You would like to know what "compensation measure" or "qualification analysis" mean. These and other definitions you can find here.

A recognition process, formally known as equivalence assessment process, is the comparison of a foreign professional qualification with a German reference qualification. The assessment is conducted by the competent bodies based on applicable legal regulations (e.g. the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act or the Federal Expellee Law) and fixed criteria (such as content, duration, or places of study during the time of training, as specified in the training regulations). In accordance with the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, the foreign professional qualification is compared with its current German equivalent.

The recognition process generally consists of two stages: the formal and the individual evaluation. The formal evaluation is sometimes sufficient for determining equivalence. In such cases, an official recognition notification is issued stating that the foreign professional qualification is equivalent to the German reference qualification. If it is not possible to determine equivalence based on formal qualifications alone, the individual evaluation will take additional evidence of training and relevant work experience into consideration.

Further information on the recognition process

BMWK is the abbreviation for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

BQFG is the German abbreviation for the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (Berufsqualifikationsfeststellungsgesetz). This law is part of a larger federal law generally referred to as the “Recognition Act” which was designed to facilitate the assessment and recognition of foreign professional qualifications. In addition to the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, the Recognition Act contains provisions for amendments to laws and regulations concerning specific professions (i.e. sectoral laws).

Compensation/adaptation measures are adjustment qualification programs aimed at compensating for training, skills and knowledge deficits determined in the assessment process, in result of which only partial equivalence was granted. The completion of a compensation measure enables an applicant to obtain full equivalence.

Foreign skilled workers are persons living in Germany who obtained their technical, vocational or academic qualification outside of Germany. They may be citizens of Germany or another country.

Final examination in a German apprenticeship qualification after extensive professional experience in this area without completing the apprenticeship. The decision on admission to the external examination is made on an individual basis, thus the competent bodies require, in addition to a curriculum vitae, employment contracts, references, certificates, etc. Participation in an external examination is subject to a fee, the amount of which depends on the respective qualification.


In the formal check, a foreign vocational qualification is compared to a corresponding German qualification; the check is based on a fixed set of criteria, such as content, duration of training, or places of study.

A formal check may be sufficient for determining that a foreign qualification is equivalent to a German reference qualification. If this is the case, the foreign qualification will be recognised as equivalent. If the qualification is not deemed to be fully equivalent, the person’s individual qualifications will be considered, e.g. work experience and advanced training.

If a formal check establishes that a qualification is not fully equivalent, or if it is impossible to evaluate the qualification on a formal basis, e.g. because the information available is insufficient, the formal check will be followed by an individual check. The individual check will consider relevant work experience and additional evidence of training, or it may refer to the results of a qualification analysis.

The BQ-Portal is an intelligent system, meaning an IT system that is continuously expanded by its users and adapted to their requirements. The users actively contribute to the build-up of information on foreign professions and countries – by creating new content or by adding to, commenting on or editing existing content. In addition, they report the results of assessment processes in a password-protected area of the website. The portal provides users with an opportunity to give feedback in order to ensure that it is also technically adapted to their specific needs.

Non-academic qualifications are technical or vocational qualifications, such as those obtained through apprenticeships, training as a master craftsman or engineer, or technical training.

The second-chance qualification is aimed at untrained people with sufficient work experience and leads to a state-recognized professional qualification.

Professional chambers are what are known as “public, self-regulatory organisations.” They are responsible for their own administration and represent the interests of their respective professions. Germany has various professional chambers:

  • For industrial professions: chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of trade
  • For liberal professions: chambers and associations of liberal professions (e.g. for doctors, lawyers or psychotherapists)
  • For agricultural professions: chambers of agriculture

Among other responsibilities, the chambers are in charge of training and evaluation in their particular professions, and thus also of the recognition and assessment of the corresponding foreign qualifications.

These are professions for which there are no state regulations to be allowed to practise the profession. It is therefore possible to work in these professions without a professional license. These include, for example, all dual training programs. The recognition of such professions is therefore voluntary in most cases. An exception is made for persons who come to Germany within the framework of the Skilled Workers Immigration Act (FEG). 

The qualification analysis is one of the “other assessment methods” which may be conducted in accordance with Section 14 of the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act if an applicant cannot provide the necessary documentation of his or her professional qualifications obtained abroad, or if the evidence is incomplete. The analysis may also be used if the documentation and information subsequently provided by the applicant upon request is not sufficient or if there is doubt that it is genuine or correct, or if the applicant’s identity is uncertain.

The qualification analysis will look at the applicant’s skills, abilities and knowledge with regard to the profession they wish to work in. This may be done through specialised discussions or work samples, for example. The results will be documented in a qualification report and will form part of the equivalence assessment. The NetQA project is a cooperation between different competent authorities for this purpose.

The reference qualification is the current corresponding German qualification (e.g. vocational training regulations for a recognised vocation of the dual training system) used for comparison when assessing the equivalence of a foreign professional qualification.

Regulated professions are professions for which legal or administrative regulations – directly or indirectly – require a specific qualification in order to be admitted into the profession or to be allowed to practise the profession. In Germany, this applies to those working in the fields of medicine and law as well as to teachers in state schools and to public-sector workers. Specific requirements must be met for employment in these areas.

Partial qualifications are separate modules of vocational training. They provide opportunity to gradually acquire professional knowledge and skills step by step. After completing the separate modules, the external examination can be taken at the chamber.

Competent body is an authority responsible for processing the recognition procedure in Germany. The chambers of crafts are e.g. responsible for carrying out the recognition in the field of skilled crafts.