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National Contact Points for qualifications: ready to help the mobile professional
With hundreds of regulated professions across the EU, the standing of qualifications in different Member States can be confusing. Thankfully, a network of National Contact Points for the recognition of professional qualifications is on-hand to help the mobile professional.
Qualified professionals seeking a move to another European country should always check that their qualifications allow them to practise their profession in their desired place of residence.
The network of National Contact Points are duty bound to provide citizens with the information they need about getting their professional qualifications recognised in the country they are moving to.
There is a contact point in every EU Member State, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. They can guide citizens through national legislation governing different professions and explain the various administrative formalities that must be competed as part of the recognition process. Contact points also have the task of assisting citizens in exercising their rights to free movement.
From ships cooks to roofers…
There is a huge variety of regulated professions across Europe, from electronic engineers to sports instructors, ships cooks to roofers, and nurses to air conditioning technicians*. Each country has its own rules for practising work in these areas, which is why the contact points offer such an important service.
When dealing with a case, a contact point will liaise with colleagues in the other country in question, as well as with the relevant national competent authority. These authorities decide whether or not to recognise professional qualifications obtained in other EU Member States.
Host countries have taken more than 253 000 decisions on recognising professional qualifications since the initiative came into force – 82 % of the those decisions have provided positive outcomes for the professionals concerned.
The contact points offer help by letter or on the phone. They should not be confused with the EU’s Points of Single Contact, which gives online services to cross border entrepreneurs. The National Contact Points also offer help in addition to Your Europe, which provides practical general information on migrant workers’ rights.
European Commission web pages on free movement of professionals
The European Commission has established a user-friendly database of regulated professions. Use this web-based platform to check the status of your profession in different countries simply by choosing an option in the drop-down boxes.
Your Europe – practical information on migrant worker rights
Find a EURES Adviser
Find out more about the working and living conditions in different European countries on the EURES Job Mobility Portal
Search for a job in the EURES Job Database
*There are seven professions that are regulated in all Member States due to the harmonisation of minimum training requirements. These are: nurses, doctors, vets, dentists, midwives, pharmacists and architects.