BUNDESTAGSWAHL 2021 Mehr erfahren

31.7.2012 | Von:
Daria Braun

Basic Principles Thus Far of the Accreditation of Qualifications Acquired Abroad

Die Ingenieure Cristina Fernandez-Aparicio Ruiz (l) und Antonio Lopez-Cano Jimeno (r) stehen am 29.10.2012 im Showroom der Ziehl-Abegg AG in Künzelsau (Baden-Württemberg) vor Ventilatoren. Sie sind jung, gut ausgebildet und finden in ihrer Heimat keine Arbeit: Fachkräfte aus dem krisengeschüttelten Südeuropa will Deutschland jetzt mit gezielten Programmen auf den hiesigen Arbeitsmarkt locken.Many Spanish engineers have found employment in Germany after leaving their home country due to the difficult economic situation. The photograph shows two Spanish engineers at a company in South-West Germany. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

Accreditation practice in Germany is marked by federalism, because as an educational topic it falls in the area of the sovereignty of the Bundesländer. Although the procedures for the accreditation of qualifications acquired abroad (may) differ therefore in principle from one Bundesland to the next, there are three basic principles that apply nationwide and that will be presented in the following.

Academic Versus Occupational Recognition

Until now, educated foreigners, independent of their nationality, only had a legal claim to an academic accreditation procedure. This procedure verifies the equivalence of school and university certificates and achievement in order that access may be granted in Germany to further training or study courses. For this purpose, even before the coming-into-effect of the BQFG, despite the presence of decentralized structures attributable to educational federalism, there were clear regulations for applicants from all countries of origin.

The occupational accreditation procedure, on the other hand, serves the aim of allowing immigrants in Germany to (continue to) work in the occupation they have learned. In contrast to EU citizens and Spätaussiedler [people of German origin emigrating from eastern Europe after 1980: trans.], however, who could invoke the 2005/36/EC directive and the German Law on Expelled Persons [German acronym: BVFG], the citizens of third countries had until now no legal claim to such a procedure. Each competent accreditation agency could decide independently if on a voluntary basis it should accept or reject the application of the third country citizen for an appropriate accreditation procedure.

Regulated Versus Non-Regulated Professions

To this can be added the subdivision into regulated and non-regulated professions. In regulated professions (such as that of physicians and teachers),[1] the opportunities for access are limited by legal and administrative provisions, whereby the aim is to ensure quality standards in the exercise of a profession. In order to be allowed to work in a regulated profession, any educated foreigner must have their qualifications acquired abroad accredited in Germany. By contrast, the exercise of a non-regulated profession requires no such accreditation.[2] Theoretically then, access to the labor market in the case of these professions is entirely open to holders of a certificate acquired abroad. Since these previously acquired qualifications cannot, however, be properly assessed by employers in the labor market, the chances of a job applicant are increased if the certificate is officially assessed and graded in terms of the known German (training or) educational system (KMK 2011).

The Principle of Origin

Basic Principles before April 1, 2012Basic Principles before April 1, 2012 Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
Before the BQFG came into effect, the influence of the origin of an educated foreigner played a decisive role in the recognition of qualifications acquired abroad, since, as previously mentioned, there was a legal basis of such recognition only in the case of EU citizens and Spätaussiedler.[3] Citizens of third countries were legally excluded from the accreditation procedure. Figure 2 offers an overview of the basic principles applicable until now.

This text is part of the policy brief on "Procedures for the Assessment of Qualifications Acquired Abroad in Transition".


Approximately sixty different occupations in the public health system, in the educational sector, in the technical and skilled crafts sector, in food production and control, in agriculture and forestry, in the administration of justice, in accounting/auditing and tax consultancy and in all positions of the civil service (Beramí 2010: 15).
These include roughly 350 occupations in Germany. In the academic sector this involves, for example, social scientists or computer scientists; in training/educational occupations, among others, commercial or agricultural vocations (cf. www.berufliche-anerkennung.de).
And for citizens of countries which have bilateral agreements with Germany, such as Switzerland, France and Austria (Reiche et al. 2010: 23).
Creative Commons License

Dieser Text ist unter der Creative Commons Lizenz "CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DE - Namensnennung - Nicht-kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 3.0 Deutschland" veröffentlicht. Autor/-in: Daria Braun für bpb.de

Sie dürfen den Text unter Nennung der Lizenz CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DE und des/der Autors/-in teilen.
Urheberrechtliche Angaben zu Bildern / Grafiken / Videos finden sich direkt bei den Abbildungen.



Länderprofile Migration: Daten - Geschichte - Politik

Ein Länderprofil enthält Informationen über Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration in einem bestimmten Land. Diese Informationen bestehen aus: Daten und Statistiken, Geschichtlichen Entwicklungen, Rechtlichen und politischen Maßnahmen, Aktuellen Debatten in den Ländern.

Mehr lesen


Zahlen zu Asyl in Deutschland

Wie viele Menschen suchen in Deutschland Asyl? Woher kommen sie? Wie viele Asylanträge sind erfolgreich? Und wie viele Menschen werden abgeschoben? Wir stellen die wichtigsten Zahlen zum Thema Asyl und Flucht monatlich aktualisiert in einfachen Infografiken dar.

Mehr lesen