Recognition statistics 2018

In this section the BQ-Portal provides an overview of the success rates of applications for professional recognition by professional groups, professions, regions and countries. Full equivalence is the most common outcome of the equivalence reviews in 2018.

More than 28.700 applications for recognition of foreign professional qualifications were processed in 2018 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 practicing 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 attested in 2018. Only 2.0 % of the applicants received a negative ruling. 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, though, very high. They make up 52,5% of most professions.

The BQ-Portal provides an overview of the success rates of applications for professional recognition by professional groups, professions, regions and countries.


Regulated professions: In order for these occupations to be exercised a full equivalence is required. This is primarily the case in health professions (e.g. doctors, general care nurses etc.) and regulated master craftsman occupations. About three quarters (78%) 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 22% of the recognition procedures are concerned with non-regulated professions. In case it is not possible to grant full equivalence, a partial equivalence is attested. 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. 

Anerkennungstatistik nach Berufsgruppen 2018 Teaserbild EN
The share of those granted full equivalence varies widely by individual professions and by professional groups. The proportion of applicants who received full equivalence is especially high in the sales sectors. It reaches 82%. The success rate in the informatics, information and communication technology sector is, on the contrary, extremely low.
Anerkennungstatistik nach Berufen 2018 Teaserbild EN
In terms of individual professions, the recognition rate in Germany diverges widely. Almost 90% of applicants who wish to work as seller receive full equivalence. In most professions, the share of those granted full equivalence varies from 40% to 80%.
Anerkennungsstatistik nach Regionen 2017_Teaserbild
The success rate differs depending on the region where the foreign professional qualification was obtained. The success rate for EU member states is the highest.
Anerkennungstatistik nach Ländern 2018 Teaserbild EN
The success rate differs depending on the country, in which the applicants were trained. Recognition rates tend to be higher in the geographically and culturally closer countries than in the more remote countries.
Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Berufe 2016 EN
The most applications for recognition processed in 2018 were filed by the Syrians. The majority of recognition notifications were issued for doctors. A much lower number of recognition notifications concerned dentists, pharmacists, general nurses and office clerks. For most professions, the number of applications is between 30 and 70.
Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Antragsländer 2016 EN
The majority of applications for recognition are filed by foreign general care nurses. Further professions we selected for a detailed overview are doctors, office clerks, electronics technicians and motor vehicle mechatronics technicians. The range of countries of origin is enormous. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked first with 2.004 applications processed.