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Assessment procedure – professional recognition

Recognition procedures for the purpose of employment in a certain profession depend largely on whether the profession in question is regulated or is not regulated in the host country.

If a profession is not regulated, you do not formally have to seek recognition to work in that occupation (unless it is a specific requirement for visa purposes). It is the employer who takes the decision regarding your employment. 

If a profession is regulated, the state nominates competent authorities for the recognition of foreign qualifications for professional (employment) purposes. In order to work in a regulated profession with foreign qualifications, one must apply for the recognition of these qualifications by the designated competent authority.


What to expect

You will be required to provide a number of documents (originals or photocopies) and possibly to have some of them translated. Before the assessment you will be informed:

  • how much the evaluation will cost (if there is a fee for the service);
  • how long the examination of your credentials will take (several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your file and regulations in place);
  • what type of document (for example a full equivalency, or a comparative report) you will obtain as a result of the assessment;
  • how you can appeal the decision if you are not satisfied with the evaluation.


What to avoid

  • Do not send any documentation (by email, regular mail, or fax) until and unless you have consulted with the competent authority in advance. The documents required may not be the ones you think, or the agency you are sending them to may not be the appropriate one. This way, you will save time, money and a possible loss of important and confidential documents.
  • Do not have any document translated on your own until you have been informed that such a translation is needed and how to proceed with this. This way, you will avoid possible unnecessary expenses.
  • Do not provide original documents. In most cases, duly certified copies are sufficient. In case of doubt, you may be required to show the original documents - but do not send them by mail.

For detailed information regarding the professional recognition procedure in the host country, please contact the designated assistance centres:

  • The ENIC-NARIC national information centre  (see the list of countries) can assist you or direct you to the appropriate source of information. You can also find information on policies and procedures for the recognition of qualifications in each ENIC-NARIC country page.
  • In accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC (last amended by Directive 2013/55/EU) all EU countries have assigned national contact points that can give you information on the recognition of your professional qualifications. They can also guide you through the administrative formalities you need to complete.
  • In order to know if a profession is regulated in a EU country, please visit the Regulated Professions Database. It contains information on the regulated professions covered by Directive 2005/36/EC, statistics on migrating professionals, contact points and competent authorities. This applies to professions regulated in the EU Member States, EEA countries and Switzerland.
  • For information on professional recognition procedures in other countries, please visit the Recognition Conventions section and/or contact directly the national authority of the country concerned.