29 Jun
ITEM Event

ITEM seminar: “Recognition of Qualifications”


The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility / ITEM organised its Seminar “The Recognition of Qualifications: Improving Recognition to Enhance Cross-border Labour Mobility” on Wednesday 29 June 2016. The official language of the seminar was English.

ITEM Seminar: Recognition of Qualifications

This seminar was meant to build on the successful previous ITEM/North-Rhine Westphalia workshop that focused on educators and health care professionals. Through this follow-up workshop the range is expanded to include the Benelux countries and Germany and to professions in construction, legal, health care, and education and child care sectors. 

The recognition of qualifications has grown to be an intricate policy area involving many actors and affecting an equally large number of professionals. The area has been subject to extensive legislation and regulation. Nevertheless, professionals continue to experience obstacles when having their qualifications recognized. Innovative legal instruments and initiatives have been introduced to facilitate and improve recognition, ultimately benefiting cross-border labour mobility. Now is the time to take stock of the remaining obstacles and the instruments introduced to tackle them. 

To structure the day, the seminar focused on three core questions: 

  • What is the current situation regarding the policy and practice on the recognition of qualifications? 
  • What core issues can be identified for the seminar professions? 
  • How can we proceed to improve the recognition of qualifications? 

During the seminar, we started the day with opening presentations by our keynote speakers. After lunch, four workshops will take place focusing on specific professions in construction, legal, health care, and education and child care sectors. These profession-focused workshops were structured as follows: the workshop hosts gave an introductory presentation after which the group was be divided into subgroups where participants discussed the remaining issues and ways to improve the recognition of qualifications for the designated professions. The workshop hosts acted as discussion leaders. The day concluded with a plenary feedback session where the workshop results were be discussed.


Wednesday 29 June 2016

10:00 Welcome and registration
10.30 Keynote speeches
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Workshop Introduction


  • Workshop 1 – Recognition for professions in the construction industry: The case of architects & welders
  • Workshop 2 – Recognition of qualifications for legal professions: The state of affairs for lawyers 
  • Workshop 3 – Health care professionals: Recognition under the amended Professional Qualifications Directive & case study pediatric surgery
  • Workshop 4 – The cross-border mobility and recognition of professionals in education and child care
15.00 Break
15.30 Plenary closing session: Workshop findings, discussion & plans for action

Expert panel: Representatives of each of the workshops will take part in the expert panel

17.00 Reception