitted, you can no longer update your personal data (ID or passport number, your last name or nationality - which will appear on the certificate) yourself, but you will need to ask the authority handling your file to update these data.

For each application, both home country and host country authorities may charge fees to examine your file. If they do, you will receive a separate invoice from each authority.

Authorities may also ask you to provide certified copies of your documents if they can't verify their validity.

The EPC is valid:

If the host country authorities don't make a decision within the legal deadlines, your qualifications are tacitly recognised and you can generate an EPC certificate from your online account.

If the authorities reject your application, they have to explain why and how you can appeal.

Procedure and deadlines

What's your situation?

I am moving permanently and want to practice my profession in my host country

This is what happens once you have submitted your application:

  • within 1 week: your home country authority acknowledges receipt of your application, informs you if any documents are missing and any about fees they apply
  • your home country authority has up to 1 month to check your application and forward it to the host country
  • if you are a pharmacist or nurse and benefit from automatic recognition, the host country takes a final decision within maximum 2 months (1 month + two 2-week extensions)
  • if you don't benefit from automatic recognition, the host country takes a final decision within maximum 3 months (2 months + two 2-week extensions)
  • if the host country authorities find that your education, training and professional experience don't meet the standards required in that country, they could ask you to undergo an aptitude test or an adaptation traineeship.

I want to provide my services temporarily in my host country

This is what happens once you have submitted your application:

  • within 1 week: your home country authority acknowledges receipt of your application, informs you if any documents are missing, and about any fees they apply
  • authorities in the host country will also check your file if your profession could have an impact on public health and safety and you can't benefit from automatic recognition
  • if host country checks are not needed, your home country authority reviews your application and takes a final decision within maximum 3 weeks
  • if host country checks are needed, your home country authority has up to 1 month to review your application and forward it to the host country
  • the host country takes a final decision within maximum 3 months (2 months + two 2-week extensions).

If the authorities reject your application, they have to explain why and how you can appeal.

If the host country authorities find that your education, training and professional experience don't meet the standards required in that country, they could ask you to undergo an aptitude test or an adaptation traineeship.

If the host country authorities don't make a decision within the legal deadlines, your qualifications are tacitly recognised and you can generate an EPC certificate from your online account.

Check the EPC formalities in your country

Simulator

If the simulator doesn't offer you certain options, it means that the countries concerned have not yet provided the relevant information. You can still access the EPC procedure and submit an application; the authorities will inform you of the document requirements and fees

Your profession is not regulated in the host country
Information provided by national authorities is being processed

Access the EPC procedure

Let your employers check the validity of your EPC

Your employers, professional organisations, or other interested parties can verify online the validity of your EPC by using the reference number on your certificate.

To check your EPC, they will also need the personal identification data (ID or passport number) you provided when you submitted your application.

Check EPC validity

EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

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