If you are seeking recognition for the purpose of establishment, there are three main systems for the recognition
of professional qualifications available under
Directive 2005/36/EC, as amended 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
general system of recognition enables workers to have their professional qualification recognised in another
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
- may grant partial access, so long as the professional is fully qualified and requires full training to .access the profession, which has separate activities from those of the profession in the host Member state.
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
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
measures – an adaptation period or aptitude test.
If you feel you are being treated unfairly during the recognition process, you have the right to appeal. The UK’s
transposition of Directive 2005/36/EC outlines the
appeals process in the UK.