Before the Recognition Law entered into force on 1 April 2012, Germany did not have a standardised procedure for recognising all professional qualifications acquired abroad - even though nearly three million people with foreign professional qualifications live in Germany.
At present many well-trained immigrants work in jobs that do not correspond to their level of education. Since the German economy is dependent on qualified skilled workers, the German government enacted the Law to improve assessment and recognition of foreign professional qualifications.
The Recognition Law facilitates the equivalence procedures for foreign professional and vocational qualifications and supports the integration of qualified immigrants and foreign skilled workers into the German labour market.
Germany does not have a central body that is responsible for all enquiries regarding the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. In fact, the individual federal states are responsible for conducting the recognition procedure. Therefore, the bodies responsible for recognition vary from state to state. In the area of training occupations within the dual system in Germany, the chambers are the responsible body.
The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) created the ‘Recognition in Germany’ portal on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to help individuals seeking recognition of their foreign professional qualifications to find the body that is responsible for their enquiry and to ensure that they receive prompt answers to their questions regarding the recognition procedure.
The portal is aimed not only at immigrants who already live in Germany and have earned a professional qualification abroad but also at skilled workers in other countries who are interested in working in Germany. The ‘Recognition in Germany’ portal also supports guidance personnel who advise individuals seeking recognition of qualifications they have earned abroad.
This portal also offers important information on the legislation and regulations governing the recognition of foreign qualifications and recognition procedure in individual occupations. In addition, the portal provides tips on related information and guidance services.