Basic Principles

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. For a list of professions that are regulated in Germany, see "File Download (s)". You can also search the European Commission's database for regulated professions in the Member States.

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. For a list of all training occupations in Germany, please refer to "File download (s)".

As a legal framework for professional recognition, the Professional Qualification Law (BQFG) is used in addition to professional regulations. It applies to professions in the federal area of competence. For nationally regulated professions, the BQFG NRW is valid in NRW.


The recognition procedure



School and academic recognition

Foreign university degrees that do not lead to a regulated profession do not regulate the Federal Recognition Act. Graduates of these courses can apply directly to the German labour market. However, in order to have better career opportunities in Germany, you have the opportunity to have your university degree evaluated by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

Foreign nationals with foreign qualifications are directly consulted by the German University of their choice to check the eligibility of higher education. The Central certificate recognition office at the Düsseldorf district government examines the recognition of the university entrance

  • German nationals with foreign educational qualifications who wish to study or work in North Rhine-Westphalia and
  • Foreign nationals with foreign educational qualifications who have their German principal residence or Have their job in North Rhine-Westphalia and apply for a recognition of the university entrance for purposes other than the admission of a university degree.

The recognition of study and examination services usually take the universities. For nationwide numbers of clausus subjects, the evaluation is carried out via the Foundation for University admission. The conduct of an academic degree is regulated by the national law. Information is provided by the Ministry of Science and Culture NRW.

The recognition of foreign vocational school and technical qualifications is carried out in NRW by the district governments. The jurisdiction depends on the country in which the financial statements were acquired. Information can be found here.

For the recognition of the equivalence of foreign certificates with a general German middle school graduation (secondary school graduation and intermediate maturity), the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is the centre of recognition for medium-sized Education at the District government of Cologne.