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EU Citizens

Recognition Process

There are three main systems for the recognition of professional qualifications available under Directive 2005/36/EC, modified by Directive 2013/55/EU. These systems are as follows:

Automatic Recognition system

The automatic recognition of professional qualifications is available for seven professions: nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons. To work in another Member State, professionals should provide proof of their qualifications to the authority that oversees the profession in that country.

General system

The general system of recognition enables workers to have their professional qualification recognised in another EU country.

The host country:

  • recognises qualifications when the professional’s qualification is no more than four levels below the level required in the host country.
  • grants recognition to workers whose profession is not regulated in the country of origin but who have worked full-time in that profession for one year.
  • may impose compensation measures such as an adaptation period of up to three years or an aptitude test under certain conditions.

Recognition of Professional Experience

In some sectors, including craft, commerce or industry, professionals may qualify for the automatic recognition of professional qualifications in another EU country based on professional experience.

This can either be via automatic or mutual recognition.

  • Automatic recognition – applies on the basis of professional experience. A Certificate of Experience can be used for experience gained in the UK.
  • Mutual recognition – applies for qualifications on the basis of the general system.

If there are differences between the training acquired in your Home State (including your professional experience) and that required in the Host State, the competent authority may ask you to complete compensation measures – an adaptation period or aptitude test.

Professions not covered by Directives 2005/36/EC or 2013/55/EU

The following professions are covered under specific legislation and not Directive 2005/36/EC or Directive 2013/55/EU. These are:

  • Sailor
  • Seafarer
  • Statutory auditor
  • Insurance intermediary
  • Lawyer
  • Commercial agent
  • Some transport operators
  • Some professions handling toxic products