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including hands-on report and interview with Gülsah Tunali, project manager at IQ consult of the Network IQ North-Rhine-Westphalia

IQ counselling in Integration Points

Interlinked advice for refugees in a central contact point

Starting position/challenge

People who have sought asylum are often unfamiliar with the bureaucracy, counselling and social security systems in Germany. The path to labour market integration often poses numerous hurdles due to a challenging bureaucracy and an unclear support landscape. In order to meet these challenges, all support services for refugees required for integration into training and work have been offered under one roof in all agency districts of the Federal Employment Agency (Job Centres and Employment Agency) in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in accordance with the logic of the “One-Stop Government“ since 2016. In the “Integration Points” of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), people seeking advice are supported by IQ recognition and qualification counselling alongside the employment agency, the job centres and the social and youth welfare offices. In this way, recognition procedures and qualification processes can be accelerated and accompanied more efficiently. The state-wide introduction of the Integration Points in NRW ensures that the advisory services are available to the target group throughout the state.

Implementation of the strategic approach

After many years of good cooperation, in 2015 the Regional Directorate NRW (RD) of the Federal Employment Agency and the regional Network IQ NRW developed the idea of a sustainable cooperation within the framework of the Integration Points. The two institutions agreed on the common goal of accelerating the labour market integration of refugees through local and substantive cooperation. In addition, there were important synergy effects between the IQ projects and the other players in the Integration Points. Five permanent IQ counselling centres are located in the Integration Points in Duisburg, Bielefeld, Minden/Herford, Detmold and Bonn. Further Integration Points in all agency districts are supported by two mobile IQ counselling teams upon request. The central and integrated counselling and support of refugees under one roof by the participating players, creates a transparent interlocking and bundling of all offers and measures. Thereby, existing qualifications and competences can be identified and supported from an early stage.


The location of IQ counselling centres in the Integration Points creates short distances for refugees. The close cooperation of the relevant players accelerates procedures and facilitates networking in the interest of the refugees. In addition, process chains are initiated that successfully lead to professional recognition and further training. In 2016 and 2017, a total of 4,100 initial counselling sessions were held for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications and over 1,300 initial counselling sessions for adaptation or bridge trainings. The mobile team provides counselling to about 250 to 300 people each year at the Integration Points.


Addressees for transfer:

Employment agencies and job centres, counselling centres for refugees, project coordinators. 

Strategic approach of counselling on the recognition of foreign credentials in the Integration Points:

IQ offers counselling on the recognition of foreign credentials for refugees in central contact points (“Integration Points”) in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In these Integration Points, immigration authorities, employment agencies and job centres, youth welfare officers, employer and employee services as well as civil society organisations offer all necessary support services for the integration into the labour market under one roof. The IQ counselling in the Integration Points is characterised by short distances, synergy effects and networking and cooperation structures of the various players.


Counselling on the recognition of foreign credentials in the Integration Points of the Federal Employment Agency (BA)

Implementing organisation:

Subprojects of the Network IQ North Rhine-Westphalia

Project contact:

Rolf Göbels, West German Chambers of Crafts and Skilled Trades’ Council, Volmerswerther Straße 79, 40221 Düsseldorf, Tel.: 0211 3007760, rolf.goebels(at) 


An overview of IQ counselling for the Intergation Points can be found at