The recognition process can be broken down into the phases "orientation", "implementation" and "use on the labour market". Various players are involved in each phase.
There are four ways of orienting yourself in the recognition business - whether before, during or after the application.
Self-information means that someone who wants to have his or her profession recognised researches independently - for example, for the legal foundations or the competent office. The online portal for self-information: Recognition in Germany The portal Recognition in Germany ["Anerkennung in Deutschland"] offers extensive information on the subject of recognition. Especially useful: In the recognition finder ["Anerkennungs-Finder"] you enter information such as your profession and where you live and see immediately what you have to do for recognition and where you have to go.
In the initial consultation, you receive basic and legal information. Furthermore, the advisors help to find the local competent centre for your own profession.
Players in initial consultation
IQ Initial Contacts
The initial contacts in the "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" support programme provide personal advice all over Germany. You will find a local initial contact on our interactive map.
"Living and Working in Germany" hotline / Leben und Arbeiten in Deutschland
The "Living and Working in Germany" hotline provides telephone advice in German and English on all immigration matters, including professional recognition. The hotline is available Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 to 15:00 on the number +49 30 1815 – 1111.
ZAB Central Point for the Foreign Education Centre / Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen
The ZAB is the contact point for people who are still abroad and want to make their application for equivalence from there.
Further advice centres
Advice centres, such as the Young Migration Services (JugendmigrationsdiensteJMD) or advisors in immigrant organizations provide information about the options of professional recognition if it makes sense for the person seeking advice.
The initial consultation helps you to make the application for recognition. The advisors also provide information on the individual process for the professions concerned.
Players in initial consultations: the competent centres
The initial consultation is provided by the competent centre. The competent centre is the institution that oversees training and the practice of the profession concerned in Germany, for example the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, one of the chambers of trade or the doctors' professional body. To find the competent centre for a specific profession, use the recognition finder in the "Recognition in Germany" portal.
This is about advice on all matters concerning labour market integration. The job centres and the agencies for employment are responsible. Both institutions also give advice on professional recognition where it makes sense for integration in the labour market.
This is where the actual administrative act takes place: The application for recognition is placed. The competent centre first of all checks the application requirements, then the equivalence of the foreign qualification with a German reference profession. In the end, the competent centre issues a decision. Possible results are full or partial equivalence with the German profession or rejection of the application. Read more about the recognition process here. To find the competent centre for a specific profession, use the recognition finder in the "Recognition in Germany" portal.
Two information portals support the competent centres in the recognition process:
The information portal for foreign vocational training (BQ Portal) offers profiles on vocational training systems in 60 countries, more than 660 profiles of foreign vocational qualifications. The portal thus supports the competent centres in the field of the chambers, especially in the equivalence test.
The online database anabin (in German) provides information about the individual university qualifications, educational institutions and school-leaving qualifications from more than 180 countries, thus facilitating the evaluation of foreign education certificates.
The recognition process is complete, the decision has been issued. Who does it benefit specifically on the labour market?
In regulated professions, the recognition of foreign qualifications is essential for being able to practice the profession or use a certain job title. The recognition decision therefore formally gives people with such a qualification the opportunity to work in Germany in the profession in which they have trained. But even someone who has a qualification in a non-regulated profession often increases his or her opportunities of a job appropriate to their training and salary grouping in the collective bargaining agreements.
With the equivalence decision companies have a guide to where the people can be deployed. This helps in recruitment, but also in staff development, for example.
Further training providers can use the equivalence decision to assess which skills are still lacking for achievement of full equivalence or to ensure entry to the German labour market. On this basis, you can develop individually suitable adjustment training schemes and funding instruments.
The IQ support programme already offers training schemes in the context of the recognition process. It tries out and develops model approaches in this new area of demand that only came about with the recognition legislation of 2012.
IQ training advice helps people to find the right training scheme.