FAQ Health Professions

How can I work in a health profession in Baden-Württemberg?

In order to work in a health profession, you must apply for a professional certificate. This applies both to applicants with training from an EU/EEA state and to applicants with training from a third country.

You may only work as a health professional if you have a professional certificate.

According to the legal regulations, the equivalence of your foreign training with the current German training in this profession is a prerequisite for the issuance of the professional certificate for training completed in an EU/EEA state or third country. The professional certificate is to be issued - upon proof of the other prerequisites such as fully completed training, health suitability, absence of crimi-nal convictions, sufficient German language skills - if proof of equivalent training is provided along with a practical phase.

Recognition of foreign educational qualifications - Regierungspräsidien Baden-Württemberg (baden-wuerttemberg.de) - in German

Where can I get advice?

Due to an enormous number of applications for professional certificates in the health professions, we are unable to provide counselling services. Please contact the following offices for advice:

If you live abroad and do not yet have a job offer or do not live in Baden-Württemberg, please contact the Central Service Point for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).

You can reach the ZSBA at the e-mail address:

If you live abroad and have questions about entry and employment in Baden-Württemberg, please contact the IQ Network Baden-Württemberg:
https://www.netzwerk-iq-bw.de/de/anerkennungsberatung/ - in German

Important: Within the Federal Republic of Germany, you may only pursue one application procedure for the granting of the professional certificate. If you intend to continue the application proce-dure in another federal state, the current application procedure must first be terminated and the competent authority must be informed about any previous recognition procedures.

Who is responsible for recognition?

The Regional Council of Stuttgart is responsible for processing your application for a professional certificate if you intend to work in a health profession in Baden-Württemberg and can prove this eit-her by a job offer or other plausible information. The responsibility of the Regional Council of Stuttgart must be given at all times during the ongoing recognition procedure. If, for example, you change your employer during the recognition procedure and the employer is located in another federal state, the procedure cannot be continued.

A review of the content of the documents sent (this also includes, for example, a review of the application documents for completeness) can only take place if the local jurisdiction of the Regional Council of Stuttgart is given.

Please note that if you have previously applied for a professional certificate in another federal state or if you are/were resident in another federal state, you must provide a concrete job confirmation to prove that you will practise your profession in Baden-Württemberg after receiving the professional certificate.

What decision is made?

a.) Completion of training in the health profession:

In order to be able to make a decision, the recognition authority checks whether your vocational training has been completed and whether a German reference occupation / profession is available.

If the requested documents cannot be provided, or if we are not able to determine clearly and con-clusively from the documents that your training in the country of training is suitable for the occupati-on applied for and has been completed in full, we would have to commission the determination of a reference qualification via the Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen, ZAB) in Bonn. However, we can only decide whether this measure is necessary as soon as all documents have been handed in completely.

If the ZAB were to determine that the training does not correspond to a health profession in Germa-ny or has not been completed, we would have to reject your application.

If we or the ZAB are able to establish a reference occupation or the completion of the training, then we will take further steps in the recognition process.

b.) Significant differences in training:

If there are significant differences between the training courses, you will receive a so-called intermediate notice (Defizitbescheid) from which you can find out the scope and content of an adaptation course or the examinations to be taken in an aptitude or knowledge test. Once you have successfully completed these examinations, you will receive the professional certificate in the correspon-ding health profession after submitting proof of health suitability, exemption from punishment and sufficient German language skills.

If your training completed abroad is equivalent to the respective German training, you will receive the professional certificate in the corresponding health profession after submitting proof of health suitability, exemption from punishment and sufficient German language skills.

c.) Can I get a nursing assistant - recognition?

If we have determined that you have completed training in health care and nursing, you can directly apply for the certificate as a health care and nursing assistant. You will receive this certificate without further examination of the equivalence of your training. However, you must have sufficient language skills at the level of B 2 (see Language skills).

How long does the processing take?

In accordance with the legal requirements, the applicant gets confirmation of receipt of the application within one month. Within the framework of the further legal requirements, a decision on your application will be made after all documents required for the decision on the application have been submitted. Please understand that applications are generally processed in the order in which they are received.

What does the recognition cost?

A fee of 100 euros is charged for the decision on the equivalence of your training and another fee of 200 euros (EU/EEA) or 250 euros (third country) for the issuance of the professional certificate.

The amount of the fee is determined in each individual case according to the administrative effort involved in processing the application.
Separate costs may be incurred for the preparation of an expert opinion to determine the reference qualification, the equivalence of the training and the authenticity of documents.

I want to withdraw my application, what do I have to do?

Submit an informal letter by post to us stating that you wish to withdraw the application for recognition. This letter must be dated and signed by you. You will then receive a notice of withdrawal with a fee assessment. Your documents will be sent to another authority (other federal state) as soon as this authority requests them and the fee has been paid.

I am moving, what do I have to do?

Please always give your current address (postal address/email address) so that you can always be available for us and also pay attention to your email - spam box. Please state your name on your front door, otherwise our notices cannot be delivered.

What documents must be submitted?  

The following documents must be submitted:

Application Forms and Checklist - in German

In what form must the documents be submitted?

The following documents must be submitted in the original:

  • Application for recognition of a health profession completed abroad,
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • All forms of credible evidence (commitment to hire, employment contract, expression of interest, proof of counselling),
  • Medical certificate

All other documents can be submitted as copies.

All national language documents can be submitted as copies and with  a copy of translations.

Important note: Once the application process has been completed, documents and papers submitted cannot be returned. Therefore, please refrain from sending original documents.

The application (application form and Annex 1 incl. marking of the enclosed supporting documents) with the documents must be sent by post in the original. Please enclose copies with a copy of the German translation with your application.

Do the documents need to be translated?

All foreign-language documents require a German translation by a translator publicly appointed or sworn in Germany or EU. It must be recognisable that the translator has prepared a translation of the original document in the national language.

Foreign language documents, even if they are written in English, must always be accompanied by a qualified translation.

A qualified translation is generally a translation prepared by an interpreter or translator who is publicly appointed or sworn in Germany or EU. The nationwide database of interpreters and translators (DÜD) can be found at the following link:
http://www.justiz-dolmetscher.de/Recherche/de/Suchen - in German / in English

What is a qualified translation?  

A qualified translation should comply with the following key points:

The translator is publicly appointed and authorised for the language. The entire document has been translated. It must be recognisable that the translator has attached a copy of the national language document submitted to him/her to the translation (e.g. by affixing a seal to the joints).

Can the documents also be translated abroad?

A translation made abroad may be deemed equivalent to a qualified translation if the diplomatic representation of the Federal Republic of Germany confirms the accuracy and completeness of the translation or if the foreign representation has a list of translators recognised in the country of issue and the translation was made by a translator on the list.

If the latter is not available, the applicant shall submit a translation by a translator authorised by a court in Germany or EU. Otherwise please contact us.

What can I submit as ID/proof of identity?

Only passports and identity cards are accepted as proof of identity, but not birth certificates.

I cannot present a current identity card, what can I do?

If you do not have a current passport/ID card (recognised refugees), it is sufficient to present a German passport replacement (residence title with the note "Ausweisersatz").

What do I have to consider when submitting a certificate of good conduct?

Generally, current certificates of good conduct must be submitted from the countries in which one has stayed for a longer period of time (more than one year, not older than 3 months on the day the professional certificate was issued).

I cannot present a certificate of good conduct from my home country, e.g. in the case of refugee applicants, what can I do?

In exceptional cases, we will accept an affidavit (via a notary) from the applicant stating that he/she is not guilty of any conduct which would render him/her unworthy or unreliable to practise as a health professional.

Refugees from Syria:
You can apply for your certificate of good conduct via the Syrian embassy in Berlin and, if necessary, by involving a representative; this also applies to those who have refused military service.

Where do I get my German certificate of good conduct?

