Applying for recognition as a midwife with a professional qualification that is not 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. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the state permit. 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.
If your professional qualification is automatically recognised, different rules apply.
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 apply if you do not yet live in Germany. 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 you meet all the requirements. An important prerequisite is the equivalence of your professional qualification. The competent authority compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification as a midwife. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification.
Note: If your professional qualification is automatically recognised, the competent body will not carry out an equivalence check. That's a different procedure. The competent authority will inform you.
Possible results of the equivalence assessment
If your foreign professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognised. The competent authority can confirm the result in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements. Then you will receive permission to use the professional title "midwife".
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? You may be able to make up for the differences through your work experience, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of the state in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.
However, the main differences may not be offset by your work experience, knowledge or skills. In this case, the competent authority will tell you the main differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification and why you cannot compensate for these significant differences with your professional experience or your knowledge and skills.
The competent authority will also tell you about compensatory measures that you can take to compensate for the significant differences.
If you decide not to take compensatory measures, your professional qualification will not be recognised and you will not be allowed to work as a midwife in Germany.
There are various compensatory measures:
- Adaptation period: The adaptation period lasts a maximum of three years.
- Aptitude test: The aptitude test consists of a practical exam that is combined with an exam interview.
- Knowledge test for professional qualifications from a third country: The knowledge test tests your knowledge in certain subjects and areas. The knowledge test consists of an oral and a practical part.
The competent authority will tell you whether you need to take one or more compensatory measures and whether you can choose which of the compensatory measures to take. It depends on the level of your education.
If you successfully complete the compensatory measure and meet all other requirements, you will be granted permission to use the professional title "midwife".
Who should I contact?
- You have a professional qualification as a midwife from abroad.
- In order to obtain the state permit, the equivalence of your professional qualification must be checked.
- 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, proof of your application for an entry visa for gainful employment, or a personal statement
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.
- Proof of your health suitability: Medical certificate
- 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: 4 MonthsThe competent authority will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 4 months.
- §§ 5, 43, 44, 54 Act on the Study and Profession of Midwives (Midwifery Act - HebG)
- §§ 43, 44, 48 et seq. Study and Examination Ordinance for Midwives (HebStPrV)
- § 77a para. 1 HebG in conjunction with § 2 para. 2 HebG old version
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?
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.
Use of the (male) professional title "maternity nurse"
Until the end of 2024, you can also apply for the (male) professional title of "maternity nurse". In this case, the provisions of the Midwifery Act will apply in the version until 31 December 2019. Your local authority will inform you of the details.
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.