You submit an application for recognition of your professional qualifications as a career qualification to the Federal Office of Administration.
You can hand in the application with the documents to the responsible office or send it by mail. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The Federal Office of Administration will inform you.
The Federal Office of Administration will then check whether your education corresponds to the German education and whether all other requirements are met.
Checking the equivalence
The Federal Office of Administration compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. It is 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 examination
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognized. The authority can confirm the result to you in writing. With a successful recognition, you can apply for civil service positions in the federal government. This is a different procedure. You may have to meet other requirements for this.
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? You may be able to compensate for the differences with your professional 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 by this knowledge.
The federal administrative office will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot make up the essential differences with your work experience. The notice from the competent office will also state the level of your education and the level required in Germany.
You can take a compensatory measure to make up for the substantial differences.
There are different compensatory measures:
- Adaptation course: the adaptation course lasts a maximum of three years.
- Aptitude test: The aptitude test examines the areas in which substantial differences have been identified.
You can often choose between an adaptation course or an aptitude test. In certain cases, the Federal Office of Administration decides whether you take an adaptation course or an aptitude test. Sometimes you will have to take both compensatory courses. 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 rights professionally as a person with the German professional qualification. With the recognition you can apply for civil service positions of the federal government.
Working without recognition by the Federal Office of Administration
With many university degrees, it is possible to apply for federal civil service positions even without recognition by the Federal Office of Administration. In this case, the federal authority that advertises the civil service 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 a pay-scale employee
You can also work in the federal service without recognition of a career qualification. In this case, you cannot work as a civil servant. However, you can work as a so-called tariff employee.
Salaried employees receive an employment contract and can be dismissed. Civil servants do not receive an employment contract. They are appointed by the state. After a probationary period, the appointment is usually valid for life. This means that civil servants cannot be dismissed. Civil servants receive special rights and duties from the state. These are, for example, neutrality, loyalty, the orientation of their service to the common good or the prohibition to strike.
If you want to work as a civil servant, you also have to prove your qualifications. Your employer will tell you what qualifications you need to prove.
If a college degree is a requirement for the job, a credential evaluation is often needed.
A Zeugnisbewertung can make it easier for you to enter 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 can only obtain recognition of your professional qualification from the competent office.
Partial access to a profession
You have made your professional qualification in a state of the EU, the EEA or in Switzerland? Then you can work in the profession without recognition. However, you need a so-called partial professional access. You must apply for partial access to the profession at the competent authority.
With a partial professional access applies:
- You are not allowed to perform all activities in the profession.
- You may only use the professional title of your country of training.
You must meet the following requirements for partial access:
- You can work with your professional qualification without restriction in your country of training.
- Your professional qualification is not equivalent to the German professional qualification. There are substantial 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 performed by specially trained persons.
- You are suitable in terms of health.
- You are personally suitable.
- You have certain German language skills.
Procedure for late repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can choose between 2 procedures for professional recognition:
- You apply for the procedure described here.
- You apply for the procedure according to the Federal Expellees Act (§ 10 BVFG).
You can decide this. The responsible office will advise you.