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GERMANY RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS

FACT SHEET
a) Introduction
The recognition of the professional qualifications acquired in the country of origin is often a
precondition to find a work of a comparable training level in Germany. If you have
completed a studies or a vocational course abroad and would like to work in Germany in the
profession for which you have been trained, it is important to determine whether the
qualification you have acquired abroad is recognized as equivalent to a German qualification
or is professionally recognized.
b) Responsible authoritie(s)
The International Placement Service (ZAV) within the Federal Employment Agency provides
recognition counselling with an aim to improve access to the German labour market for
foreign workers. The advisors of the ZAV International Placement Service will provide you
with information and advice in all matters regarding the recognition of your foreign
qualifications and the German job market.
Please call the Info Centre of the ZAV:
Telephone: 0228 713-1313
E-mail: zav-auslandsvermittlung@arbeitsagentur.de
The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) also offers a service for the evaluation of
certificates for private individuals with a foreign first degree since January 2010 (for a
charge).
The Data Base http://www.anabin.de/ i.e the segment Zustndige Stellen in Deutschland
provides an overview of the responsible authorities per each regulated profession.
c) How qualifications are assessed
First of all, it is necessary to determine if your university/academic degree gives access to a
regulated profession in Germany. An official recognition procedure is only necessary (and
possible) for regulated professions.
This Guide has been created as part of the Migration for Development in the Western Balkans
(MIDWEB) project, which received financial assistance from the European Commission IPA 2009
Multi-beneficiary Programme 2.

What is a regulated profession?


In Germany, there are about 60 regulated professions (e.g. physician, teacher, medical and
law professions). They are listed on the website http://www.anabin.de under the heading
Zustndige Stellen in Deutschland (responsible authorities in Germany). Access to, and the
right to practise, one of these professions is linked to the proof of a certain qualification
through legal and administrative prescriptions for regulated professions. Therefore,
whoever would like to practise a regulated profession in Germany with a qualification
gained abroad must have their qualification recognised by the responsible German
authorities or the corresponding professional association.
For information on the recognition procedures please refer to http://www.anabin.de, i.e.
the segment Zustndige Stellen in Deutschland which provides an overview of the
responsible recognition offices per profession.
A non-regulated profession?
Most professions in Germany are not regulated (e.g. mathematician, physicist, commercial
professions). This means that there is no statutory prescription on practicing the profession
and thus also no recognition procedure. In reality, the employer provides the recognition. It
is therefore recommendable to apply for a certificate evaluation, as it cannot absolutely be
guaranteed that a German employer will be able to assess every foreign qualification for a
course of study or professional competence.
The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) also offers a service for the evaluation of
certificates for private individuals with a foreign first degree since January 2010. The basis
for this service is the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher
Education in the European Region, the so-called Lisbon Recognition Convention. Even
applicants who did not receive their university degree in a signatory state of the Lisbon
Convention can benefit from this service.
Further information on fees and application procedures:
http://www.kmk.org/zab/zeugnisbewertungen.
d) How to apply
For recognition of regulated professions degrees, check directly with the responsible
authority for that profession (refer to the anabin database)

For a certificate of evaluation for non-regulated profession:


For this purpose, please send a letter to the Central Office for Foreign Education describing
your requirement and attach a copy of all documents related to the type, content and
progress of your academic studies, as well as about your final examinations. If you have
begun your studies in Germany, please also document this segment of your education.
Please send the letter and the documents to the following address:

Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)


Post office box 2240
53012 Bonn
The following criteria should be met:
o The submitted certificates have to be authentic. In case of justified doubts
about the authenticity of the certificates, ZAB reserves the right not to issue
the assessment of degree.
o The qualification has to be gained at an institution, which is recognized as a
university according to the relevant criteria of the country of origin.
o Regarding university degrees, which have been gained on the basis of crossborder cooperation i.e collaboration of several universities (so-called
Franchising) all participating institutions have to be recognized and
accredited in due form in accordance with the legislation of the country of
origin. Furthermore, these degrees have to correspond to the requirements
of all countries participating in the cooperation and have to be compatible
with
the
academic
legal
regulations
of
these
countries.
o Regarding university degrees from countries (in which the accreditation of
the degree program is compulsory) the completed degree program has to be
accredited.
In case of an existence of a double degree with participation of a German university, the
issuance of an assessment of degree is not necessary because a German degree already
exists.
Fees
Following fees are imposed for the assessment of a foreign university qualification:
100 for the issue of a (first) certificate
50 for the issue of each further certificate, if you wish several qualifications to be
assessed
50 for the reissue of a certificate (for example in the case of loss)

