Recognition of foreign qualifications

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Have you completed training in a health profession abroad and want to have your qualification recognized in Switzerland? The Swiss Red Cross can help you.

Why does my qualification need to be recognized?

Have you completed your training in a foreign country? If you wish to work in a regulated healthcare profession in Switzerland, your qualification must be recognized.

Regulated professions

You can find information on the regulated professions on the website of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

Find out more

How does the recognition of my qualification benefit me?

Is the training you completed abroad comparable with training available in Switzerland? Then recognition of your qualification will give you the right to work in a comparable role in Switzerland, with an equal salary entitlement.

What do I need to do?

Please read through the whole process first, from Step 1 to Step 3. Once you have read it all, you can start with Step 1, the free PreCheck. The PreCheck will tell you whether or not you can apply for recognition.

  • Step 1: Complete PreCheck

  • Step 2: You will be given a positive or negative PreCheck result.
    → Positive result: You request application documents and apply for recognition.
    → Negative result: We give you information on other options.

  • Step 3: We inform you of whether or not your qualification has been recognized.

Step 1: Information about the PreCheck

The PreCheck will give you answers to these questions:

  • Is the SRC the competent authority for recognizing my qualification?

  • What are the prerequisites for me applying for recognition?

PreCheck

Start the PreCheck now to find out if you can apply for recognition.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted all the documents, processing will take a maximum of four weeks. Then you can log back into the PreCheck portal. You will be able to view your result. Your PreCheck result will be positive or negative.

Apply for recognition: We will inform you what you need to do next. We will also tell you how much the process will cost.

We will give you information on other options.

Step 2: Applying for recognition

You will have received an initial application form with your PreCheck result. You complete and return this to request the formal application documentation.

What happens next?

  • You collect all the necessary documents.

  • You pay the required fee.

  • You send us all the documents and the signed application form by post.

Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz
Gesundheitsberufe
Werkstrasse 18
3084 Wabern

Once we have received the application together with all documentation and the fee has been processed, your application process for recognition has begun. After three to four months maximum, we will send you a written response. And we will inform you about what happens next.

Step 3: Decision on recognition of your qualification

Your qualification is recognized directly: you do not need to take any further action. The recognition process and your registration are complete.
If your qualification is not recognized directly, you will have the opportunity to top up your qualifications. When we inform you of the decision, we will also inform you what compensatory measures are necessary.

Compensatory measures

As part of the recognition process, we compare your professional qualification with the qualification in Switzerland. Did the training you undertook abroad differ substantially from the training in Switzerland? If so, you will be asked to undertake compensatory measures. For example:

  • an adaptation course

  • an adaptation course and additional training course

  • an aptitude test

GOOD TO KNOW

Compensatory measures

You can find more information on compensatory measures in the FAQ section.

FAQ

How long does the recognition process take?

Once we have received your complete application, you will receive an initial decision from us within around three to four months.
If compensatory measures are needed, the process will take longer.

Note:
Your dossier will remain open for a maximum of two years.

How much does recognition cost?

  • CHF 550 if your qualification in nursing or midwifery complies with the EU requirements (Appendix V). You will receive one invoice.

  • CHF 930 if no compensatory measures are required. You will receive two partial invoices.

  • CHF 1,000 if compensatory measures are required. You will receive two partial invoices.

  • Depending on the profession, an additional CHF 130 may be charged for registration with GesReg / NAREG, the National Register of Healthcare Professions.

IMPORTANT

Costs compensatory measures

Are compensatory measures required? This will incur some additional costs. You will be invoiced directly for these costs by the providers of the compensatory measures.

FAQ

Documents required to support an application for recognition

Certificate of Current Professional Status / Letter of Good Standing

As part of the application for recognition, we require a certificate stating that the person submitting the application is entitled to carry out their profession.

Why do I need this certificate?

This certificate ensures the quality of healthcare in Switzerland and thus protects patients. When applying for your qualification to be recognized, you need to submit various documents. These include a certificate confirming that you are entitled to carry out your profession in the relevant foreign country, and that there are no sanctions against you. That means you have never been barred from working in your profession, either permanently or temporarily.

Where do I get this certificate?

You get the certificate from the authority in the country that you last worked in. It is your responsibility to obtain this certificate. You will find an overview of the competent authorities here.

Competent authorities

No official overview of competent authorities in third countries is available.

What information needs to be on the certificate?

  • Name

  • Profession/training

  • Statement on sanctions

  • Issuing country and authority

  • Date, signature of authority

IMPORTANT

CCPS/LoGS process

The certificate may have a different name depending on the country: ‘Certificate of Current Professional Status (CCPS)’ or ‘Letter of Good Standing’ (LoGS). For the first step in recognizing qualifications, the PreCheck, a current CCPS/LoGS is not required.

As part of your application for recognition, you must submit a CCPS/LoGS that is no more than three months old.

When is no CCPS/LoGS required?

If you have been working in your profession in Switzerland for more than five years already, you do not need a CCPS/LoGS.

In this case, you require the following documents instead:

  • references

  • current extract from the register of criminal convictions in Switzerland

  • professional licence to work in Switzerland, professional diploma, registration or work licence

If your qualification has not been registered, the competent authority will not be able to issue a CCPS/LoGS. This could be for the following reasons:

  • There is no register in the relevant country.

  • You have never worked in your profession in the country you trained in.

In this case, to submit your application for recognition you will need:

  • A certificate to prove that you are NOT registered: ‘Certificate of Non-Registration’. You can obtain this certificate from the competent authority.

  • You will also need an extract from the register of criminal convictions. This must not be more than three months old.

What information must be included in the Certificate of Non-Registration?

  • Name

  • Profession/training

  • Confirmation that there is no register for that profession or that the applicant is not registered

  • Confirmation that the applicant’s qualification entitles them to work in that profession

  • Issuing date and authority

  • Date, signature of authority

Information on your profession

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Biomedical Scientist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Dental Hygienist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Healthcare Assistant, Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training

Legal basis

There are two different processes for recognition of training:

  • Harmonized EU process

  • Ordinary (standard) process

Harmonized EU process

This process checks whether the professional qualification complies with the minimum training requirements under the EU Directive. Therefore, the harmonized EU process is less expensive (CHF 680) and takes less time than the standard process. There are two prerequisites for us to use the harmonized EU process:

  • Prerequisite 1: Your professional qualification is listed in the Annex V to the EU Directive (from page 124 onward). Your professional qualification must have been obtained after the date specified.

  • Prerequisite 2: The harmonized EU process applies only to training undertaken in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain (Brexit transitional arrangement), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Note: The qualifications are not compared with a Swiss training course. No equivalent level is given as for these qualifications, only conformity with the EU Directive is checked. This also applies to Bachelor and Masters qualifications in general Midwifery from EU/EFTA member states.

Ordinary (standard) process

If the two prerequisites for the harmonized EU process are not met, your professional qualification will be assessed using the standard recognition process. Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Bachelor of Science in Midwifery (University of Applied Sciences).

Legal basis

Information sheets

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Medical Masseur/Masseuse, Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Radiographer, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Naturopathic Practitioner, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education in
    Ayurvedic medicine

  • Homeopathic medicine

  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), or

  • Traditional European natural medicine (ENM)

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Operating Room Technician, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Bachelor of Science in Optometry

Relevant federal legislation

(only in German, French, Italian)

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Orthoptist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Master of Science in Osteopathy

Relevant federal legislation

(only in German, French, Italian)

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Podiatrist Assistant, Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Podiatrist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

There are two different processes for recognition of training in nursing:

  • Harmonized EU process

  • Ordinary (standard) process

Harmonized EU process

This process checks whether the professional qualification complies with the minimum training requirements under the EU Directive. Therefore, the harmonized EU process is less expensive (CHF 680) and takes less time than the standard process. There are two prerequisites for us to use the harmonized EU process:

  • Prerequisite 1: Your professional qualification is listed in the Annex V to the EU Directive (from page 124 onward). Your professional qualification must have been obtained after the date specified.

  • Prerequisite 2: The harmonized EU process applies only to training undertaken in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain (Brexit transitional arrangement), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Note: The qualifications are not compared with a Swiss training course. No equivalent level is given as for these qualifications, only conformity with the EU Directive is checked. This also applies to Bachelor and Masters qualifications in general nursing from EU/EFTA member states.

Ordinary (standard) process

If the two prerequisites for the harmonized EU process are not met, your professional qualification will be assessed using the standard recognition process. Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Registered Nurse, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education / Bachelor of Science in Nursing (University of Applied Sciences).

