Professional recognition in Finland of qualifications completed in other countries

Ulkomailla suoritettujen tutkintojen  ammatillinen tunnustaminen Suomessa
If you have completed a qualification in another country, this article will tell you when you need a specific decision for the qualification to be recognised or for the right to exercise an occupation and what authorities make these decisions. It will also tell you what to do to get a qualification completed in Finland recognised in another country.

If you come to Finland to work, your employer can generally independently assess the validity of a foreign qualification when selecting employees, but to work in certain occupations you need to have your qualification professionally recognised. Professional recognition of qualifications means an official decision on the labour market eligibility of a foreign qualification.

Regulated professions in Finland

A regulated profession means a job with an eligibility criterion in legislation requiring a certain qualification or certain studies. Regulated professions include both positions and functions in the public sector and occupations that require the right to practice them. The right to exercise a profession is decided by the relevant authority, for example the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira for healthcare professions.

Information on all regulated professions in Finland and the competent authorities can be found on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Recognition of Finnish qualifications in other countries

The international principle for the recognition of qualifications is that the host institution assesses the level of the foreign qualification and the eligibility it confers. Finland cannot directly influence decisions taken by authorities in another country. Even though there are some general rules in EU directives and international agreements, each country decides itself how it implements the rules and how it applies them in individual cases.

The Finnish National Agency for Education is the national contact point for the EC’s general system for the recognition of professional qualifications. The job of the contact point is to provide information on qualifications and their validity as well as the procedures for the recognition of qualifications in Finland and other Member States.

If necessary, the Finnish National Agency for Education can advise persons who have completed a qualification in Finland and want to have it recognised in another Member State.

Finns going job hunting abroad should check in advance with the authorities in the host country what the procedure is in that country for the recognition of qualifications and what documents are required for recognition.

If you apply to have a Finnish qualification recognised in another country, you can make use of Europass documents, in particular Europass Certificate Supplements. You can also apply to the Finnish National Agency for Education for an individual attestation of a Finnish qualification. For a fee, the Finnish National Agency for Education can provide expert attestations of Finnish qualifications for international purposes. Attestations can be provided for completed qualifications that form part of the official Finnish qualifications structure.

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