The “Recognition in Germany” portal provides information on how foreign professional and vocational qualifications can be recognised in Germany. Those seeking advice on the website are able to take advantage of a special service which guides them to the authority or chamber responsible for the occupation in question via a few clicks of the mouse.
The “Law to improve the assessment and recognition of professional and vocational education and training qualifications acquired abroad” (referred to in abbreviated form as the “Recognition Act”) has been in force in Germany since 1 April 2012. It standardises and extends the procedures for the evaluation of foreign professional and vocational qualifications at federal level. Relevant federal state legislation is in place for occupations governed by federal state law.
Cameroon-born Michelle-Ange Monteu (34) is an anaesthetist. She studied medicine in Mali, where she also worked as a doctor for a number of years before love brought her to Germany six years ago. When the new Recognition Act entered into force in April 2012, she was finally able to get her career properly back on track. Following an intensive specialist language course and a preparation course for the equivalence assessment procedure, she received her licence to practice in November 2012 and now works in a hospital in Mannheim. “There are great opportunities for me in Germany”, she says.
Many other skilled workers with foreign qualifications are able to benefit from the statutory recognition regulations in the same way as Michelle-Ange Monteu. The Federal Government Recognition Act has been in force since 1 April 2012. It standardises and extends the procedures for the evaluation of foreign professional and vocational qualifications at federal level. The Act covers the dual training occupations, master craftsman occupations, other advanced training qualifications and further occupations regulated by professional laws such as doctor or lawyer. Relevant federal state legislation is in place for occupations governed by federal state law (e.g. teacher, medical specialist, architect, social education worker).
The Federal Government has created a series of support measures to ensure the successful implementation of the law. The main information portal to accompany the Recognition Act is “Recognition in Germany” and mainly acts as a guide. In Germany, there is no single national agency responsible for processing applications. The relevant competent body depends on place of residence and follows a different system according to occupation and federal state.
A practical online tool in the form of a “Recognition Finder” shows the address of the competent body for the occupation in question via just a few clicks of the mouse.
Visitors to the portal can enter their occupation into the “Recognition Finder” and use the occupational profile displayed to investigate the German qualification that is a match for the qualification acquired abroad. In order to identify the competent body to which an application should be submitted, users are asked to enter their (preferred) place of residence in Germany. A few clicks later, the site shows the address to which application for an equivalence assessment procedure should be made. The portal’s database current contains more than 1,500 contact addresses for the recognition procedures of occupations governed at both Federal Government and federal state level. A summary of all the important information for making an application, such as what documentation is needed, is also provided. The service is available in German and English. An “Advanced Filter” is now also in place. This is mainly aimed at specialist advisory staff and now provides an even more convenient and differentiated way of searching by competent body and occupation.
The “Recognition in Germany” portal is operated by BIBB on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is financed within the scope of the “Integration through training – IQ” funding programme sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Employment Agency.