You must apply for the official certificate of good conduct (document type OB) at the registration office responsible for your German place of residence (= city administration/city hall).
Please be sure to indicate the purpose of use and the recipient authority with our address and with the name of your responsible case worker.
Please always provide the competent registration authority with the details below:

(Intended use):
Anerkennung Gesundheitsfachberuf
(Recognition of health profession)
(Receiving authority):

Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart
Referat 95.2
Name der Sachbearbeiterin / des Sachbearbeiters
Ruppmannstraße 21
70565 Stuttgart

Do I have to submit a Certificate of Good Standing?

Only those who have already worked in the training occupation in another country must submit a Certificate of Good Standing (not older than 3 months after the end of the professional activity).

Here you will find a list of the foreign authorities (pdf, 240 KB - in German) responsible for issuing the Certificate of Good Standing.

No responsibility is taken for the topicality and correctness of the list. In case of doubt, please check with your country of origin.

How should my CV be submitted?

The CV must be submitted clearly, chronologically structured, without gaps in time and in German.

Please always state:

  • WHEN you were in WHICH COUNTRY.
  • HOW LONG you have been in the respective country and
  • WHAT you did there in each case.

Example of the structure of a chronological, gap-free, up-to-date CV:

Time spanWhat did you do?Place/Country
01/2010 – 03/2016Study/training health professionMoscow/Russia
04/2016 – 05/2018Health profession in the hospitalAleppo/Syria
06/2018 – 07/2019Parental leave or baby breakAleppo/Syria
08/2019 – 08/2020Health profession in the hospitalDamascus/Syria
08/2020 – 10/2021unemployedAleppo/Syria
11/2021Entry into Germany e. g. Cologne -
now language courses and integration in Stuttgart

The CV must always be signed and dated with the current date.

Will I get my submitted documents back later?

The documents submitted must remain with the authority after the procedure has been completed, so you will not receive any documents back. Therefore, never submit original documents (e.g. diploma, licence, professional certificates, COGS).

What German language skills do I need?

It is regulated by law that proof of sufficient knowledge of the German language must be provided in all health professions.

The knowledge refers respectively to oral and written general language and technical language, i.e. the language required for professional activities.

You are supposed to be able to communicate appropriately spontaneously and as far as possible fluently, especially with patients and clients, and understand and reproduce complex texts and specialist discussions on medical topics.

General language B2

Language skills at level B2 or B2 Nursing are required for the issuance of the professional certificate. In principle, an examination on the requirements of level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) should be proven at a recognised language institute with ALTE certification (e.g. Goethe - Institute, TELC, ÖSD etc.).

The B2 certificate must be submitted in the original. You will receive it back with the professional certificate.

The B2 language certificate should not be older than 5 years at the time of application.

Proof of this is not required if you have passed a German-language final examination, knowledge or further education examination, if you are a native speaker or have acquired your higher education entrance qualification at a German-language school.

Technical language

The technical language examination is not yet conducted in Baden-Württemberg.

Will my technical language examination from another federal state be recognised?

The specialist language examination is generally accepted if it was taken in another federal state. When applying in Baden-Württemberg, submit a certified copy of the confirmation of having passed the specialised language examination as proof.

What is an adaptation course?

If there are significant differences between the training courses, you will receive a so-called intermediate notice (Defizitbescheid), from which you can see the scope and content of an adaptation course.

An adaptation course is a possible compensatory measure within the framework of the procedure for determining the equivalence of foreign vocational training. As an alternative to the adaptation course, you can take an aptitude or knowledge test.

The adaptation training course may include theoretical-practical lessons as well as hours in practical training.

The aim of the course is for you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to practise the profession.

What is the scope of an adaptation course?

The scope of the adaptation course will be determined after reviewing your documents for each area in which there are significant differences. The adaptation course does not have to be completed full-time, but can be arranged individually in consultation with the school and the practical training centre. If the adaptation course is completed part-time, its duration is extended accordingly. The adaptation course ends with an examination in the form of a final interview on the content.

What is a final interview?

For each area in which a significant difference has been determined, a final interview must be held after completion of the adaptation course. The contents of the adaptation course for the respective area are examined.

