Recognition statistics 2019

In this section the BQ-Portal provides an overview of applications for professional recognition. Full equivalence is the most common outcome of the equivalence reviews in 2019.

More than 34.600 applications for recognition of foreign professional qualifications were processed in 2019 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 2019. Only 2.6 % 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 high, at 50,2%. You can find a detailed analysis of recognition statistics 2019 at Anerkennung in Deutschland.

The BQ-Portal provides an overview of applications for professional recognition by countries and professions.


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 (79%) 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 21% 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.

Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Berufe 2016 EN
The rate of full equivalencies varies by profession. For the regulated professions, the rate of full recognition ranges from 25 to 65 percent, with the exception of veterinarian which has a success rate of 80 percent. Furthermore, the highest rate of full equivalence was issued for the non-regulated occupation of cook, at 83 percent. This is immediately followed by the occupations of electrical systems technician, technician for metal technology and hairdresser with over 60 percent.
Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Antragsländer 2016 EN
More than 70 percent of the recognition procedures for foreign professional qualifications obtained in EU member states end with a full equivalence. The positive recognition rate for the Netherlands is the highest as it reaches 94 percent. It is followed by Austria, Latvia, Hungary, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.