Legal basis

Information sheets

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy

Relevant federal legislation

(only in German, French, Italian)

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Paramedic, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Your professional qualification will be compared with this Swiss qualification:

  • Emergency Medical Technician, Federal Diploma of Higher Education

Legal basis

Language competency

For your qualification to be recognized you must have attained the following level of language competency:

  • Level B2 in German, French or Italian

GOOD TO KNOW

Certificates

Your language certificate can also be issued abroad.

The SRC accepts the following certificates:

  • Goethe-Zertifikat B2

  • telc Deutsch B2

  • TestDaF, Niveaustufen 35 (B2)

  • Zertifikat B2 ÖSD

  • TELC B2

  • DELF B2

  • TCF B2 (épreuves obligatoires et épreuves complémentaires)

  • TEF pour les études en France B2

  • TEF valable pour la naturalisation suisse B2 (compréhension et expression orales et écrites)

  • CELI 3 (B2)

Submitting proof of language competency

Depending on your professional qualification and the country you gained it in, you will be asked to submit your proof of language competency at different points during the recognition process. You may have to submit proof of language competency during the recognition process. This is the case if

  • your professional qualification is listed in Annex V (from page 124 or page 138 onward) to EU Directive 2004//36/EC and you undertook your training in one of the following countries:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Great Britain (Brexit transitional arrangement)

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

If the above do not apply, you will have to submit your proof of language competency before the recognition process starts. That is to say in Step 1, when you start the PreCheck.

Note:

You will receive more information on language competency when you get your PreCheck result.

FAQ

Yes. The recognition of foreign qualifications is required by law for regulated professions in Switzerland. It ensures the quality of healthcare in Switzerland and thus protects the population.

The following costs apply:

  • CHF 550 if your qualification in nursing or midwifery complies with the EU requirements (Appendix V). You will receive one invoice.

  • CHF 930 if no compensatory measures are required. You will receive two partial invoices.

  • CHF 1,000 if compensatory measures are required. You will receive two partial invoices.

  • Depending on the profession, an additional CHF 130 may be charged for registration with GesReg / NAREG, the National Register of Healthcare Professions.

The recognition process is undertaken on behalf of the Swiss government on a non-profit basis with fees charged only to cover costs. The costs are incurred as follows:

  • administrative work

  • analysis, research and evaluation of the dossier by an expert

  • management of the professional register

  • infrastructure

  • entry into GesReg / NAREG register

Note:

Are compensatory measures required for recognition? This will incur some additional costs. You will be invoiced directly for these costs by the providers of the compensatory measures.

Yes. Citizens from third countries must have the right to reside in Switzerland and have a valid Swiss residence permit.

  • When all the necessary documents have been submitted. You will receive a list of all necessary documents as part of the application documentation.

  • When the fee has been paid.

  • When the fee has been processed by us.

Once we have received your complete application, you will receive an initial decision from us within around three to four months.

If compensatory measures are needed, the process will take longer.

Note:

Your dossier will remain open for a maximum of two years.

We generally only require copies or officially certified copies of your documents. However, if we do require an original document, we will inform you. The SRC assumes no liability for lost or damaged original documents.

A certified copy is a copy that is confirmed as a true copy of the document. It is stamped and signed to confirm that it is the same as the original. A certified copy can be made abroad or in Switzerland. For example, it can be made by a notary or a municipal or city administration.

Note:

Please send us the copy of your document with the original certification. The certification must be in German, French, Italian or English. Otherwise, you must have the certification translated into one of these languages.

Translations must be carried out by a recognized translation service or translator. For example:

  • embassy translation service

  • sworn translator

  • ASTTI-registered translator

The documents must be translated into German, French, Italian or English.

They are documents which confirm you are permitted to work in your profession in the country where they are issued.

If your foreign qualification is different to the qualification in Switzerland, you will need to complete compensatory measures. For example:

  • an adaptation course

  • an adaptation course combined with an additional training course

  • an aptitude test

What is an adaptation course?

You work in your profession. The adaptation course is assessed according to defined criteria. You may be able to complete the adaptation course in your current job in Switzerland.

What is an additional training course?

An additional training course is a theory course. It closes any gaps in the theoretical content of your qualification.

What is an aptitude test?

For all professions, the aptitude test comprises at least the following:

  • theory test (written)

  • oral test (technical discussion)

They are both valid for the duration of your professional life. However, the certificate or decision can be revoked if they were obtained unlawfully.

No.

No. The SRC does not provide a job-seeking service. You could, however, apply for jobs that are advertised. Jobs can be found online, for example at www.jobs.ch or www.carepeople.ch (in German only). They are also advertised in specialist magazines, or you could contact a recruitment agency.

