Sweden recognises educational qualifications from the other Nordic countries. Consequently, if you have an educational qualification from another Nordic country, you can get it recognised in Sweden when you are applying for an educational programme, want to credit your periods of study from your home country, or want to start work.
However, certain professions are regulated through legislation. A profession is regulated when you must have a specific education, pass certain exams, and/or register with a professional organisation, before you can start working in that field. If your profession is regulated in Sweden, you must have your professional qualifications recognised in Sweden before you can start to work.
Recognition of foreign qualifications in Sweden
If you have an educational qualification from another country and want to work or study in Sweden, it may be necessary to get your qualification recognised first.
When must you get your qualification assessed in Sweden?
Recognition of your foreign education qualification is a typical requirement if you are planning to continue your studies in Sweden or if you want to pursue a career in a regulated profession.
Everyone who is entitled to work in Sweden can get their completed education from another country assessed and receive a recognition statement. This means that if you are a citizen in an EU/EEA country or have a residence permit or a work permit you can get your qualification assessed.
Who can assess your qualification in Sweden?
The Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet, UHR) evaluates foreign upper secondary qualifications, vocational qualifications, and university qualifications.
You can get your qualification evaluated through UHR’s online Qualifications Assessment Tool (bedömningstjänst), where you can see what your qualification is equivalent to in Sweden. If you cannot find your qualification in UHR’s online service, or if you want a more detailed description of your qualification, you can apply for a recognition statement from UHR. The recognition is statement is a free digital document, but it is not a Swedish degree.
You do not need to wait for an assessment or a recognition statement before you apply to university, as your foreign upper secondary qualification is assessed as a part of the admissions process.
You can also use an assessment or a recognition statement when you, for example, apply for jobs. This can make it easier for the employer to understand your qualification. However, it is the individual employer who decides whether your skills are the right ones for the job.
You have access to UHR’s online service.
Authorisation in Sweden
In Sweden, certain professions are regulated through legislation, which means that you must have a specific authorisation or permit from the relevant authorities before you can work within their professions.
An authorisation is a certificate showing that you are entitled to work in a specific professional field. Authorisation is issued as a guaranteee that you have completed the right educational level and that you have the right competencies.
Which professions are regulated in Sweden?
Regulated professions in Sweden include doctors, nurses, lawyers, pharmacists, and dentists. You must satisfy certain requirements and be issued with an approval statement from the relevant authorities before you can practice these professions.
How do you apply for authorisation in Sweden?
The process for obtaining authorisation can vary, depending on the specific profession. In general, you should contact the relevant authority or professional organisation in Sweden that administers authorisation of the particular profession. They can advise you on the application procedure and tell you which documents you need to provide. The authorities may ask you for validated copies to prove the authenticity of the documents or authorised translations of documents, such as degree or diploma certificates.
Make sure you submit all relevant documents when you apply. Your qualifications cannot be evaluated until the application is complete with all relevant documents.
Various authorities are responsible for evaluating qualifications relating to professions that are regulated in Sweden. For example, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) is responsible for medical and nursing qualifications, while the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) is responsible for teacher certification.
Swedish sector regulations
In addition to regulated professions, some sectors in Sweden have their own special regulations and requirements. These are called sector regulations.
The regulations apply for certain professions or sectors in Sweden. Regulations can include requirements for in-service training, proof of identity, and safety standards that are specific for the particular sector. These are common in the building, civil engineering, and transport sectors.
Nordic businesses and citizens can work in other Nordic countries, but in some cases legislation and sector regulations of professions restrict freedom of movement in the Nordic labour markets. These challenges typically require sector-specific solutions.
In many cases, the consequences of obstacles can be relieved by making better information available to trade associations, trade unions, and services such as Info Norden.
Info Norden does not have an exhaustive list of all sector regulations in Sweden, but if you know of any obstacles and challenges in this area, you are welcome to contact Info Norden with as many details as possible.
Do I need a journeyman certificate if I want to work in the building sector in Sweden?
With some exceptions, you can work in Sweden without a journeyman certificate in professions for which the sector organisation Byggbranschens Yrkesnämnd (BYN) is responsible. The journeyman certificate is only a requirement for professional divers and some machine operators.
