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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Automatic recognition

In the EU there is a system of automatic recognition of professional qualifications for seven sectoral professions: nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons.

How automatic recognition works

To work in another EU country, professionals must apply to the authority that oversees their profession in that country for the recognition of their qualifications.

To benefit from automatic recognition, professionals must obtain a diploma that complies with minimum training requirements under the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (2005/36/EC) and is listed in Annex V to this directive, as well as any other certificates listed in Annex V with regard to the profession in question. This particularly concerns documents certifying successful completion of professional traineeships and state exams. If only an academic diploma has been obtained, but not the respective accompanying certificates as listed in Annex V, there is no possibility of automatic recognition under Directive 2005/36/EC.

The authority must

  • acknowledge your application within one month of receiving it and ask you for missing, but necessary documents to process the application
  • assess your qualifications, and decide whether to grant your application within three months (or four months for specific cases stated below falling in the area of non-automatic recognition)

In case of disagreement, professionals can appeal to the court in the respective country. For the type of documents authorities may ask for, please see the code of conduct (3 MB).

Practical information on the seven sectoral professions