Last checked : 19/10/2018

What is a regulated profession

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:

As a general rule, a profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree to access the profession, sit special exams such as state exams and/or register with a professional body before you can practise it.

If your profession is regulated in the EU country where you want to practise, you may need to apply to get your professional qualification recognised there.

Regulated professions differ across the EU. Check the regulated professions database to find out if your profession is regulated in the EU country you are moving to.

How to use the regulated professions database

If the profession you want to exercise does not appear, it may mean that it's not regulated in the country you are moving to.

If you don't find any information about your profession in the database, you can ask the national contact points for professional qualifications in the country where you want to work. They can help you understand the rules which apply in your case.

Specific EU rules apply to the recognition of professional qualifications of certain sectors such as lawyers, air traffic controllers, pilots, etc..

Check if you need to apply for recognition of professional qualifications and what type of application you need to submit.

 

Did you obtain your professional qualification from an EU country?

 

What is your situation?

 

If you have obtained your qualification from a non-EU country and you want to work in an EU country, you need to get it recognised in the EU country where you want to work. In this case, your application for professional recognition is subject to national rules.

If you want to move to another EU country and you have already worked for at least 3 years in the EU country that has first recognised your qualifications, you can apply for professional recognition in another EU country under the rules that apply to professionals that have received their qualification from an EU country.

To prove that you have the necessary experience to exercise your profession, you may need a certificate issued by the EU country that first recognised your qualifications. This applies to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens.

 

As a doctor, nurse for general care, midwife, dental practitioner, pharmacist, architect and veterinary surgeon, you enjoy automatic recognition of your professional qualification. You will need to submit proof of your qualification and wait for permission from the authorities before you can start working.

If your training doesn't meet the minimum requirements for your degree in the host country, you may not benefit from automatic recognition and you will need to apply for professional recognition following the procedure for other regulated professions.

In addition to your professional certificates, you may need to submit other supporting documents to the competent authorities depending on your profession and the country you are moving to.

Once the relevant national authorities receive your documents, they:

If you are a nurse responsible for general care or a pharmacist, you can use the European Professional Card (EPC) – a quicker and easier electronic procedure - to submit your documents, keep track of your online applications and re-use documents previously uploaded.

The authorities in your new country can't require sworn translations of your qualifications.

Sample story

Knowing your rights can help you avoid red tape

Katarina is a pharmacist from Slovakia and would like to work in Austria. The Austrian authorities ask her to provide sworn translations (provided by an Austrian translator) of all her supporting documents.

But Katarina cannot be required to provide sworn translations of her diplomas. For several categories of diploma - doctor, nurse for general care, midwife, veterinary surgeon, dental practitioner, pharmacist, and architect - sworn translations are not required.

You may be required to sit a language test or become a member of the professional association in your host country before you can start practising your profession there.

 

 

You don't need to request permission or start any administrative procedure. You can practise your profession in your new EU country under the same conditions as the nationals of that country.

Your profession may not be regulated as such but be considered part of another regulated profession.

Always check with the national authorities of your new country if your profession is regulated there or not. The national contact point for professional qualifications will help you identify the authority that can give you this information.

Sample story

Piotr, an ambulance nurse from the Czech Republic is moving to Germany and wants to continue practicing his profession there. When he checked the professional database, Piotr didn't find his profession listed and thought that it may not be regulated in Germany. However, when he contacted the German authorities responsible for the recognition of professional qualifications, he was told that the qualifications required for an ambulance nurse in Germany form part of the paramedic profession. As Piotr doesn't have the necessary qualification in this area, he needs to undertake a traineeship before he can start working.

 

 

You need to apply for recognition of professional qualifications in your new country before you can practise.

Check what documents you need to submit when applying for the recognition of your professional qualification.

If you are a physiotherapist, a mountain guide, or a real estate agent, you can use the European Professional Card – a quicker and easier electronic procedure - to submit your documents, keep track of your online applications and re-use already documents previously uploaded.

You may be asked to sit a language test or become a member of a professional association in your host country before you can start practising.

Always check with the national authorities of your new country if your profession is regulated there or not. The national contact point for professional qualifications will help you identify the authority that can give you this information.

Sample story

Dirk is a young Dutch real estate agent who recently moved to Austria. As his profession is not regulated in the Netherlands, he expected to set up his business as an independent real estate agent in Austria without having to complete any administrative procedures. When registering as a self-employed person, however, he was told that he would need to have his qualifications recognised in order to be allowed to practise as a real estate agent in Austria. This slowed down his plans considerably.

 

You don't need to apply for recognition of professional qualifications except for professions having health and safety implications. However, your may need to submit a prior written declaration (paper or electronic) in the country you're going to before you can practise your profession.

To get your qualifications recognised in your new country, you will need to prove that you have exercised your profession in your home country for at least 1 year during the last 10 years.

If your regulated profession is related to health and safety and you don't benefit from automatic recognition, the competent authorities in your host country may check your professional qualifications before you start working. In this case, you will have to wait for formal authorisation before you can practise your profession.

You may need to renew your declaration once a year if you intend to continue providing temporary services in the same host country.

To find out if this is required check with the contact point for professional qualifications in the host country.

Check what else you may need before you submit your written declaration.

You may be asked to sit a language test or become a member of a professional association in your host country before you can start practising.

Sample story

Risto is a Finnish architect who is planning to move to Italy. Before leaving, he checks in the regulated professions database what formalities are required to start working there and the Italian contact point for his profession. After talking to them, he is now well prepared for his move.

 

FAQs

EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Share this page: