Recognition of degrees and diplomas in france: regulated and non-regulated professions

Recognition of degrees and diplomas in france: regulated and non-regulated professions

You have chosen to live and work in France: soyez la bienvenue! Do you also have the appropriate diploma for the desired profession in France in your pocket? In this practical tip, we explain how professional and academic mobility within the EU is regulated. How to get your German degree recognized in France. And why it matters if your profession is regulated or not in France.

Free movement of persons: professional and academic mobility

As an EU citizen, you have the right to work and live in any Member State without being discriminated against on the basis of your nationality. This free movement of persons is one of the cornerstones of the Treaty on the EU. The European Commission promotes increased labor mobility: it sees this as a "contribution to economic and social progress, to a high level of employment and to balanced and sustainable development".

It also operates EURES (European Employment Services), a cooperation network of public employment services. Thanks to additional agreements, the free movement of persons also applies to members of the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Free movement includes two rights: firstly, to pursue an occupation as an employee or self-employed person (professional mobility) and secondly, as a student, to pursue education (academic mobility). The exercise of this right to mobility is often linked to the academic or professional recognition of an acquired qualification.

So, when it comes to diploma recognition, the question is: Is it about recognition of the baccalaureate and German degrees to study in France? Or about the recognition of German diplomas with a view to practicing a profession?

Academic mobility in the Bologna area

There are many ways for German students to study in France: for example, the Franco-German Youth Office, Erasmus and the Franco-German University offer academic exchange programs.

Studying in France not only enables you to acquire language skills, but also to gain valuable insights into everyday life in France and to acquire intercultural skills.

The German Abitur is recognized in France and allows the admission to a higher education program. France and Germany are both part of the Bologna area, which means that mutual recognition of the most common university degrees is generally given. However, each university determines its own admission requirements to advanced degree programs: The first point of contact for questions of recognition is therefore always the university to which you apply for admission.

For more information on the recognition of diplomas for study purposes, please contact the German Academic Exchange Service or Campus France. The latter organization will also certify your academic credentials upon request. Furthermore, you will find an overview of academic degrees in France and Germany on their website.

Recognition of degrees and diplomas in france: regulated and non-regulated professions

Professional recognition in France: regulated or non-regulated profession

Professional recognition depends on whether the profession you wish to practice is regulated or not in the host country. If the profession is not regulated, your acquired degrees as well as your professional experience are a matter for your future employer. The latter decides at its discretion whether your qualifications are sufficient for employment.

In reality, employers do not find it easy to classify foreign professional competencies. And even though diplomas are becoming less important, they are still an important hiring criterion. Therefore, in each European country there are national information centers connected to the NARIC network (National Academic Recognition Information Centers). They issue current level certificates of employers.

Comparability certificates for non-regulated professions

In France, the Ministry of Education, the ENIC-NARIC center (formerly CIEP), is responsible for the recognition of academic diplomas and professional qualifications. It issues certificates of comparability for foreign professional qualifications and provides information on the procedures for practicing a profession of. Only training lasting more than 6 months and, with a few exceptions, non-regulated professions are examined. Language diplomas are also excluded.

The diplomas to be examined must be submitted on an electronic platform, together with proof of identity. For a fee of 70 euros, the Information Center will check your documents within a maximum period of 4 months.

Recognition procedure for regulated professions

Regulated professions are jobs that require a diploma to practice in France. Depending on the profession, you may need to have your German professional qualification recognized in order to take up a professional activity in France.

The EU does not regulate professions uniformly. Among the regulated professions in France are:

  • Lawyer
  • Architect
  • Nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Baker
  • etc.

A distinction is made between the admission requirements for temporary (libre prestation de services) and permanent (libre etablissement) practice of the profession. Reference is made to the national legal basis as well as the EU legislation.

The EU provides for automatic recognition of diplomas for some professions through the application of sector-specific directives, mainly in the medical field: the qualifications of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists, architects and veterinarians are automatically recognized. In this case you have to submit your qualification certificate and wait for the approval of the authorities. Only then you can start an activity.

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