The European Professional Card (EPC) is not a physical identity document. It is an electronic proof that your professional qualification is recognized by another EU country or that you have fulfilled the requirements for the temporary provision of services in that country. The EPC is issued to you upon request in an electronic procedure (EPC procedure). The EPC procedure is simpler, faster and more transparent than the traditional procedures for the recognition of professional qualifications.
The European Professional Card offers you the following advantages:
- The authorities in your country of origin will help you with your application and verify that it is correctly filled out and complete. They will also verify the authenticity and validity of your documents.
- If in the future you want to apply for establishment or temporary provision of services in another EU country, your dossier is already in the system and you do not need to upload your documents a second time. This will save you time on further applications.
- If the authorities responsible for your application do not make a decision within the specified period, recognition is automatic.
The European Professional Card is valid
- indefinitely when established
- 18 months in most cases where you provide services on a temporary and occasional basis, or 12 months for professions with public health or safety implications if they are not subject to automatic recognition (e.g. physiotherapist)
You apply for the European Professional Card to the competent authority in your country of origin. This is determined in the EPC procedure.
In Bavaria, the following authorities are responsible for the individual professions:
- the governments for
- nurse/nurse for general care
- the governments of Upper Bavaria and Lower Franconia for pharmacist/pharmacist
- the district administrative authorities for Immobilienmakler/Immobilienmaklerin (real estate agent)
- the Technical University of Munich for mountain and ski guide/ mountain and ski guideess
You can use the EPC procedure if you want to pursue your profession temporarily (temporary mobility) or permanently in another EU or EEA country (establishment).
The EPC procedure can currently only be used for the following professions:
- Nurse/nurse for general care
- Mountain guide/ski guide
- Real estate agent/real estate broker
Professionals with another profession must still use the standard procedure for recognition of their professional qualification. However, the EPC procedure may be extended to other professions in the future.
If you obtained your qualification outside the EU, you can apply for a European Professional Card under the following conditions:
- Your qualification has already been recognized in an EU country.
- You have practiced your profession in that country for at least three years after your qualification was recognized
First, you need to register with the European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS) and choose a username and password.
Then you create your profile with the information about yourself (ID card or passport number, last name, nationality) and your contact details (address, e-mail address, phone number, etc.). The information about you will be in your European Professional Card.
After you have created your profile, you can apply for the European Professional Card. To do this, go to the home page. When you apply, you will find out which documents the host country requires for the recognition of your professional qualification. You can upload the documents directly. Please upload each document as a separate file.
Then send the application together with the documents to the competent authority of your country of origin.
The competent authority will process your application and, if necessary, send it to the authorities of the host country for further processing.
Once you have sent your application, you cannot change the information about yourself. An update can only be made by the authority processing your file. However, you can update your contact information at any time. You can track your application online and reuse previously uploaded documents in new applications for other countries.
After your application is approved, you can create an EPC certificate in PDF format. The EPC certificate contains a reference number. This reference number will allow your future employer to check the validity of your European Professional Card online. For more information, please refer to the EBA User Guide.
Please note that the European Professional Card does not usually confer an automatic right to practice the profession (exception: occasional and temporary services with no impact on public health or safety). If you plan to establish yourself, you may need to register with a professional organization in the host country or provide certain proof (e.g., regarding reliability or health) before starting to practice. Check with a single point of contact or host country authorities to see if this is required in your case.
The competent authority of your country of origin will acknowledge receipt of your application and inform you of any missing documents and applicable fees within one week.
- Host country authorities will also review your file if your occupation may have public health and safety implications and therefore is not automatically recognized.
- If no review is required by the host country, then the authority of your country of origin will review your application and make a final decision within a maximum of 3 weeks.
- If a review by the host country is required, the authority of your country of origin must review your application and forward it to the host country within a maximum period of 1 month. The host country will make a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If the host country authorities consider that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the required standards of that country, then they may require an aptitude test or an adaptation course.
- The authority of your country of origin must, within a period not exceeding 1 month, consider your application and forward it to the host country.
- If you are a pharmacist or nurse and your profession is automatically recognized, then the host country will make a decision within a maximum of 2 months (1 month + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If your profession is not automatically recognized, then the host country will make a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each). If the authorities of the host country consider that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the required standards of that country, then they may require an aptitude test or an adaptation course.
If the host country authorities do not make a decision within the legal deadlines, your qualifications are tacitly recognized and you can create an EPC certificate through your online account.