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including hands-on report and interview with Claudia Mayer, former project manager of the course “International bridge training seminar for social work in Bavaria”

International bridge training seminar for social work

Academic adaptation measure leads to formal recognition of social work degrees acquired abroad

Starting position/challenge

Since 2012, holders of a foreign degree in the regulated profession of social pedagogy are entitled to a formal recognition procedure of their qualifications. Corresponding German professions can be social work or social pedagogy. However, major differences usually still have to be compensated to obtain formal recognition. Until September 2014, applicants in Bavaria did not have the option to meet the compensatory requirements by applying for an adaptation period. The Network IQ Bavaria responded to this challenge.

In close collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, such as the Institute for Continuing Education and Training of the KSH, the State Conference of Deans for Social Work in Bavaria, the State Recognition Centre for Social and Childhood Educators, and the Office for Migration and Housing of the State Capital Munich, an academic adaptation measure has been implemented for the first time, leading to formal recognition of the foreign degrees.

Implementation of the job training

From the outset, KSHʼs project managers have worked closely with the involved participants to offer and implement the new two-semester, “International bridge training seminar for social work in Bavaria”, tailored to the needs of applicants. It consists of five modules, which must be completed according to the compensatory requirements of the applicants. Each module is completed with a performance certificate. The graduates present the final certificates at the state recognition office, which then provides formal recognition. The modules consist of a practical module with a social-pedagogical internship over several months, as well as modules on theoretical, legal and administrative foundations of social work. Other core areas are social management, taking into account the institutional requirements, as well as other subjects such as pedagogy and sociology. Technical terminology units are integrated into all modules so that knowledge of work-related German can also be continuously improved.


Since the measure has been started, 179 participants have registered and more than 100 participants have successfully completed the adaptation measure and achieved formal recognition of their foreign qualifications. Many participants have already found a job that matches their skill level.

This success is due to the fact that the bridge training seminar offers an academic adaptation measure at the level of a Bachelorʼs degree. In addition, an offer was created which is geared to the individual needs of the participants.

Addressees for transfer:

State Recognition Centres for Social Educators, Universities for Social Work or Social Pedagogy

Job training “Bridge training seminar for social work”:

Two-semester extra-occupational course for social pedagogues during their recognition procedure, depending on compensatory requirements. Individual selection of up to five modules (full-time internship over several months, theoretical, legal and administrative foundations as well as social management and pedagogy or sociology of social work with integrated technical terminology units).


International bridge training seminar for social work in Bavaria

Implementing organisation:

Catholic foundation college Munich: Katholische Stiftungshochschule München (KSH)

Project managers in Network IQ:

Carolina Espitia Gascon, Preysingstr. 83, 81667 Munich, Tel.: +49 (0)89 48092-1420, carolina.espitiagascon(at)