However, for other professional groups, the journeyman certificate is important for the employee’s salary level. An employee with a journeyman certificate is placed at a higher salary level, while someone without a certificate is placed at a lower salary level.
Is my journeyman certificate from another Nordic country valid if I want to work in the building sector in Sweden?
If you obtained your qualification in Norway, your journeyman certificate is valid in Sweden. If you obtained your qualification in another Nordic country, your journeyman certificate is not automatically valid. Instead, you can apply for a recognition certificate (erkännandeintyg) from Byggbranschens Yrkesnämnd (BYN).
How do I get a recognition certificate in Sweden?
A Swedish vocational certificate is awarded after you have completed a Swedish vocational education programme and have worked for 24, 30 or 36 months in the field (the length depends on the field). You can get a recognition certificate if you have a corresponding qualification and professional experience from another Nordic country. You can get a recognition certificate by applying to Byggbranschens Yrkesnämnd. You must pay a fee to get a certificate, and you will receive it after about a month, assuming you have the appropriate skills and experience.
Where can I read more?
You can read more on the Byggbranschens Yrkesnämnd website.
Must I get my electrician qualification from another Nordic country validated if I am planning to work in Sweden?
No, this is not necessary. If you are a trained electrician in one of the Nordic countries, you do not need to validate your skills to work in another Nordic country. The Nordic countries have an agreement through which electrician qualifications from one Nordic country are recognised in the other Nordic countries.
I nevertheless get asked for an ECY certificate. What should I do?
In some cases, Swedish businesses have decided to require a certificate issued by the sector organisation, Elbranchens Centrala Yrkesnämnd (ECY). The certificate shows that you have completed three specific courses and are proficient in Swedish up to at least SFI level D (Swedish for Immigrants, course D). Employers typically require the certificate when they need to ensure that the employee has the practical skills obtained through the three courses, if this is crucial for the particular employment position.
Alternatively, electricians from other Nordic countries can also get a free assessment from ECY, if they request a Swedish document with an assessment of their qualifications. Electricians just need to send their certificate, which will be assessed free of charge and within a maximum of three weeks but often within a few days.
What should I do if I want an ECY certificate?
If a Nordic citizen wants a Swedish ECY certificate, they must have an electrician qualification from a Nordic country and must have completed three practical courses. If you have not done these courses previously, you can supplement your qualification by completing them. They takes a maximum of four days. The courses are taken at Installationsbranchens utbildnings- och utvecklingscenter (INSU). To get an ECY certificate, you must also have worked for at least three months in a business linked to the installation agreement between the Swedish Installation Federation (Installatörsföretagen) and the Swedish Electricians Association (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet) and must be proficient in Swedish up to a minimum of SFI Level D.
Where can I read more?
You can read more on the websites of Elbranschens centrala yrkesnämnd and the National Electrical Safety Board (Elsäkerhetsverket).
Can a business demand that I complete an SSG Entre Basic course if I want to work in Sweden?
Yes. In Sweden, some businesses require that suppliers who are to work on the businesses’ industrial plant must have completed the work environment and safety course, SSG Entre Basic. It is up to each individual business to decide whether they want to require the SSG course or, for example, a course arranged by another actor.
Why is the course required?
A course such as SSG Entre Basic helps businesses ensure that people who work on their industrial plant follow safety procedures and regulations.
How do I do the course?
The course is available online. It takes a maximum of three hours and costs approximately SEK 1000. Once completed, the course is valid for three years.
Can I do the course in my mother tongue?
The course is available in 18 languages, including several Nordic languages.
Where can I read more?
You can read more on the Standard Solutions Group website.
Swedish professions with special regulations
There are professions in Sweden that you can only practice if you have Swedish citizenship or a Swedish qualification. This applies particularly for positions as judges or priests, or in the police. In order to work in these areas there are normally specific requirements and conditions.
Approved educational qualifications in the home country
When you get a qualification abroad, it is always a good idea to check whether the qualification is recognised in your home country if you are planning to work there when you have completed your education.
Work, study or an internship abroad is a dream for many people. To make this easier you can have an international CV that clearly shows your educational level and your qualifications, even outside your home country.
With a Europass CV you can create an adapted CV that ensures that your application documents are understandable and recognised throughout Europe. This is a way to document your qualifications.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.