Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Consultation on introducing the European Professional Card (EPC)

Consultation on introducing the European Professional Card (EPC)
Published on: 07/04/2014 Last update: 22/08/2016
Deadline: 13/06/2014

The EPC is intended for nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, engineers, mountain guides & real real estate agents

Policy Field

  • Internal Market, Free movement of professionals

Target group

  • Professional organisations & authorities in EU countries responsible for the recognition of the professional qualifications of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, engineers, mountain guides & estate agents;
  • Other interested parties (e.g. employers’ organisations & trade unions, or other public authorities) can also give their views.


  • From 07.04.2014 to 13.06.2014 – (closed).

Background information and objective

Background information

The European Professional Card (EPC) is a key element of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. The amending directive took effect on 17 January 2014, and the EU countries are expected to implement it by 18 January 2016. The point of the EPC is to make it easier for professional qualifications to be recognised and for members of a regulated profession to practise elsewhere in the EU. This will be achieved by involving the relevant authorities in professionals’ home countries more, and through electronic procedures.

Articles 4a-4e of Directive 2005/36/EC outline how the card will work. 3 conditions must be met before it can be introduced for a given occupation:

  • There must be significant mobility or potential for significant mobility in the profession concerned;
  • Parties with a legitimate interest must have expressed sufficient interest;
  • The occupation, or the education and training associated with it, must be regulated in a significant number of EU countries.

These conditions should be interpreted in the light of Recital 4 of Directive 2013/55/EU, which states that the EPC should be introduced only once it has been established

  • whether it is appropriate for the occupation concerned;
  • what impact it will have on EU countries.

On this basis, the Commission launched a call for expressions of interest on 18 October 2013, asking national and EU-wide professional organisations and associations whether they were interested in introducing the European Professional Card (EPC).

The results were published on 6 December 2013. After reviewing the main features of the professions interested in introducing the EPC, the Commission proposed that 7 of them be assessed in greater detail. (Not all of these will necessarily be selected for the first EPC). It also called on interested parties, including the authorities responsible in this area, to give initial views on the interest expressed by these professions.

The Commission has also set up a focus group with a restricted membership that includes representatives of EU-wide professional organisations and national authorities governing the professions that are now being assessed in greater detail. The introductory meeting was held on 31 January 2014, and was followed by further meetings on 25-26 March 2014.

Consultation document (444 kB)

Objective of the consultation

  • To seek further views and collect data on issues including the mobility of professionals, application procedures & fees from the professional associations & the authorities responsible for recognition of professional qualifications in the EU countries;
  • The Commission will use the responses to assess whether the EPC is appropriate for the professions concerned, and what impact it will have on EU countries.

How to submit your contribution

The participation period to this consultation is now over.

Reference documents and other related consultations

Why does the consultation take less than 12 weeks?

This consultation runs for just 8 weeks. The overall consultation on the introduction of the EPC started with a call for expressions of interest in October 2013. The results were published in December 2013, together with a request to other interested parties to send in initial comments. The EPC focus group met in January and March as part of an ongoing consultation on introducing the EPC for the 7 pre-selected professions.

Number of responses received to this consultation

  • Questionnaire to professional associations: 147 contributions were received.
  • Questionnaire to competent authorities: 74 contributions were received.
  • Questionnaire on the possible impact of EPC on Administrative Costs: 32 contributions were received.

View the contributions


In the interests of transparency, organisations are invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission will be published separately from the registered organisations.

Results of consultation and next steps

The summary results of the consultation will soon be published on this page.

Protection of personal data and privacy statement