Sozialpädagoge/Sozialpädagogin; application for permission to use the professional title in the case of professional qualification from abroad

You can apply for state recognition as a social pedagogue.


You have acquired a university degree abroad in the field of social pedagogy or social work. You would like to have this degree recognised in Bavaria and receive state recognition as a social pedagogue.

In Bavaria, you have a legal right to an individual assessment of whether you are entitled to use the above professional titles on the basis of your foreign degree.

The state recognition is a prerequisite for certain work activities, if this is required in the sense of the specialist requirement of the respective social security codes. This applies in particular to sovereign tasks and to activities based on directives which provide for this qualification.

State-recognised social pedagogues are holders of professional secrets within the meaning of Section 203 of the Criminal Code.

Under certain circumstances, state recognition may also be relevant for remuneration under collective bargaining agreements.

The recognition office for social and childhood educators checks the requirements for obtaining state recognition. The existing professional qualifications are presented positively.

If there are significant differences between your professional qualifications and the study contents in Bavaria, it will be explained by which measures these can be compensated.
Once the compensatory measures have been completed or if all requirements are met immediately, the recognition office issues the state recognition.

The employers decide on the one hand whether to fill the respective position only with an applicant with state recognition and on the other hand about the professional and personal suitability of the applicant.

Further information on the requirements, the examination procedure and data protection in the recognition procedure can be found in the information sheets (see "Further links").


  • You have obtained a university degree in social pedagogy or social work abroad.
  • In the country of training, you are entitled to exercise the corresponding profession in the field of social pedagogy or social work.
  • With regard to the skills and knowledge imparted there are no significant differences between your degree completed abroad and the corresponding course of study at a higher education institution in the Free State of Bavaria.
  • Only suitable foreign degrees in the field of social pedagogy/social work can lead to state recognition. It is not possible to convert degrees from other disciplines into these qualifications.
  • Knowledge of the significant German fields of law, knowledge for administration as well as knowledge of social management must be proven. If such knowledge is lacking, it can be acquired in appropriate adaptation measures.
    Furthermore, German language skills at least at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) are required (for further information see: "Further links" - "Educational degree abroad - fact sheets and further information").
  • Persons guilty of certain criminal offences are not eligible for state recognition. A list of the relevant criminal offences within the meaning of the Criminal Code (StGB) can be found in the information sheet (see "Further links" - "Pedagogical degree abroad - information sheets and further information").
  • The payment of an advance on fees is a prerequisite for the examination of your documents.
  • With the Recognition guides of the Zentrum Bayern Familie und Soziales (ZBFS) you can check whether you should apply for state recognition as a social pedagogue. (see under "Further links")


Start of proceedings

  • The procedure begins with the receipt of an application.
  • The recognition authority confirms receipt of the application within one month, checks receipt of the advance payment of EUR 150.00 and requests any missing documents.


  • The recognition office examines the prerequisites for the granting of state recognition on the basis of the documents submitted.
  • The main criteria are the skills and knowledge acquired in the course of the individual studies completed abroad.
  • Other methods and sources of information may also be used by the recognition office (e.g. research in the country of education).
  • If the documentation is not sufficient, further information or documentation may be requested from the applicant.
  • A determination is made as to whether there are significant differences between the individual's degree and the qualifying course content in Bavaria. The existence of the other special requirements for the granting of state recognition will also be examined. Proven professional experience and further certificates of qualification are taken into account.

Completion of the procedure

After receipt of the complete documents and the advance payment, the recognition office must decide on the application within three months by means of a notice.

The following outcomes are possible:

  • No significant differences are found and all other special requirements are met: State recognition is granted and a corresponding certificate is issued.
  • If there are substantial differences or/and the special requirements for state recognition are not met: State recognition is not yet granted. A legally binding decision is issued stating which compensatory measures can be used to compensate for significant differences or deficits. Upon request, a separate certificate of equivalence can be issued. You will be offered a corresponding adaptation course. After successful completion of the adaptation course or the passing of aptitude tests, state recognition can be granted and a corresponding certificate issued.
  • If the course of study completed abroad does not qualify the applicant for comparable work as a qualifying course of study in the Free State of Bavaria, the application will be rejected.
  • If the applicant does not fulfil his/her duty to cooperate and the facts cannot be clarified as a result, the application will be rejected.

Compensatory measures

  • If there are substantial differences between the foreign course of study completed and the corresponding course of study in Bavaria regulated by Land law, compensatory measures are necessary.
  • The areas of study for which compensatory measures are necessary are determined by the recognition office by means of a decision. This entitles you to take part in the corresponding compensatory measures.
  • Compensatory measures are offered as an adaptation course with a certificate of achievement or as an aptitude test. However, a missing work placement cannot be replaced by an aptitude test.
  • You are entitled to advice on which teaching institutions offer the relevant compensatory measures.
  • After completion of the adaptation course or after passing the aptitude test, you can submit a follow-up application for the granting of state recognition by presenting the acquired certificates of achievement.

Special notes

Recognition grant

It is possible to apply for a recognition grant at the "Zentrale Förderstelle Chemnitz". The application for the recognition grant must be made before submitting an application for professional recognition in accordance with the BayBQFG. Information on this can be found under "Further links" - "Recognition grant".


Translations must be carried out by interpreters or translators who have been publicly appointed or sworn. They do not have to be publicly appointed or sworn in Germany; a translation by an interpreter or translator publicly appointed or sworn abroad is sufficient. A database of translators and interpreters sworn or certified in Germany can be found under "Further links" - "Bank of interpreters and translators").


A certification confirms that the copy corresponds to the original. Certifications can be obtained from the authority that issued the original document. In addition, the authorities of the Free State of Bavaria, the municipalities and associations of municipalities and other legal persons under public law subject to the supervision of the Free State of Bavaria as well as notaries are authorised to certify copies or to prepare certified copies. In order to save costs, it is not necessary to certify each individual page; evidence can also be certified in summary form.

Note for employers

The obligation of the respective appointing authority to check the professional and personal suitability of applicants for an assigned activity remains unaffected by the state recognition.

This applies in particular to the examination of reliability within the meaning of Art. 1 Para. 1 No. 2 or Art. 2 Para. 1 No.2 Bavarian Social and Childhood Educators Act.

Claims based on a determination made in accordance with the provisions of the Bavarian Professional Qualification Determination Act and the Bavarian Social and Childhood Educators Act cannot be derived from this vis-à-vis the recognition body.



Processing time

You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt within one month of receipt of the application.

Within three months of receipt of the complete documents and the advance payment, you will receive a decision that is appealable.

Note: The three-month period may be reasonably extended once if this is justified by the specifics of the matter.


Online procedures


  • The costs usually amount to EUR 360.00 to 600.00. The costs depend on the amount of work involved in processing the application.

    An advance payment of 150.00 EUR must be made immediately after the application is submitted. You will be informed of the amount of the final payment in the notification.

    A fee of 12.00 EUR is charged for issuing the certificate of entitlement to use the professional title.

    Further costs will be incurred for any necessary compensatory measures.


An action against the decision may be brought before the competent administrative court within one month of its notification.

Status: 23.08.2022

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Familie, Arbeit und Soziales

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