Apply for recognition as a midwife with a professional qualification that is automatically recognised
The profession of midwife is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to work as a midwife in Germany, you need a state permit. With the permit, you are allowed to use the professional title "midwife" and work in the profession.
Even if you have a professional qualification from abroad, you can obtain a state permit from the competent authority in Germany. In order to obtain the permit, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.
In the recognition procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks its equivalence. In some cases, your professional qualification may be automatically recognised. This means that no equivalence test is carried out. It is assumed that the training is equivalent.
As a rule, your professional qualification is automatically recognised if you have obtained your professional qualification in a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. It depends on which state they completed their education in and when.
There may be other cases in which your professional qualification is automatically recognised. The competent authority will inform you. If your professional qualification is not automatically recognised, other rules apply.
You must also meet other requirements for the issuance of the permit. Other requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.
You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for permission to use the professional title "midwife" to the competent authority.
You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not ship originals. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you.
Examination of the application by the competent authority
The competent authority will check whether you meet all the requirements for the granting of permission to use the professional title "midwife". A prerequisite is that your professional qualification is recognized.
There are different cases in which a professional qualification can be automatically recognised. As a rule, this applies if you have acquired your vocational training in a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. The competent authority will inform you about the possibilities for automatic recognition. In the case of automatic recognition, the equivalence of your professional qualification is not checked individually. This means that if you also meet all other requirements (reliability, health suitability, German language skills), you will be granted permission to use the professional title "midwife".
Certificate of conformity for professional qualifications obtained before the EU/EEA accession of the country of training:
Vocational training from the EU or EEA can also be automatically recognised if it was started before the EU/EEA accession of your country of training (or does not correspond to the legal designations). To do this, you must submit a certificate from the competent authority of your country of training that your professional qualification meets the minimum standards of the EU ("certificate of conformity"). If your professional qualification does not meet the minimum standards, you will need to provide proof of your professional experience. You must have worked as a midwife in your country of origin for 3 years without interruption in the last 5 years prior to the application. This must be confirmed by the authority of your country of origin.
If your professional qualification is automatically recognised, you must also meet the other requirements. Then you will receive permission to use the professional title "midwife".
Who should I contact?
Seek personal advice from an IQ counselling centre on this procedure and your qualifications. The advisors will also help you with your documents before submitting your application. The consultation is free of charge.
If you are abroad: You can also use the hotline to reach the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA). This offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition process and carries out a location consultation.
Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family - Lüneburg Branch Office
- You have a professional qualification as a midwife, which is automatically recognised.
- You want to work as a midwife in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable to work as a midwife and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You can work mentally and physically as a midwife.
- You have German language skills at the required level. This is usually language level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Which documents are required?
The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are in general:
- Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed as a result of marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
- Proof of education
- Proof of your relevant work experience as a midwife
- Proof of other relevant knowledge for working as a midwife
- Maybe you don't live or work in the EU, EEA or Switzerland yet? Then you have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Evidence includes, for example, applications for a job, invitations to job interviews or personal statements
You only need to submit the following documents if your professional qualification originates from the EU or EEA and was completed before a certain date (cut-off date). The competent authority will inform you:
If there is no certificate of conformity:
Proof of the content and duration of your training (e.g. list of subjects and grades, study book, Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
- Certificate: You must have worked as a midwife continuously and lawfully for at least three years during the five years preceding the issue of the certificate. In some cases, you only need to provide proof of two years. It depends on your education. The competent authority will inform you.
You will usually submit these documents later. The competent authority will inform you when you should hand in the documents:
- Proof of your personal suitability: extract from the criminal record or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin. The proof must be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.
- Proof of your health suitability: Medical certificate. The proof must be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.
- Proof of your German language skills: Language certificate
The competent authority will inform you which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.
What are the fees?
The competent authority will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the amount of work involved.
In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There is no deadline.
Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents. As a result, the procedure may be prolonged.
Processing Time: 3 MonthsThe competent authority will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 3 months.
Applications / forms
- Forms: Forms can be obtained from the competent authority.
- Online procedure possible: Ask the competent authority whether you can submit the application online.
- Personal appearance required: no
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (e.g. lodge an appeal). The decision will then be reviewed. Details on this can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.
What else should I know?
Freedom to provide services
Do you only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? In this case, you usually do not need the state permit. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You will need to prove your professional qualification.
- You must report your activity in writing to the competent authority.
The competent authority will inform you.
Certificate of equivalence
In the licensing procedure, equivalence is also checked (recognition procedure). You can apply for a separate decision for the result of the examination.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can either go through the recognition procedure in accordance with the laws mentioned here or in accordance with the Federal Expellees Act. This is up to you. The competent authority will advise you on which procedure is right for you.
Reference dates according to Annex V.5 of Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (Professional Qualifications Directive)
Technically approved by
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Federal Ministry of Health
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.