Professional recognition

Those who have obtained their professional qualifications abroad can obtain the equivalence of their qualification with a German occupation or To be audited. For some professions, recognition is even mandatory in order to be able to work in Germany. It depends on the job.

In regulated professions, you need to recognise your professional qualifications for the pursuit of the profession or the professional title. Without recognition, you are not allowed to work in these professions with your professional qualification in Germany that you have acquired abroad. Occupations regulated in Germany include, for example, a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher, an educator and an engineer.

In non-regulated professions, recognition is not required for professional practice. In these professions you can apply and work directly on the labour market. However, an assessment of their degree may be helpful in making employers and companies understand their foreign qualifications. In addition, they have access to vocational training with a degree recognised as equivalent. In Germany, all so-called training occupations are not regulated, i.e. the professions that are trained in the dual system.

More information can be found here.


The starting point for the procedure for determining the equivalence of professional qualifications according to the BQFG is always the German occupation and not the profession of the home country. The equivalence of qualifications gained abroad is verified with a German reference qualification. In other words, it must first be clarified in which German profession you can work with your foreign professional qualification.

Since there is no central office in NRW to carry out the recognition procedures, the next step is to determine which institution is responsible for your reference profession. Then the application is submitted to the competent authority.

Information about the procedure can be found here.