Reform of the recognition of professional qualifications system

On June 22, the European Commission issued a Green Paper with a view to modernise the Directive on Recognition of Professional Qualifications. It also started a new consultation to gather stakeholder’s views on new approaches to mobility, ways to build on achievements and on the modernisation of automatic recognition. CEPI actively participates in these initiatives. 

The reform of the system of recognition of professional qualifications as a means to facilitate mobility is one of the priority actions proposed by the Commission in the Single Market Act. The Green Paper outlines possible ways forward that build on past achievements while developing new approaches.

For instance, the introduction of a professional card closely linked to the Internal Market Information System (IMI) could make it considerably easier for professionals to have their qualifications recognised in another Member State. A professional card issued by a competent authority in the professional’s home Member State could then allow the professional to demonstrate his/her credentials (having the necessary qualifications, being authorised to practise) to consumers, employers and relevant authorities in another Member State.

Similarly, stakeholders are invited to give their input about the potential of new common platforms to facilitate the mobility of professionals where there is no automatic recognition, by developing sets of commonly agreed criteria for professional qualifications. They could be used to reduce differences in training requirements.

In addition, the minimum training requirements of certain professions (e.g. some health professions and architects) could be reformed. To that end, certain adjustments to the duration and content of training, as well as possibly changing the requisite language skills for health professions, could be necessary. This would also strengthen the legitimacy of automatic recognition of qualifications.

Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation by 20 September 2011. The Commission will then organise a high level conference on 7 November 2011, and a legislative proposal is foreseen for December 2011.

CEPI is a member of the Steering Group on a European Professional Card and participates in a feasibility study to evaluate the added value as well as the legal effects of such professional card. Several member organizations will be involved in this exercise. We will of course also participate in the consultation and express our views over the summer.

More information
DG Internal Market