You're a trained professional from abroad with the certificates to show for it? You may need to get your qualifications recognised before you can take up your profession in Germany. Recognition of foreign professional qualifications simply means that the German state has confirmed that your qualification is equivalent to a comparable German professional qualification. This evaluation process is strictly regulated by the law.
Holding a recognised qualification can be helpful when searching for a job and may increase your chances on the labour market. In some cases, it's a prerequisite for being allowed to carry out your profession in Germany at all. Whether recognition is mandatory or not depends on whether your profession is classified as a regulated or non-regulated profession.
Many professions fall under the regulated profession category. If this your profession is regulated, then recognition of your foreign professional qualification is imperative. Only when your qualification has been recognised are you allowed to pursue your profession in Germany. A list of all regulated professions in Germany can be found in the Regulated Professions Database.
All professions that can be trained for within the German dual vocational training system are considered non-regulated professions. If you plan to carry out one of these professions, recognition is non-compulsory, but may enhance your chances on the German labour market. A list of all dual training occupations in Germany is available in the PDF file attached below.
The Counselling Centre for Recognition of Qualifications (ZAA)
If you're planning to get your foreign qualifications recognised in Germany, don't hesitate to contact the Counselling Centre for Recognition of Qualifications. This free service is there to answer any questions you might have related to the Recognition Act and organises trainings and special events. Their service range includes both personal and written consultations. Personal consultations are possible after previous appointment only.
All services of the Counselling Centre for Recognition of Qualifications are free of charge and confidential.
The ZAA is a project in the IQ Network Hamburg. The IQ Network Hamburg advises on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications, advises on the necessity of making an adaptation or post-qualification and offers qualification courses in order to balance out essential professional differences and achieve full recognition of foreign qualifications. The IQ Network Hamburg operates within the framework of the nationwide programme “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as well as the European Social Fund (EFS). The Hamburg network is coordinated by the social authority. You can find current information on how to reach us here.