Pharmacist with training from EU/EEA/Switzerland, professional qualification recognised
The profession of pharmacist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a pharmacist in Germany without restriction, you need a licence to practise medicine. The approbation is the state approval for the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a pharmacist without a licence to practise medicine.
Even with a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain a license to practice medicine in Germany.
In order to obtain the licence to practise medicine, 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. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the approbation.
A professional qualification from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland is usually automatically recognised when you apply for a licence to practise medicine. However, there may also be deviations from this rule. It depends on the state in which they completed their education and at what time. If you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your country of training, your professional qualification will be automatically recognised.
If your professional qualification does not originate from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, different regulations apply.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, 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 a licence to practise as a pharmacist with 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. The competent authority will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met.
As a rule, the automatic recognition procedure applies if you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your country of training. This means that if you also meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised without an individual equivalence test.
Vocational training that you started before the EU/EEA accession of your country of training (or that does not correspond to the legal designations) can also be automatically recognised. 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 pharmacist 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 competent authority of your country of origin.
If you are unable to provide a certificate of conformity or do not have enough professional experience, your training will need to be reviewed individually. The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. The competent authority will check whether your professional qualification is equivalent. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German professional qualification.
Possible results of the exam
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authority can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted a licence to practise as a pharmacist.
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Perhaps you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). You must provide proof of professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of the state in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.
However, it may not be possible to compensate for the essential differences by this knowledge. The competent authority will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the significant differences through your professional practice.
The decision from the competent authority also states the level of your training and the level required in Germany. In this case, you are not allowed to work as a pharmacist in Germany.
If your professional qualification is not equivalent and you cannot make up for the differences, you can take an aptitude test. The aptitude test examines the main differences between your professional qualifications. The aptitude test is an oral exam.
If you pass the aptitude test and meet all other requirements, you will be granted a licence to practise as a pharmacist.
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.
You can also call the hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The hotline will answer any questions you may have about working and living in Germany. Phone number: +49 30 1815-1111 Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (CET)
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.
- You have a professional qualification as a pharmacist from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You want to work as a pharmacist in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable to work as a pharmacist and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You can work mentally and physically as a pharmacist.
- You have German language skills at the required level. As a rule, these are general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and medical language skills at level C1.
Which documents are required?
The competent authority will inform 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 training
- Proof of the content of your training:
List of subjects and training hours you have completed
- Proof of your relevant professional experience as a pharmacist (e.g. job references)
- Information on whether you have already applied for a licence to practise medicine in Germany
- You don't live or work in Germany yet? Then you may need to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Evidence includes, for example, job applications, invitations to job interviews, personal statement
You only need to submit the following documents if your professional qualification was completed before a certain date (cut-off date). The competent authority will inform you:
If you do not have a 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 in accordance with § 4 paragraph 1b of the Federal Pharmacy Act that the applicant has carried out a pharmaceutical activity for at least three years without interruption during the last five years prior to the issuance of the certificate.
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 prerequisite for the licence to practise medicine is general German language skills at level B2. You can also submit the required proof of language proficiency during the approbation procedure. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the approbation process.
The competent authority will inform you which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.
If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who are publicly appointed or authorised.
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, there may be additional costs (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
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.
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (e.g. file 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.
European Professional Card
You can apply for a European Professional Card (EBA). You can submit your application online on the website of the European Commission. The European Professional Card is an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications. It only applies to EU countries and to certain professions.
Certificate of equivalence
In the approbation procedure, the equivalence of your education is 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.
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.