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For Employers: Qualification Recognition for Professionals Who Want to Work Abroad

When a healthcare professional decides to work abroad, more often than not, he or she will need to get their qualifications recognized as evidence that their education and training is accepted as equivalent to those in the same profession in the destination country. For employers, this proves that the foreign worker that they will be hiring will have the knowledge and competence they require. So, how does the qualification recognition process work? How long does it take and is it required for all international healthcare professionals who want to take a job abroad?

As an employer, it is important to know that some foreign medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors, are mandated to get their qualifications recognized while others may not be required to do so. Usually, as in the case of Germany, foreign workers who are part of a regulated profession are required to get their qualifications recognized before taking up employment. It could also be required of those who work in specific trades as independent contractors. Therefore, the first thing an employer should do is determine whether the position they are filling is listed as a profession that requires a qualification recognition determination.

In Germany, the qualification recognition application is usually filed with the designated authority that has jurisdiction over the place of employment or intended residence. The documents required are generally the same throughout Germany, such as a diploma, transcript of education and training and a professional license. Often, these documents need to be translated in German and certified.

The processing time for a qualification recognition application depends on where the application is filed and where the foreign healthcare professional received their education and training. In Germany, if a candidate is from Europe/EU/EEA, processing will take from 6 to 8 weeks. For those educated and trained outside of Europe/EU/EEA, it could take a few weeks to several months. Thus, an employer planning to hire foreign medical professionals must take into account the importance and time for the qualification recognition process.


Laura Esnaola has been with Care With Care from the very beginning. The international programme for recruiting foreign care specialists offers employers in the healthcare sector global personnel solutions, while accommodating medical nursing staff from abroad who are looking to start a career in Europe. Through Care With Care, Laura Esnaola places nursing staff, primarily from the Philippines, while advising personnel decision-makers from clinics, senior care and rehabilitation facilities on the successful integration of employees in order to strengthen intercultural understanding and communication. This ensures that employees remain with the companies long-term. In addition to her activities as Managing Director of Care.com Europe GmbH and Head of Care With Care, Laura Esnaola is involved in charitable projects worldwide and makes the occasional appearance as a violinist.      
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