Professionals in the EU can move across borders and practice their occupation or provide services abroad. These webpages provide practical information on EU legislation governing the recognition of professional experience in the EU.
The system of recognition of professional qualifications in the EU is governed by Directive 2005/36/EC, recently amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. The directive provides a modern EU system of recognition of professional experience and promotes automatic recognition of professional experience across the EU.
In May 2020 the Commission published a report on the implementation of certain new elements introduced by Directive 2013/55/EU and an accompanying staff working document.
In practice, the recognition of professional qualifications laid down in Directive 2005/36/EC enables the free movement of professionals such as doctors or architects within the EU. Other professions, such as lawyers or sailors, fall under the scope of different legislation.
In January 2016, the Commission introduced a new, EU-wide digital procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications – the European Professional Card (EPC). The procedure, currently available for general care nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, real estate agents and mountain guides, makes it easier for Europeans to work where their professional skills are needed. The EPC contributes to the objective of making the Single Market a reality in practice.
To clarify the status of regulated professions in the EU, the European Commission conducted a transparency and a mutual evaluation exercise.
The database of regulated professions contains information on regulated professions, statistics on migrating professionals, contact points and national authorities in EU countries, EEA countries, the UK and Switzerland.
The Commission contracted an independent study to provide more insight into the relationship between professional regulation and service quality. In 6 case studies researchers traced impact of regulatory variations on a wide range of quality indicators. The studies contribute to the development of empirical research methods and strategies to analyse this complex relationship.
The Commission contracted several independent economic case studies, conducted at country level, to analyse the effects of reforms of regulatory requirements to access professions. The results of these studies demonstrate that, for the cases analysed, less restrictive regulation can have a positive impact on the labour market.
An independent study to assess the prevalence and labour market impacts of occupational regulation in the EU was conducted using the 2015 European Survey on Regulated Occupations. The aim was to reinforce the evidence base on the economic costs and benefits of occupational regulation.
Assistance centres - these provide information on the recognition of professional qualifications in every EU country and guide professionals through the administrative formalities.
FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy
Direction générale Politique des PME - Service Professions intellectuelles et Législation
Directorate 'Academic Recognition and Regulated Professions'
(Assistance Centre for Bulgaria)
National Center for Information and Documentation /
Национален център за информация и документация
Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy
Centrum pro uznávání odborných kvalifikací
Oddělení vnější legislativy /
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
Centre for Recognition of Professional Qualifications
External Legislation Unit
Ministry of Higher Education and Science
Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education
Mr Panayiotis Dimitrakis
Independent Department for the Support of SAEP (Council for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications) and for the Application of European Legislation
General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth
Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
Agencija za Znanost i Visoko Obrazovanje
Agency for Science and Higher Education
Nacionalni ENIC/NARIC ured
National ENIC/NARIC office
Subdirección General de Títulos y Ordenación
Seguimiento y Gestión de las Enseñanzas Universitarias
Ministerio de Universidades
« Guichet Qualifications »
Service à compétence nationale Guichet Entreprises
Higher Education Governance & Quality Section
Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Dipartimento Politiche Europee
Ufficio per il mercato interno, la competitività e gli affari generali
Servizio per la libera circolazione delle persone, dei servizi, delle merci e dei capitali
Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance
Academic Information Centre
Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of LithuaniaGedimino ave. 38,
Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche
18-20, Montée de la Pétrusse
Ms Zsófia Bréda
Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre
National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE)
Triq Joseph Abela Scolaro, Hamrun HMR 1304 Malta
2502 LT Den Haag
Ms Irene Linke
Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort
Federal Ministry for Digital, Business and Enterprise
Ministry of Science and Higher Educationul. Hoża 20
Centro de Assistência para as Qualificações Profissionais / Assistance Centre for Professional Qualifications
DGERT – Direção Geral do Emprego e das Relações de Trabalho / General-Directorate for Employment and Labour Relations
National Centre for Recognition of Diplomas Granted Abroad/
Centre National pour la Reconnaissance des Diplômes
Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities / Ministrstvo za delo, družino, socialne zadeve in enake možnostiStukljeva cesta 44
Ministerstvo školstva, vedy, výskumu a športu – Stredisko na uznávanie dokladov o vzdelaní a Odborných kvalifikácií /
Ministry of education, science, research and sport – Centre of recognition of foreign diplomas and Professional qualifications
Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus)PO Box 380
Universitets- och högskolerådet
The Swedish Council for Higher Education
The Assistance Centre, ECCTIS LtdSuffolk House
Mrs Iris Rut Bergmann
Directorate of Education
Mr Juerg Dinkelmann
Schulamt des Fürstentums Liechtenstein
Department of Education
Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT)
PO Box 578
Ms Sandra Schindler
Nationale Kontaktstelle für die Anerkennung von Berufsqualifikationen / Point de contact national pour la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles / Punto di contatto nazionale per il riconoscimento delle qualifiche professionali
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI