More than 39,327 applications for recognition of foreign professional qualifications were processed in 2021 in Germany. The competent authorities responsible for the recognition procedure compare the applicant’s foreign qualification to the corresponding German qualification in order to determine their equivalence. The key criterion for granting equivalence is, that as a result of foreign vocational training, the applicant has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary for practicing this profession in Germany. In addition to formal learning outcomes, relevant work experience or other evidence of competence are taken into consideration.
In most cases, full or partial equivalence could be certified in 2021. Only 2 percent of the applicants received a negative decision. One has to bear in mind that partial equivalence is broadly defined and, thus, ranges from “only limited” to “large overlaps between the German and the foreign qualification”. The significant differences which can be compensated through a formalised additional training (compensation measures), vary accordingly. The share of those granted full equivalence is high, at 52 percent. You can find a detailed analysis of recognition statistics 2021 at Anerkennung in Deutschland.
The BQ-Portal provides an overview of applications for professional recognition by professions and countries.
Regulated professions: Full equivalence is required for these professions to be practiced. This is primarily the case in health professions (e.g., doctors, general care nurses etc.) and regulated master craftsman occupations. About three quarters of the recognition procedures deal with regulated professions. In case it is not possible to attest full equivalence, the assessment notification imposes compensation measures which have to be fulfilled in order to acquire full equivalence.
Non-regulated professions: These include occupations that require prior vocational and advanced training qualifications such as electronics technician, mechatronics technician, office clerk etc. About 27 percent of the recognition procedures concern non-regulated professions. In case it is not possible to grant full equivalence, a partial equivalence is certified. After the fulfilment of the imposed compensation measures full equivalence can be acquired.
Equivalence quotas: The equivalence evaluation 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 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. Therefore, the equivalence quotas in the recognition statistics base on mostly individual equivalence evaluations.