Securing Skilled Personnel

Recognition of foreign professional qualifications

You attained an educational or professional certificate abroad and need to have it recognized to begin your career in Germany? Or you wish to hire a skilled employee from overseas, but can't classify the applicant's type of qualification? We can help with evaluation and will provide an appraisal of whether the certificate has a good chance of being recognized as equivalent.

Request an assessment of equivalence

Our consultation on this topic is free of charge if the qualification in question falls within the industrial-technical or commercial professions (purview of the IHK / CCI). In such cases, we can also help with filling out the application for recognition of your qualification. In the next step, you will send this along with further supporting documents (for example, your certificates) to the IHK FOSA (Foreign Skills Approval) in Nuremberg. This is the central office for recognizing foreign professional qualifications, and will evaluate your application.
The evaluation costs around 420 EUR on average; in some cases these costs are covered by the Employment Agency. After three months at the latest, you will receive a notice of decision from the IHK FOSA. If your qualification corresponds to the German educational and vocational training, your certificate will be fully recognized. If this is only partially the case, you will receive a partial recognition and notification of what you must additionally learn in order to have your qualification fully recognized.
The IHK Potsdam is the responsible office handling applicants living in the district of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Potsdam (Havelland, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Prignitz, Ostprignitz-Ruppin, Overhavel and Teltow-Fäming counties, as well as the cities of Potsdam and Brandenburg a.d. Havel).
  • Here you will find the required documents
  • Any more questions? You will find the most important information on this topic in our FAQ.
For certificates obtained in certain countries of origin, the legislature has defined simplified procedures for the recognition of professional qualifications.

Recognition of GDR skilled worker certificates

If you completed vocational training in the former GDR and this fell under the area of responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (industrial and commercial professions), then you are entitled to submit an application for determination of equivalence to your local IHK/CCI. If you wish to submit your application to us at the IHK Potsdam, your place of residence or work must be located within our IHK district. Otherwise, please refer to your local IHK.
For the purposes of assessment, we require a notarized copy of your skilled worker's certificate, a notarized copy of your identity card and a CV (optional).
Here you will find all the necessary application documents.
Often, pension insurance institutions will require an assessment of the equivalency of skilled worker qualifications. For the preparation of the assessment, a fee of 26 EUR will be charged in accordance with the fee structure of the IHK Potsdam.
  • Here you will find all the necessary application documents.

Bilateral Agreement with France and Austria

Bilateral agreements are in place with Austria and with France, which define the equivalence of certain professional certificates with the corresponding German qualifications. We are glad to advise you regarding these agreements and can issue a confirmation of equivalence upon your written or telephone request.
If your qualification doesn't happen to be defined as equivalent as per one of these agreements, you still naturally have the option of applying for an assessment of equivalency under the BQFG (Federal Recognition Act, see above).

Special regulations for displaced persons / late re-settlers

Persons who have obtained certificates or proof of qualification in the former countries of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, the former Czechoslovakia or Hungary are legally entitled to the recognition of their certificates. The attested knowledge and skills must, however, be equivalent to valid professional qualifications in Germany with regard to content and length of vocational training.
  • To submit an application, please use this form.
Important : It is a prerequisite to this application that the applicant be in possession of a certificate for late re-settlers or displaced persons. Those who do not possess such a document must first request it via the Federal Administration Office.

If the qualification is recognized, you will have the same permissions and privileges conferred upon you as in the case of a corresponding certificate from the GDR. An extra German certificate will not, however, be issued.