Over 17.000 applications for recognition of foreign professional qualifications were processed in 2015 in Germany. The competent authorities responsible for the recognition procedure compare the applicants’ 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 practising that profession in Germany. In addition to formal learning outcomes, relevant work experience or other evidence of competence are taken into consideration.
In most of the cases, full or partial equivalence could be established. Only 2.6% of the applicants received a negative ruling. One has to bear in mind that partial equivalence is broadly defined and, thus, varies from only limited to large overlaps between the German and the foreign qualification. The significant differences, which can be compensated through the formalized additional training (compensation measures), vary accordingly. The share of those granted full equivalence is, though, very high. They make up 74% of all applicants.