Ten years of the Recognition Act – an opportunity for integration and for ensuring the supply of skilled workers

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) launches initiative "Recognition Days" to mark anniversary.

Since 1 April 2012, the procedure for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications has been regulated and standardised by the Federal Recognition Act. Since the act came into force, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has been contributing with academic support and public relations work to the act's successful implementation.

To mark the act's 10th anniversary, BIBB has launched the initiative "Tage der Anerkennung [Recognition Days]" on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). On an interactive map, it has brought together events and publications of numerous institutions which relate to the anniversary in order to draw attention to the importance of recognising foreign professional qualifications. 

"For ten years, the Recognition Act has actively contributed to ensuring the supply of skilled workers in Germany and to integrating people into society," emphasises BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser. "The conscientious checking of qualifications ensures quality and transparency for businesses and employers. For people with a migrant background, official recognition of their qualifications also opens up professional and personal opportunities for them. This also applies to refugees currently coming to us from Ukraine. Despite all the human suffering, working in the profession they trained for can provide these people with a sense of purpose and help with their arrival in Germany."

Enquiries from Ukrainian refugees regarding recognition of their professional qualifications are currently on the increase. You can apply for recognition regardless of your residency status. In some cases recognition is a requirement for being permitted to work in certain occupations in Germany. If the documents needed for recognition cannot be provided, then other procedures can be used such as a skills analysis or a test. In the past, BIBB has contributed with projects to ensure the further development of the specific skills analysis process and its use in advice and implementation. 

For ten years now, BIBB, on behalf of the BMBF, has played a key role with the portal "Recognition in Germany" in making all key information on the theme of recognition easy to find. The portal is now available in eleven languages and, with the "Recognition Finder", serves as a guide through the procedure. "Recognition in Germany" has been visited almost 20 million times since 2012 - making it the most used online offer for those interested in recognition and for specialist advisers.

The BIBB Recognition Monitoring Project also monitors implementation of the act. The analysis of official statistics on recognition events, scientific investigations and dialogue with practice enable it to create transparency, contribute to quality assurance and highlight the opportunities presented by recognition.

Activities are currently focussed on the digitalisation of the recognition procedure. This is because, by the end of 2022, it must be possible to submit all applications to a German authority online. BIBB is therefore participating in a project involving the federal government and the federal states. Its purpose is to enable international skilled workers to apply online via the "Recognition Finder". "Electronic submission will be an important contribution to reducing the barriers to making an application in the long term," explains BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser.

Source: press release by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, bibb.de, revised by iMOVE, Juli 2022