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UNESCO Regions

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I need professional recognition

Professional recognition is the recognition of a foreign qualification for the purpose of employment in a certain profession. The recognition of qualifications for professional (employment) purposes depends largely on whether the profession in question is regulated or is not regulated in the host country.

The profession is regulated if the national legislation of the host country stipulates that the take up or pursuit of this profession in question is subject, directly or indirectly, by virtue of laws, regulations or administrative provisions, to the possession of evidence of education and training (or an attestation of competence). It is up to each country, which professions it chooses to regulate.

If a profession is not regulated, formally a holder of a foreign qualification does not have to seek any recognition. It is the employer who takes the decision regarding employment of a holder of foreign qualification.

If a profession is regulated, the state nominates competent authorities, which take the decisions upon recognition of foreign qualifications for the purpose of take up and pursuit of the profession in question. In order to work in a regulated profession with foreign qualifications one must apply for the recognition of these qualifications by a competent authority.

Further information

The ENIC-NARIC national information centre (see the list of countries to the right column) should be able to assist you or to direct you to the appropriate source of information.

According to theDirective 2005/36/EC, within the EU countries there are national contact points that can give you information on the recognition of your professional qualifications and 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 more detailed information on professional recognition procedures in other countries, please visit the UNESCO Regions section of the present website and/or contact directly the national authority of the country concerned.

See also:

List of information points for professional recognition in the EU member states, the EEA countries and Switzerland

Eures - The European JobMobility Portal

Europass documents