Foreign professional qualification Recognition as master sign and illuminated advertising manufacturer
The profession of master sign and illuminated advertising manufacturer is regulated in Germany. The recognition of your professional qualification is necessary so that you can work in the profession in Germany. This procedure is called: equivalence determination (§ 50b HwO).
Note: There is another procedure for self-employment in the profession. This procedure is called: entry in the Register of Craftsmen.
With a successful equivalence determination, you can be entered in the register of craftsmen.
I submit an application to the competent authority. How does that work?
You can also apply if you do not yet live in Germany.
- You can send the application by post to the competent office. Do not send originals!
- Perhaps you can send the application by e-mail. Ask your responsible office beforehand. At a later stage in the recognition procedure, you may need to submit the original documents or the certified copies.
- Sometimes you can apply online. At a later stage in the recognition procedure, you may need to submit the original documents or the certified copies. For the online application, use the Internet portal of the federal state in which you would like to work.
Tip: The Chambers of Crafts will advise you before applying. Advice is important for a successful procedure. Take advantage of this offer!
The competent body will process my application. What does that mean?
- The competent authority receives the application. It will confirm to you after one month at the latest that the application has been received. Once the competent body has received all the documents from you, it will process your application.
- The competent authority carries out an equivalence test: it compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification. In doing so, the competent body shall take into account your professional experience, other qualifications and qualifications.
- The recognition procedure takes a maximum of 3 months. At the end, the competent authority will send you a notification with the result.
The competent authority informs me of the result in a notification. What results are possible?
- Result: Recognition
- Your professional qualification and the German professional qualification are equivalent. They also meet all other requirements. Your professional qualification will be recognised. You have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification. But: The job title "master craftswoman" or "master craftsman" is particularly protected. You may not use this professional title.
- With the recognition, you can apply for entry in the register of craftsmen. The competent authority will advise you on this. After registration in the register of craftsmen, you may work independently in the profession.
- Result: No recognition
- There are significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification. You cannot compensate for these differences with your professional experience and other knowledge in the profession. Therefore, your professional qualification is not equivalent to the German professional qualification. They do not get recognition. They cannot be entered in the Register of Craftsmen.
- In most cases, you can make a compensatory measure. This allows you to compensate for the essential differences.
- You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. Details of this procedure can be found in the information on the right of appeal at the end of your decision. We recommend: Talk to a counselling centre first before you object or sue.
I don't get any recognition. What can I do?
- If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can make a compensatory measure. With a compensatory measure, you can compensate for significant differences. Significant differences are listed in your notification.
- There are several compensatory measures:
- Adaptation period
- Suitability test
- The competent authority decides which compensatory measure you need to take. This is stated in your notification.
- If you successfully complete the compensatory measure, you will receive a certificate. You must submit this certificate to the competent authority. The competent body shall examine the certificate. If you then meet all the requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification.
- But: You are not allowed to call yourself "master craftswoman" or "master craftsman".
- With the recognition, you can apply for entry in the register of craftsmen.
Who should I contact?
The responsibility lies with the Chamber of Crafts.
- Equivalence of your professional qualification
You do not have to prove your German language skills. However, knowledge of German is important for your applications and your work.
Which documents are required?
- Application form from the competent body
- If there is no application form: an informal application
- Proof of identity (e.g. passport or identity card)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of your professional qualifications (e.g. certificates, certificates)
- Proof of your professional experience in the profession
- Proof of your other qualifications (e.g. continuing vocational training, seminars)
- If the profession is regulated in your country of training, you must prove that you are allowed to work in the profession in the country of training. The certificate must be from the competent authority of the country of training.
- Information about an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Then indicate to which body you have submitted the application.
Translations and certifications
- The competent authority will inform you which documents you must show in the original or hand in as copies. Some copies must be officially certified. We recommend that you do not send originals by post.
- You must present your documents in German. The translations must be made by publicly appointed or authorised translators.
What are the fees?
Fee: 100,00 - 600,00 EURPayment in advance: NoFee for the recognition procedure There may be additional costs, e.g. for translations, certifications or compensatory measures.
- No later than one month after receipt of your application by the competent authority: the competent authority will inform you of the receipt of the documents. It will let you know if documents are missing. The procedure starts when the documents are complete.
- After 3 months at the latest: You will receive a notification with the result. In certain cases, the competent body may prolong the procedure.
Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG)
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. Details of this procedure can be found in the information on the right of appeal at the end of your decision.
What else should I know?
Working without recognition
Exemption (§ 8 HwO)
- You need recognition for registration in the Register of Craftsmen.
- They may also be entered in the Register of Craftsmen without recognition. For this you need a special permit. This permit is called: exemption for entry in the register of craftsmen (§ 8 HwO).
- The competent body will advise you on this procedure.
Freedom to provide services
Would you like to offer services in Germany only occasionally and for a short time?
Then you usually don't need recognition. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another EU, EEA or Swiss country.
- You must provide proof of your professional qualifications.
- You must notify or register your activity in writing with the competent authority.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a ethnic German repatriate, you can choose between 2 procedures for professional recognition:
- You submit an application for the procedure described here.
- You submit an application for the procedure under the Federal Expellees Act (§ 10 BVFG).
That's up to you to decide. Your competent office will advise you.
There is another procedure for recognising your professional qualification. This procedure is called: exemption for entry in the register of craftsmen (§ 9 HwO).
To do this, you must meet the following requirements:
- You come from a country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You have obtained your professional qualification in a country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. Or: Your professional qualification was recognized there. You have then worked full-time in the profession in the state of recognition for at least 3 years.
You can choose which procedure you do:
- Determination of equivalence (§ 50b HwO)
- Exemption permit for entry in the register of craftsmen (§ 9 HwO)
Your competent office will advise you.
You no longer have all the necessary documents for the application? Then recognition is still possible. You can prove your professional qualification with a qualification analysis, e.g. by means of a technical discussion or a work sample.
Information page at the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH)
Information on the exemption for entry in the register of craftsmen (§ 9 HwO)
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.