Recognition of Qualifications: Publication Practical Explanatory Documents

Cross-border work involves a lot to be taken into account. A much-discussed aspect is the recognition of qualifications. During these procedures, competent authorities check whether a person's diplomas and professional experience meet certain standards. Such processes are anything but obvious. In order to provide clarity in the complex subject matter, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has commissioned ITEM to draw up a set of explanatory documents. ITEM is pleased to announce the publication of these documents.

Directive 2005/36/EC (as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU) is the main instrument in the field of the recognition of professional qualifications. This Professional Qualifications Directive exclusively covers so-called regulated professions. In the European Union, there is a large number of regulated professions whereby differences among Member States are considerable. Each country may lay down different requirements as regards the diplomas and professional experience that a person must have before being able to work in that country. When these requirements are laid down in laws or regulations, they are referred to as a regulated profession.

When one considers the number of EU Member States and regulated professions as well as the large amount of legislation and competent parties involved, it is not surprising that complications occur. The Professional Qualifications Directive aims to facilitate the mobility of those professionals practicing a regulated profession. The directive is based on the principle of mutual recognition. This fundamental principle requires that a diploma obtained in accordance with the rules in force in one Member State should also be considered as such in all other Member States.

The Professional Qualifications Directive provides a comprehensive framework to effectuate the principle. To illustrate this complex framework, ITEM has drawn up two explanatory documents on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Explanatory Memorandum concisely describes the essence of the Professional Qualifications Directive. The Annexes to the memorandum offer interested readers more in-depth information.