Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications
The text of Directive 2005/36/EC in PDF and HTML format.
The purpose of the Directive is to enable each citizen of a Member State to have his/her professional qualifications recognized and to pursue a regulated profession in another Member State under the same conditions as its own nationals.
The Directive was implemented to the Polish law by: The law of 18 March 2008 on the rules governing recognition of professional qualifications acquired in EU Member States.
Recognition of qualifications for sectoral professions – doctor, dentist, nurse responsible for general care, midwife, pharmacist, veterinary surgeon, and architect – is regulated by separate acts:
- Law of 5th July 1996 on the professions of nurse and midwife (Journal of Laws of 2001, No. 57, item 602, with further amendments)
- Law of 5th December 1996 on professions of physician and dentist (Journal of Laws of 2008, No 136, item 857)
- Law of 19th April 1991 on pharmaceutical chambers (Journal of Laws of 2008, No. 136, item 856)
- Law of 21st December 1990 on the Profession of Veterinary Surgeon and Chambers of Veterinary Surgeons (Journal of Laws of 2009, No. 93, item 767)
- Law of 15th December 2000 on professional associations of architects, construction engineers and urban planners (Journal of Laws. of 2001 No. 5, item 42, with further amendments)
Professional activity of lawyers from other Member States is regulated by:
Law of 5 July 2002 on the provision by foreign lawyers of legal assistance in the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 126, item 1069 and Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 96, item 959)
Regulations regarding recognition of professional qualifications apply to:
- Citizens of the EU Member States
- Citizens of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
- Citizens of Switzerland
- Members of their families
- Citizens of third countries holding long-term resident’s EC residence permit according to Law on Aliens of 13 June 2003 (Journal of Laws of 2003, No 128, it. 1175)
Recognition of professional qualifications
When a particular profession is regulated in Poland, holders of foreign qualifications acquired in another Member State need their official recognition. Analogically, such recognition is essential to a person who acquired qualifications in Poland but is going to pursue in another Member State a profession which is regulated in that state (the recognition procedure is carried out by the competent authority of the host Member State).
In non-regulated professions it is up to the employer to decide whether or not to employ the holder of foreign qualification acquired in another EU country.
In the course of the recognition procedure a competent authority verifies:
- adequate level of education
- the qualifications that grant the right to pursue the profession in the Member State where they were acquired
If the competent authority has found:
- Substantial differences in education or training;
- That the duration of the education or training pursued in the home Member State is at least one year shorter than that required by the host Member State;
- That the scope of professional activities covered by the profession is substantially different between the home and the host Member State,
it has to analyse all the evidence of formal qualifications to check whether the knowledge and competence acquired by the applicant in the course of his professional career, is of a nature to cover, in full or in part, the substantial difference in question. If the competent authority finds that the difference is still not covered it has the right to apply compensation measures:
- to complete an adaptation period of up to three years or
- to take an aptitude test.
A Member State must offer the applicant the choice between an adaptation period and an aptitude test unless it is a profession whose pursuit requires precise knowledge of national law and in respect of which the provision of advice and/or assistance concerning national law is an essential and constant aspect of the professional activity. The professions for which there is no choice of compensation measure in Poland and the measure to be applied in their case, are indicated in the Regulation of Minister of Science and Higher Education of 18th September 2009 on regulated professions to which the right of choice between an adaptation period and an aptitude test does not apply (Journal of Laws No 164, item 1311) – text in Polish
What is a regulated profession/activity?
A regulated profession is a profession subject to regulations laid down in separate provisions, setting out qualification requirements and conditions for the pursuit of this profession, or in other words, a regulated profession is a profession which by law or regulation requires authorization, registration or the equivalent. This authorization or registration is often connected with the requirement of a particular, specified education and training. Each Member State decides which profession will be added to the list of regulated professions. The same profession may belong to the regulated professions in one country while it is not a regulated profession in other ones.
The term regulated activity refers to activities specified in annex IV of the Directive 2005/36/EC. If in a Member State pursuit of the activities listed in annex IV is contingent upon possession of general, commercial or professional knowledge and aptitudes, an applicant shall have the qualification to pursuit this activity recognized provided that he possesses professional experience (or experience connected with adequate education) in pursuing the same activity in his home Member State.
Professional experience shall be proven by a certificate issued by a competent authority of the Member State where the professional activity was pursued.
If the applicant does not meet the requirements for recognition of qualification to pursue a regulated activity on the basis of professional experience, the qualification shall be recognized according to the procedure for regulated professions.
Provision of cross-border services
Basic rules for the provision of cross-border services in regulated professions
Citizens of the Member States who are legally established to pursue a profession/ activity in one Member State, have the right to provide services in another Member State in the same profession/activity.
Requirements for the provision of services:
- the service provider moves to the another Member State in order to provide temporary and occasional services,
- if in the host Member State the profession in question is regulated, while in the home Member State it is not regulated, a service provider has to prove that they have pursued that profession in the home Member State for at least two years during the 10 years preceding the provision of services. The requirement of two years of professional experience does not apply when the education and training leading to the profession/activity was regulated.