Who takes part in the final interview?

The final interview is conducted by two persons, namely a subject examiner together with the teacher or practice supervisor who supervised the applicant during the course.

What happens if the final interview is not passed?

If a final interview reveals that you are not yet able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to exercise the profession, the examiners will decide on an appropriate extension of the adaptation course. An extension of the adaptation course is only permissible once and is applied for at the Stuttgart Regional Council by the school or the institution in which the adaptation course is completed. After the extension has been completed, a final interview takes place again. If this is also not passed, the adaptation period must be repeated entirely.

Who offers adaptation courses?

The adaptation training course must be carried out at an institution with state training authorisation in the intended occupation.

The Stuttgart Regional Council accepts no responsibility for the content of the adaptation courses.

What is an aptitude or knowledge test?

Not all vocational trainings are immediately recognised as equivalent. In this context, the possibility of proving the equivalence of foreign training by successfully taking an aptitude or knowledge test is offered. As an alternative to the aptitude or knowledge test, you can complete an adaptation course.

If you decide to take an aptitude or knowledge test immediately upon application, the scope of the practical test will be determined without taking into account the vocational training you have completed.

What is the difference between an aptitude and a knowledge test?

The aptitude test consists solely of a practical test, whereas the knowledge test consists of an oral/theoretical and a practical test. If the training was completed within the EU, the EEA and Switzerland, an aptitude test may have to be taken. If, on the other hand, the training was completed in a third country, a knowledge examination must be taken.

Registration for the aptitude/knowledge test

How do I register?

If you would like to register for the aptitude or knowledge test, please contact the institution where you would like to take the aptitude or knowledge test. The registration for the aptitude or knowledge test is made by the institution to the Regional Council Stuttgart.

Is the completion of a preparation course obligatory?

Exam preparation is not subject to any requirements. You can prepare for the exam on your own or attend a preparation course. However, we advise you to attend a preparation course in order to pass the exam successfully.

What is the composition of the examination board?

The examination board for the theoretical knowledge examination consists of two examiners and a chairperson.

The chair must be determined in each case by a professionally suitable representative of the authority.

How much time is there to register for an examination after the interim decision has been issued?

There is no legal deadline within which you have to register for the examination after the decision has been issued.

Note: Adaptation measures in health care and nursing, health care and paediatric nursing and geriatric nursing must be completed by 31.12.2024 due to the expiry of the laws.

What are the costs?

The Stuttgart Regional Council does not charge any further fees for taking the examinations. However, the state-recognised schools/comparably recognised institutions or the clinics/suitable practical institutions may charge examination fees.

Where and when do the oral and practical examinations take place? 

The oral examinations take place at state-recognised schools or comparably recognised institutions.

The practical examinations take place in approved hospitals/suitable practical facilities. This may depend on the nursing situations specified in the interim decision.

The date for taking the examination is organised by the Stuttgart Regional Council in consultation with the respective schools/institutions and is based on the requirements of the state examination according to the respective training and examination regulations. No examination may be taken without prior consultation with the Stuttgart Regional Council.

However, it is possible and also desirable that you find the examination venue for the practical examination on your own. This can significantly speed up the duration of the procedure.

How quickly will I get an exam date?

This depends on the amount of applications and the willingness of the schools/institutions to offer and conduct an examination.

What happens if an examination section is not passed?

The theoretical examination and each set area of the practical examination may be repeated once if the candidate fails.

If the examination is also not passed in the second attempt, the application for recognition of the foreign vocational qualification must be rejected. This applies not only to the state of Baden-Württemberg, but to the whole of Germany. Recognition of the foreign vocational qualification is then no longer possible in Germany.

Can the aptitude or knowledge test also be held in another federal state?

No. As long as the Stuttgart Regional Council is responsible for the recognition procedure, it is also the competent authority for taking the aptitude or knowledge test. The Stuttgart Regional Council is the examination chair and appoints the examiners. It is therefore not possible to take the examination in another federal state.