Recognition statistics 2021

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 2021.

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.

Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Berufe 2016 EN
The rate of full equivalencies varies by profession. The success rate of positive recognition for the regulated professions is between 35 and 70 percent, except for the profession of general care and pediatric nurse, which has a low success rate of 24 percent. Furthermore, the proportion of decisions of full equivalence for the non-regulated occupation of cook is the highest at 86 percent. This is immediately followed by the occupations of elec-trician, industrial electrician, and metal technology specialist with over 70 percent.
Anerkennungsstatistik -ausgewählte Antragsländer 2016 EN
As in 2020, the most frequent applications come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is fol-lowed by the Philippines, Serbia, and Syria. The positive recognition rate in 2021 for Latvia with 94 percent is the highest. It is closely followed by the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, and Hungary, which also have positive recognition rates of over at 90 percent.