If you wish to have a personal consultation, you need to call us in advance. We will then arrange a mutually convenient date. You can call us on this number: +41 58 400 44 84 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to midday).

We will issue you with a duplicate. To do so, we need the following documents from you:

  • a copy of your passport or ID card (please copy both sides of the ID card)

  • your current (postal) address

Note:

Have you changed your name? If yes, we require proof of this change. For example, an extract from the register of marriages.

Cost:

The duplicate costs CHF 160.

The control number (K-Nummer / numéro C) is assigned to individuals and confirms that they are employed and providing health services. Further information can be obtained from SASIS AG (in German, French, Italian only).

Note:

The prerequisites for practising a regulated profession are set out under the professional supervision of the cantonal health authorities and may differ from canton to canton. The SRC has no responsibility in this. When you register, the SASIS can assign a provisional control number for your complementary training.

A paying agent register number (ZSR/RCC) is required, for instance, if you want to open your own practice. Before you can apply for a paying agent register number, you need to have your qualification recognized by the SRC. Further information can be obtained from SASIS AG (in German, French, Italian only).

A GLN identifies the addresses of health professionals and legal entities. For example, a company or association. It is required, for instance, if you want to open your own practice.

Are you a member of a professional association? Then you can apply for your GLN directly from the headquarters of your professional association.

If you are not a member of a professional association, you can apply for your GLN from Operator HCI Solutions AG: tel. +41 58 851 28 00 / email partner@hcisolutions.ch.

Note:

We register all health professionals in the NAREG register using the GLN.

Further information

Would you like to know what the legal bases are for the recognition process? You will find the key information here.

Legal bases

The comparisons used to determine SRC recognition have the following bases.

Federal Act on Healthcare Occupations (HOA)

Parliament passed the Federal Act on Healthcare Occupations (HOA) on 30 September 2016. The healthcare occupations included in the preliminary draft are:

  • Registered Nurse

  • Physiotherapist

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Midwife

  • Nutritionist

  • Optometrist

  • Osteopath

Federal Act on Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPETA)

The Federal Act on Vocational and Professional Education and Training was passed on 13 December 2002. The healthcare occupations included in the preliminary draft are:

  • Naturopath

  • Emergency Medical Technician

  • Paramedic

  • Podiatrist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

  • Registered Nurse, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education

  • Orthoptist

  • Operating Room Technician

  • Biomedical Scientist

  • Radiographer

  • Dental Hygienist

  • Medical Masseur/Masseuse

  • Podiatrist Assistant, Upper Secondary Level

  • Healthcare Assistant

Guideline on the Examination Regulations for the Advanced Federal Professional Examination for Naturopaths

The AM (Alternative Medicine) Quality Control Committee issued the Guideline on the Examination Regulations for the Advanced Federal Professional Examination for Naturopaths on 28 April 2015. The specialist areas covered in the guideline are:

  • Ayurvedic medicine

  • Homeopathic medicine

  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

  • Traditional European natural medicine (ENM)

Important websites

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)

You will find the legal bases here.

Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)

The Federal Office of Public Health is responsible for the health of the population and develops Swiss health policy.

Swiss Conference of Cantonal Health Directors (GDK)

The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Health Directors is the political health policy coordination body for the Swiss cantons (information available in German and French only).

Recognition / Swiss ENIC

For job seekers with a qualification from a foreign higher education institution that does not relate to a regulated profession, Swiss ENIC can make a recommendation of recognition.

European Commission

You can find numerous education and training opportunities for students of all ages, information on studying abroad, professional training and recognition of qualifications and competencies here.

OdASanté

OdASanté is the national umbrella association for healthcare professions. It represents the interests of the healthcare sector throughout Switzerland with regard to the training and education required for health professions. You will find information on framework curricula and courses here (information in German, French and Italian only).

SASIS

You will find information on obtaining a control number or invoicing number (paying agent register number ZSR/RCC) if you wish to work as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist in Switzerland here (information in German, French and Italian only).

State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)

The State Secretariat for Migration determines under which circumstances a person may enter Switzerland to live and work. It also decides who is granted protection from persecution.

Santésuisse

santésuisse is the leading organization in the Swiss social health insurance sector.

GOOD TO KNOW

Certified management system

The processes of the Health Professions Department are certified according to ISO standard 9001:2015.

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