New European Professional Card to help professionals work in other EU countries Published on: 29/06/2015, Last update: 13/01/2016
The European Commission will make it easier for professionals to put their skills to work in other EU countries with the new European Professional Card. At the same time, the Commission aims to protect the vulnerable from unqualified professionals through the application of an alert mechanism.
What is the European Professional Card?
The European Professional Card (EPC) will help professionals work in other EU countries on the basis of the qualifications they have received at home. It simplifies the recognition of professional qualifications, enhances transparency for EU citizens and increases trust among authorities across the EU.
The EPC is an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications between EU countries. It is easier to manage than traditional procedures for recognition, and you can keep track of your application online.
The EPC is not a physical card. It is the electronic proof that you have passed administrative checks and that your professional qualifications have been recognised by the host country (or that you have met the conditions for the temporary provision of services).
Who is the card for?
From January 2016, nurses responsible for general care, pharmacists, physiotherapists, real estate agents and mountain guides will be able to apply online for the recognition of their qualification in other EU countries through the Internal Market Information System. In the future, the EPC may be extended to other professions as well.
What is the alert mechanism?
The alert mechanism, which also comes into effect in January 2016, requires the authorities in EU countries to share information on professionals exercising activities impacting patient safety or relating to the education of minors, if those professionals:
- have been prohibited or restricted from practice, even temporarily, in their country; or
- have used falsified documentation in support of their application for the recognition of their qualification.
Background - Commission Implementing Regulation
The issuance of the EPC and the application of the alert mechanism were made possible by the adoption of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/983 on 24 June 2015.