The general system of recognition enables workers to have their professional qualification recognised in another EU country.
In the EU there is a system of automatic recognition of professional qualifications for seven sectoral professions: nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons.
Professionals working in the craft, commerce or industry sectors may qualify for the automatic recognition of professional qualification in another EU country.
The recognition of professional qualifications for some professions is governed by specific legislation.
The rules for temporary mobility are set out in chapter II of Directive 2005/36/EC. The rules apply to the temporary or occasional nature of activities of a self-employed or an employed person in another EU country.
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. Some professions such as sailors or aircraft controllers (in principle) do not fall under the recognition procedures of Directive 2005/36/EC and are governed by specific legislation. Special laws also exist for lawyers.
Professions with recognition falling under Directive 2005/36/EC
The professions who benefit from automatic recognition on the basis of harmonised minimum training requirements under the directive are: nurses, midwives, doctors (basic medical training, general practitioners and specialists), dental practitioners, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons.
Directive 2005/36/EC also applies in general to all other regulated professions, unless otherwise stated. A non-exhaustive list of regulated professions is available in the database of regulated professions.
Professions with recognition falling under specific legislation
The recognition mechanisms of Directive 2005/36/EC in principle do not apply to professions for which the recognition of professional qualifications is governed by specific legal provisions. In some cases, the recognition mechanisms of Directive 2005/36/EC may apply on secondary basis.
Professions with recognition falling under specific legislation are, for example, lawyers, sailors, insurance intermediaries and aircraft controllers, as well as some other professions in transport or those linked to activities involving toxic products.
A non-exhaustive list of these professions is also available in the database of regulated professions.
The 'common training test' for ski instructors
On 4 June 2019, a delegated regulation establishing the common training test for ski instructors (CTT) was published in the Official Journal of the EU.
The CTT helps instructors who have passed the test to work across the EU without burdensome administrative procedures. It introduces automatic recognition of their qualifications while guaranteeing an adequate level of training and skills. Instructors holding a relevant qualification can undergo a ‘Eurotest’ and ‘Eurosecurity test’, which test their technical abilities and safety-related competences.
The delegated regulation was developed in close consultation with organisations representing ski instructors from all interested EU countries, in addition to the experience gathered from the memorandum of understanding pilot project. This project started in 2012 between 11 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom).
The delegated regulation neither harmonises national training nor imposes additional regulation on EU countries. It creates an additional and voluntary scheme of automatic recognition for ski instructors across the EU. Ski instructors not covered by the CTT still benefit from the general system for mutual recognition of qualifications enshrined in the revised professional qualifications directive.
Directive 2006/123/EC on services and Directive 2005/36/EC on professional qualifications are complementary instruments dealing with different matters. Consequently, for matters not relating to professional qualifications, the 'services directive' applies to those regulated professions that fall within its scope.
Directive 2005/36/EC sets the rules for
- temporary mobility – this scheme allows professionals to work in another EU country on the basis of a declaration made in advance
- establishment in another EU country – the directive lays down rules for professionals who want to establish themselves as
- an employed or self-employed person
- on a permanent basis
- in a country where they didn’t obtain their professional qualification
- systems of recognition of qualifications – there are 3 systems of recognition
- automatic recognition – for professions with harmonised minimum training conditions (i.e. nurses, midwifes, doctors (basic medical training, general practitioners and specialists), dental practitioners, pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons)
- general system – for other regulated professions such as teachers, translators and real estate agents
- automatic recognition on the basis of professional experience - for certain professional activities such as carpenters, upholsterers, beauticians etc.
- knowledge of languages and professional academic titles