Recognition notification

The recognition notification indicates the extent to which a foreign qualification corresponds to its German counterpart. Find out what partial, full or no equivalence mean.

Once all necessary documents have been submitted, the notification is issued, as a rule, within three months. This time period may be extended if further information on the contents or duration of the foreign professional training program is required.

The notification lists the foreign qualifications acquired by the applicant and determines whether there are any substantial differences to the corresponding German qualification. If this is the case, the notification will include a detailed description of these differences. Here you can find samples of the recognition notifications [in German].

The notification gives the results of the assessment process in the following terms:

Full equivalence

If the assessment authority is unable to establish any significant differences, the notification indicates the full equivalence of the foreign professional qualification to the German reference qualification.  The holder of the notification is then legally entitled to the same treatment and eligible for the same positions as skilled workers who have obtained the corresponding professional qualifications in Germany. Additionally, it facilitates admission to further education.

Partial equivalence

In this case, the notification includes a list of the applicant’s qualifications, competences, and skills and a detailed description of the significant differences between the foreign and the corresponding German qualification.  This will enable your company to decide whether the applicant’s qualifications are sufficient for your vacancy or whether you could offer the applicant specific training to make good any deficiencies.

Where the corresponding German qualification is regulated, the notification includes information on the formalized compensation measures (e.g. aptitude tests or adaptation period) required for the applicant to obtain full equivalence.

After completion of these measures a renewed application for the assessment process can be submitted.

No equivalence

If no equivalence between a foreign professional qualification and a corresponding German qualification is established, the application will be rejected and no description of the skills acquired will be given.

The submitted documents are not sufficient for the assessment process

Should the applicant’s documents not provide enough information for a review of equivalence, a qualification analysis may be performed. 

A qualification analysis is conducted under the following circumstances:

  • for reasons beyond his or her control the applicant cannot submit all of the documents required for the equivalency review
  • submission of the relevant documents would involve an unreasonable expenditure of time and effort.

The qualification analysis is performed in order to determine whether the applicant has the skills necessary for working in the relevant occupation or for carrying out essential tasks within the occupation. It can be performed by means of work samples, interviews, practical and theoretical examinations, and expert opinions.