Apply for recognition of a foreign professional qualification from the EU/EEA/Switzerland as a career qualification for a job as a civil servant in the federal civil service in Germany
Working as a civil servant is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a civil servant in the federal civil service in Germany, you need recognition.
In the recognition procedure, the Federal Office of Administration compares your qualification with a qualification required under German career law. In doing so, the Federal Office of Administration examines equivalence.
Note: There is another procedure for working as a civil servant. This procedure is called: appointment as a civil servant. With successful recognition, you can apply for federal civil servant positions.
If you have a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can apply for recognition in Germany. You must also be a citizen of an EU, EEA or Swiss country.
If you are a national or a national of a third country, recognition is not possible. Third countries are all countries that do not belong to the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for recognition of your professional qualifications as a career qualification to the Federal Office of Administration.
You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The Federal Office of Administration will inform you.
The Federal Office of Administration will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met.
Examination of equivalence
The Federal Office of Administration compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. It will be checked 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 test
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authority can confirm the result to you in writing. With successful recognition, you can apply for federal civil servant positions. That's a different procedure. To do this, you may need to meet other requirements.
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Perhaps you can compensate for the differences with your work experience, other knowledge or skills. 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 be that the essential differences cannot be compensated for by this knowledge.
The Federal Office of Administration will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences with your professional experience. The decision of the competent authority also states the level of your training and the level required in Germany.
You can take a compensatory measure to compensate for the significant differences.
There are various compensatory measures:
- Adaptation period: The adaptation period lasts a maximum of three years.
- Aptitude test: The aptitude test examines the areas in which significant differences have been identified.
You can often choose between an adaptation period or an aptitude test. In certain cases, the Federal Office of Administration decides whether you are taking an adaptation period or an aptitude test. Sometimes you need to do both compensatory measures. The Federal Office of Administration will inform you.
If you successfully complete the compensatory measure and meet all the requirements, your professional qualification will be recognized. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification. With the recognition, you can apply for federal civil servant positions.
Who should I contact?
Let an IQ counselling centre advise you personally 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 reach the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) via the hotline. This offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition procedure and provides on-site advice.
Federal Office of Administration (BVA)
- Equivalence of your professional qualification
- You are a citizen of a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
- Your professional qualification must come from a country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. Or: Your professional qualification was recognized there and you worked there for three years in the profession.
- The professional qualification is required in your country of training for work in the public sector.
Which documents are required?
The Federal Office of Administration will provide information on the documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:
- Application form from the competent authority
- if there is no application form: an informal application
- Proof of identity (passport or identity card)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
- Proof of your professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
- Evidence can be, for example: certificates or deeds
- The professional qualification must be required in your country of training for work in the public sector.
- If the activity is not regulated in your country of training:
- certificate from the competent authority in your country of training of regulated training, or
- Proof that you have carried out the activity for at least one year in the last 10 years.
- In the case of professional qualifications from third countries that have been recognised in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland: certificate of at least 3 years of professional experience in the country of recognition. The certificate must be issued by the competent authority in the country of recognition.
- If available: Notification of recognition for your professional qualification. Civil servants work in different professions. Perhaps you have already had your professional qualification recognised in Germany. Then you should submit the notification of recognition with the application.
- If available: Proof of professional experience (e.g. job references)
- If available: Proof of your other qualifications (e.g. professional training or seminars)
The Federal Office of Administration will inform you which documents you must show in the original or submit as a copy. Some copies must be officially certified.
You must present your documents in German. The translations must be carried out by publicly appointed or authorised translators.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There is no deadline.
Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The Federal Office of Administration will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents. As a result, the procedure may be prolonged.
§ 2 Career Qualification Recognition Ordinance (LBAV)
Section 18 (1) Nos. 1 and 2 of the Federal Civil Service Act (BBG)
§ 7 Federal Civil Service Act (BBG)
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (e.g. file an objection). The decision will then be reviewed. Details can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. It is best to talk to the competent authority first before taking legal action against the decision.
What else should I know?
Work without recognition by the Federal Office of Administration
With many university degrees, it is also possible to apply for federal civil servant positions without recognition by the Federal Office of Administration. Then the federal authority that advertises the civil servant position decides whether the requirements for recognition of the career qualification are met. Which university degrees are required is stated in the advertisement.
Working as employees covered by collective bargaining agreements or employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
They can also work in the federal civil service without recognition of a career qualification. Then you will not be able to work as a civil servant. However, they can work as so-called employees covered by collective bargaining agreements or employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements receive an employment contract and can be dismissed. Civil servants do not receive an employment contract. They are appointed by the state. The appointment is usually valid for life after a probationary period. This means that civil servants cannot be dismissed. Civil servants receive special rights and obligations from the state. These are, for example, neutrality, loyalty, the orientation of their service to the common good or the prohibition of strikes.
If you want to work as an employee covered by collective bargaining agreements or employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, you must also prove your qualifications. Your employer will tell you what qualifications you need to prove.
If a university degree is a prerequisite for the job, a certificate evaluation is often necessary.
A certificate evaluation can make it easier for you to access the German job market. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) evaluates your certificate. Please note: The certificate evaluation does not replace the recognition of your professional qualification. You will only receive recognition of your professional qualification from the competent authority.
Partial access to the profession
Did you obtain your professional qualification in a country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you can work in the profession without recognition. However, they need a so-called partial access to the profession. You must apply for partial access to the profession at the competent authority.
With partial access to the profession, the following applies:
- They are not allowed to carry out all activities in the profession.
- You are only allowed to use the professional title of your country of training.
You must meet the following requirements for partial access:
- With your professional qualification, you can work in your country of training without restriction.
- Your professional qualification is not equivalent to the German professional qualification. There are significant differences. In this case, a compensatory measure would cover the entire German training.
- Your professional qualification includes at least one so-called reserved activity of the German professional qualification. Reserved activities may only be carried out by specially trained persons.
- They are suitable for health.
- They are personally suitable.
- You have certain knowledge of German.
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. The competent authority will advise you.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.