Recognition of professional qualifications and foreign diplomas in Finland

Ulkomailla suoritettujen tutkintojen  ammatillinen tunnustaminen Suomessa
This page tells you which professions in Finland require a decision on professional qualifications or recognition of diplomas and how to apply for one. It also provides information and examples of specific rules for different sectors.

If you have completed your degree abroad and want to work in Finland, your employer will usually assess the qualifications and skills that your foreign qualification provides. However, in certain professions you will need an official decision on professional qualifications or recognition of a degree completed abroad. These include regulated professions and jobs that require a certain level of higher education qualification.

If you are interested in the academic recognition of your degree, i.e. the conditions under which you can apply to study in the Nordic countries with a foreign degree or the conditions under which studies completed abroad can be counted towards your degree, go to the page Higher education in Finland.

Recognition of foreign qualifications in Finland

In general, employers will assess the qualifications and skills that your foreign qualification has provided. However, in certain professions you will need recognition of qualifications or the right to practise.

Regulated professions in Finland

A regulated occupation is an occupation for which a specific training, qualification or right to practise is required by law. If you have a foreign qualification for such a profession and want to practise it in Finland, you will need an official decision recognising your professional qualifications. All professions regulated in Finland can be found on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The recognition of professional qualifications is decided by the competent authority in the sector. For more information on occupations and guidance on how to apply for an occupational title, contact the competent authority. Read more on the service.

Recognition of qualifications

If you intend to apply for a post or position that requires a university degree under Finnish law, apply to the Finnish National Agency for Education for recognition of your degree. As a rule, decisions on the recognition of qualifications are applied for using an electronic form in the Studyinfo service. Read more about applying for a decision on recognition of a degree on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Sector-specific rules

Specific rules have been agreed for certain sectors, in particular construction and transport. These can be requirements related to further training, legalisation and safety. The Occupational Safety Card, the Hygiene Passport and the Alcohol Passport are examples of sector-specific requirements.

Info Norden does not have a complete overview of the rules governing sectors. We therefore encourage companies, workers and industry organisations to contact Info Norden so that we can get information out about the rules and the obstacles they create.

Occupational Safety Card

Do I need a Finnish Occupational Safety Card if I want to work in Finland?

It depends on the company. Many Finnish companies, especially in the technical sector, require their employees or those of their subcontractors to have a Finnish Occupational Safety Card.

Do I need to go on a course if I have an equivalent certificate from another Nordic country?

It depends on the company. Similar training courses exist in other Nordic countries, but the content of the courses varies because legislation on safety at work differs from country to country.

What is needed to complete the course?

You can do the course online at home before arriving in Finland. It can be done in around eight hours and usually costs around 69-100 euros.

Can I do the course in my own language?

The course is available in many languages, including the Nordic languages.

Where can I get more information?

You can find out more on the website of the Centre for Occupational Safety.

Hygiene Passport

When working in the food industry, workers must be able to handle food safely and hygienically. You must have a Hygiene Passport if you work in a food premises and handle non-prepackaged perishable food. Read more on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

Alcohol passport

You need a Hygiene Passport if you work as the manager responsible in a licensed premises. Read more on the Valvira website.

Professions to which only Finnish citizens can be appointed.

Chapter 3 of the Act on Public Officials in Central Government defines the government posts to which only Finnish citizens can be appointed. Examples of these include the police, judges and the armed forces. Read more on the Finlex website.

Recognition of Finnish qualifications abroad

If you go abroad to look for a job, it is a good idea to find out in advance what the procedure is for recognising qualifications and what documents are needed for recognition. Find out more on the page for the country concerned.

When applying for recognition of a Finnish qualification abroad, you can use the Europass documents, especially the Diploma Supplements for international use. Find out more on the European Union’s website.

The international principle for the recognition of qualifications is that the host institution interprets the level of the foreign qualification and the qualifications it confers. From Finland, you cannot directly influence the decision-making of an authority in another country. Although EU directives or international agreements contain general provisions, it is up to each country to decide how to implement them and how to apply them in individual cases.

For a fee, the Finnish National Agency for Education provides expert opinions on Finnish qualifications for international use. An opinion can be drawn up for completed qualifications in the administrative field of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Find out more on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

More information

Ask Info Norden

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.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.