Provision of services for the first time
When the service provider first moves from one Member State to another in order to provide services, he shall inform about this fact the competent authority in the host Member State in a written declaration to be made in advance, including the details of any insurance cover or other means of personal or collective protection with regard to professional liability. Such a declaration shall be renewed when there has been some substantial change in the information provided or once a year – if the service provider intends to provide temporary or occasional services in that Member State during that year.
The competent authority in the host Member State may require that the declaration be accompanied by the following documents:
- proof of the nationality of the service provider,
- an attestation certifying that the holder is legally established in a Member State for the purpose of pursuing the activities concerned and that he is not prohibited from practicing, even temporarily, at the moment of delivering the attestation,
- proof of two years of professional experience during the previous ten years – in the case of a regulated profession, that is not regulated in the home Member State (the requirement does not apply when the education and training leading to the profession/activity was regulated),
- evidence of no criminal convictions,
- evidence of professional qualifications – in the case of regulated professions having public health or safety implications (see below)
Service provider is subject to Polish professional rules, which are directly and specifically linked to consumer protection and safety and apply to the rules of pursuing the regulated profession or activity (including disciplinary provisions).
The host Member State shall exempt service providers from the requirements concerning authorization by registration with or membership of a professional organization or body. However, Member States may provide either for automatic temporary registration with or for membership of such a professional organization or body, provided that such registration or membership does not entail additional costs and does not delay or complicate in any way the provision of services.
Provision of services in the case of regulated professions having public health or safety implications
For the first provision of services, in the case of regulated professions having public health or safety implications, the competent authority of the host Member State may check the professional qualifications of the service provider prior to the first provision of services (prior check). Such a prior check shall be possible only where the purpose of the check is to avoid serious damage to the health or safety of the service recipient due to a lack of professional qualification of the service provider.
The professions in the case of which Polish competent authorities have the right to check professional qualifications of service providers before first provision of services are indicated in the Regulation of the Prime Minister of 5th March 2009 determining the professions, in the case of which a procedure of recognition of professional qualifications may be initiated (Journal of Laws, No 38, item 302) – text in Polish
Within a maximum of one month of receipt of the declaration and accompanying documents, the competent authority shall endeavour to inform the service provider either of its decision not to check their qualifications or of the outcome of such a check. Where there is a difficulty which would result in delay, the competent authority shall notify the service provider within the first month of the reason for the delay and the timescale for a decision, which must be finalised within the second month of receipt of completed documentation.
Where there is a substantial difference between the professional qualifications of the service provider and the training required in Poland (so that the lack of certain professional knowledge or skills could constitute a threat to public health or safety), the service provider may be required to take an aptitude test to show that he has acquired the knowledge or competence lacking.
A service provider whose qualifications have been verified and recognized shall exercise the profession/activity under the Polish professional title.
- Law of 18 March 2008 on the rules governing recognition of professional qualifications acquired in EU Member States
- Regulation of the Minister of Economy of 7th May 2008 on the the certificate attesting the nature, period and type of activity pursued in the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws No 90, item 549) - text in Polish
- Ordinance No. 127 of the Prime Minister of 21 November 2008 on appointment of a Group for co-operation in the field of the coordination of the qualifications recognition system for regulated professions and activities (Official Journal of the Republic of Poland, No. 89, item 776) - text in Polish
- Ordinance No. 57 of the Prime Minister of 24 July 2009 amending the ordinance on appointment of a Group for co-operation in the field of the coordination of the qualifications recognition system for regulated professions and activities (Official Journal of the Republic of Poland, No. 48, item 706) - text in Polish
- Regulation of the Prime Minister of 17th October 2008 on the scope and deadlines for submission of information on the changes of requirements for regulated professions and activities and on the decisions taken in the field of recognition of qualifications (Journal of Laws No. 185, item 1147) - text in Polish
- Regulation of the Prime Minister 9th December 2008 on the assignment of the activities designated with the ISIC and NICE codes to the Polish Classification of Activities (“Polska Klasyfikacja Działalności” – PKD) (Journal of Laws No. 223, item 1470) - text in Polish
- Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 9th October 2008 on the models of the forms submitted to initiate the procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications (Journal of Laws No. 187, item 1151) - text in Polish
- Regulation of the Prime Minister of 5th March 2009 determining the professions in the case of which a procedure of recognition of professional qualifications may be initiated (Journal of Laws, No 38, item 302)
- Regulation of Minister of Science and Higher Education of 18th September 2009 on regulated professions to which the right of choice between an adaptation period and an aptitude test does not apply (Journal of Laws No 164, item 1311) - text in Polish
- Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 16 June 2009 indicating the contact point competent for providing information on recognition of professional qualifications and establishing the detailed scope of the contact point's tasks (Journal of Laws No. 98, item 821) - text in Polish
1. Recognition of Professional qualification
2. Additional information about employment in EU countries and in Poland