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Professional Qualification Recognition in the UK

How to Get Your EU Professional Qualification Recognised in the UK

In the dynamic professional landscape of the United Kingdom, the recognition of professional qualifications from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein becomes an essential step for those aiming to work within regulated professions. This process, overseen by the Department for Business and Trade alongside the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, is designed to ensure that qualifications obtained abroad meet the high standards and requirements set forth by the UK. Through a comprehensive framework, this guidance outlines the necessary steps to facilitate the recognition process, providing a pathway for qualifications from these regions to be validated and accepted. It addresses the need for maintaining professional integrity and compliance within the UK’s regulated sectors, ensuring that the transition into the UK’s professional environment is as seamless as possible for individuals holding qualifications from these areas..

The Professional Qualifications Act 2022, receiving Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, introduces a new framework for the recognition of overseas professional qualifications in the UK. This legislation marks a departure from the EU rules-based system, paving the way for new assessment routes for individuals with foreign qualifications or experience, particularly where there is a demand for professional services in the UK. The Act maintains the autonomy of regulatory bodies in determining entry requirements and assessing fitness to practise, while also enabling the implementation of international agreements on qualification recognition, such as those with Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

A significant feature of the Act is the enhancement of regulatory transparency and information sharing. From 28 October 2022, UK regulators are mandated under section 8 to publish detailed information about entry and practice requirements for professions under their jurisdiction. This includes detailing the qualifications or experience needed for practice, application processes for both domestic and overseas qualifications, and any additional requirements for continuing professional development. The aim is to reduce barriers for individuals seeking to practise regulated professions in the UK by making entry and practice requirements clear and accessible.

Furthermore, the Act allows for targeted improvements in the regulation of professions by enhancing information sharing between regulators and increasing the transparency of regulatory fees and other requirements. This initiative is expected to facilitate the mobility of international talent into the UK’s professional sectors, contributing to the country’s access to skilled professionals from overseas. The legislation also outlines provisions for regulators to publish information on their websites in an accessible and user-friendly manner, ensuring that all necessary data regarding professional entry and practice is readily available to potential practitioners, thereby promoting a transparent and efficient recognition process.

Key Information

Department for Energy Security and Net ZeroDepartment for Science, Innovation and Technology, and Department for Business and Trade
Departments: Business and Trade, Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Guidance for EEA or Swiss Qualification Recognition

To practise in a regulated profession in the UK, your professional qualification must be officially recognised by the relevant UK regulator, even for temporary or occasional services.

For Professionals Already Working in the UK:
– If your qualification was recognised by a UK regulator before 1 January 2021, no further action is required to validate your qualification.
– Professionals utilising a temporary or occasional declaration must seek recognition from the relevant regulator.

Starting Work in the UK:
– The UK acknowledges qualifications from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein that are equivalent to UK standards.
– Verify if your profession is regulated by checking the UK list of regulated professions. Subsequently, contact the appropriate UK regulator for guidance on getting your qualification recognised.
– Be aware that some professions have distinct regulators across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Ensure you contact the right regulator for your intended workplace.

Applications Prior to 1 January 2021:
– Applications submitted before this date will continue under the previous regulations where feasible, even if they are not concluded by this date.

Special Considerations for Swiss Nationals:
– Swiss nationals and their family members who had begun their qualifications before 1 January 2021 can apply for recognition under EU rules until 31 December 2024, even if applications are submitted post-31 December 2020.
– Swiss nationals with pre-existing contracts for temporary or occasional services starting before 1 January 2021 can continue their services until 31 December 2025, based on the original contract terms.

Specific Professions:
Special rules apply to architects, auditors, lawyers, and healthcare professionals. It’s crucial to consult the specific guidance for these professions:

You can find this guidance at:

This guidance aims to streamline the process of getting your EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic, or Liechtenstein qualification recognised in the UK, ensuring your seamless transition into the UK professional environment. For further information, subscribe to receive updates about this page or print this guidance for your reference.