Request
Please use the online-application form for requesting an assessment of a degree. You will
receive it after you have completed the corresponding preliminary form via e-mail:
https://www.anabin.de/lissabon.
If you wish several university degrees to be assessed, please download a separate
application form for each degree. After you have received an e-mail, please complete the
entire form and send it electronically to the Central Office for Foreign Education. Afterwards
print it out and send it to the Central Office for Foreign Education together with the
documents available to:

Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)


PO Box 2240
53012 Bonn
e) Further information
Is the official recognition of the secondary school or university certificate a precondition
for application at German University?
In Germany, the universities are autonomous for the admission to university studies, Master
programmes or doctoral studies. Please contact the competent Akademisches
Auslandsamt (foreign students office) for further information. You will find a list of the
degrees offered at German universities on the website (http://www.hochschulkompass.de)
Skilled Trades and Crafts (Handwerke)
Skilled trades and crafts (Handwerke) are generally those occupations that either produce
individually manufactured products or provide customized services. These include over 100
different occupations in areas such as building and interior decoration, electrical and
metalworking, woodworking and plastic trades, clothing, textile and leather crafts, food
industry, health and body care, chemical and cleaning sector, and graphic design.
The skilled trades and crafts qualifications are acquired through vocational training. The
German vocational training system is a unique dual system combining theoretical training at
vocational schools with practical, on-the-job training under the supervision of master
craftsmen. The traditional titles of ''apprentice'', ''journeyman'', and ''master craftsman'' are
granted by and registered with the Chambers of Skilled Trades and Crafts
(Handwerkskammern) and their local trade guilds (Innungen).
The examinations for obtaining such titles are also administered by these associations. The
requirements that must be met in order to carry out some of the various crafts and trades in
Germany were liberalized in 2003. Therefore different recognition requirements apply:
For 41 regulated skilled trades/crafts, the German title ''master craftsman'' is still required
to carry out these occupations. This is because they involve areas that are sensitive to
people's health and safety. Please note that the recognition only applies to individuals from
other EU and EEA Member States. (the list of regulated skilled trades/crafts is available
under Recognition of Regulated Crafts at:
http://www.german-business-portal.info/GBP/Navigation/en/Work/professionalqualification,did=317044.html.)
The other skilled trades/crafts are not regulated. Although you do not have to have a master
craftsman's or any other title to carry out such work, you are entitled to acquire the master
craftsman title if you wish to do so. Because the master craftsman's title is still widely
regarded in Germany as certification of high quality, having it may play an important role in
your business's success. (The list of not regulated skilled trades/crafts is available under
Appendix B of List of German Crafts at:

http://www.german-business-portal.info/GBP/Navigation/en/Work/professionalqualification,did=317044.html.)
Some other isolated activities that are typically part of a regulated skilled trade/craft may
be carried out without the necessary master craftsman degree, provided that they are easy
to learn and are only secondary to the skilled trade/craft itself. In order to find out whether
this rule applies to your business activity, you can contact the local Chamber of Skilled
Trades and Crafts.
All members of the local Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts are registered in the Register
of Craftsmen (Handwerksrolle) available at:
http://www.zdh.de/index.php?id=56
f) Useful links
Institution

Role

The International Placement Service (ZAV) within


the Federal Employment Agency
Telephone: 0228 713-1313
zav-auslandsvermittlung@arbeitsagentur.de

Provides recognition counselling with


an aim to improve access to the
German labour market for foreign
workers.

The Data Base


http://www.anabin.de/

Provides an overview of the


responsible recognition authorities
per each regulated profession.

Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)


http://www.kmk.org/zab/zeugnisbewertungen
P. .O. Box 2240
D-53012 Bonn
Germany
Phone: +49 228 501 352, -264
Fax: +49 228 501 229
E-mail: zab@kmk.org
http://www.kmk.org/zab.html

Located in the General office of the


Standing Conference of Ministers of
Culture (KMK), also offers a service
for the evaluation of certificates for
private individuals with a foreign first
degree

Members of the local Chamber of Skilled Trades and


Crafts
http://www.zdh.de/index.php?id=56

All members of the local Chamber of


Skilled Trades and Crafts are
registered in the Register of
Craftsmen (Handwerksrolle)

The ENIC-NARIC Network (European Network of


Information Centres & National Academic
Recognition Information Centres)
Web: http://www.enic-naric.net/
Web Germany: http://www.enicnaric.net/index.aspx?c=Germany

Network of national information


centres providing advice on the
recognition of foreign diplomas,
degrees and other qualifications;
education systems in both foreign
countries and the ENICs own
country; opportunities for studying
abroad, including information on
loans and scholarships, as well as
advice on practical questions related
to mobility and equivalence.