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Confirmation of professional qualifications in Poland

How to confirm professional qualifications in Poland

A regulated profession is one which can be pursued only after obtaining a relevant diploma, passing an examination or registering with a professional organisation.

If you are an EU citizen who intends to practice in Poland a profession belonging to the group of regulated professions on a permanent and continuous basis, you must obtain in our country a decision recognising the professional qualifications obtained by you in your country of origin. Only a positive decision of the competent authority entitles you to work in Poland.

The biznes.gov.pl portal provides a detailed description of the procedures for recognition of professional qualifications in Poland.

The description of the procedure for the recognition of qualifications for the purpose of performing work in a regulated profession in Poland includes, among others, the following information:

  • name of the authority or authorities responsible for receiving applications and taking decisions
  • the statutory time limit for execution of the application
  • fees related to the implementation of the procedure
  • description of conditions to be met by the applicant for recognition of qualifications (definition of qualifications, knowledge and skills, experience, etc.)
  • identification of the documents to be submitted, identification of the type of document concluding the procedure
  • the means of redress available, and
  • national legal acts setting out the rules for the recognition of qualifications for the given profession

The competent authority may make the recognition decision subject to the condition that the applicant has completed either an adaptation period in a regulated profession under the supervision of a qualified member of that profession (not exceeding three years) or an aptitude test.

For certain professions (doctors, general nurses, midwives, veterinary surgeons, dental practitioners, pharmacists and architects), where their representatives are entitled to automatic recognition, this period is reduced to three months.

Temporary provision of services

If your activity is registered in one EU country and you want to temporarily provide services in another, you only need to make a written statement to that effect. However, if your profession has health or safety implications, your qualifications may be reviewed.

Basic principles for the recognition of qualifications in the EU

EU regulations aim to ensure that a fully qualified worker has the right to practice the same profession in another Member State. The recognition of professional qualifications enables access to or pursuit of a regulated profession or activity under the same conditions as for persons who have obtained their qualifications in that State.

The general system for the recognition of qualifications

If the profession is regulated in Poland, a person who has obtained qualifications in another Member State needs official recognition. The recognition of professional qualifications is carried out by the competent authorities of the host Member State.

In the case of unregulated professions, employment of  a worker with qualifications obtained in another EU member country depends on the employer.

In proceedings on recognition, the competent authority shall verify:

  • an adequate level of education,
  • qualifications giving the right to practise the profession in question in the country in which they were obtained.

Where there are substantial differences between the education acquired by the person concerned and education required in the host Member State or the scope of profession the Member State may make recognition of professional qualifications  subject to undergoing by the applicant an adaptation period (lasting not more than 3 years) or passing an aptitude test (the compensatory measures — essentially at the choice of the person concerned). 

If the profession is not regulated in the applicant's Member State, it is required that, in addition to present evidence of formal qualifications, the person needs to confirm the practise of that profession in full-time for one year during the last ten years or present a document certifying completion of regulated education.

The type of procedures your activity will be subject to in Poland depends, among other things, on whether it is a temporary measure or on a permanent basis.

The system of automatic recognition for the sectoral professions

For sectoral professions recognition is automatic, provided that the applicant is in possession of documents certifying the qualifications (diplomas, certificates) listed in Annex V and VI to Directive 2005/36/EC. Recognition may also be granted on the basis of acquired rights.

Detailed information concerning procedures for automatic recognition of qualifications is  provided by the national and regional authorities of professional associations for the professions:

  • sectoral health professions:  medical doctor, dental practitioner, nurse, midwife, pharmacist,
  • veterinarians,
  • detailed information on the procedure for the recognition of qualifications in the profession of architect can be found in an online service of chambers of architects.

If an applicant does not fulfil the conditions for automatic recognition of qualifications in the sectoral professions, recognition may be carried out in accordance with the procedure (the so-called general system) for other regulated professions.

System of automatic recognition of qualifications attested by professional experience in certain industrial, craft and commercial activities

The industrial, craft and commercial activities covered by Directive 2005/36/EC (Chapter II of Title III) are subject to the automatic recognition of qualifications attested by professional experience in certain conditions. The factors taken into consideration for the recognition of professional experience are its duration and form (e.g. self-employment, as an employee, manager of an undertaking).

The system is based on recognition of professional experience and subject to the conditions set out in lists I, II and III of Annex IV referring to various sectors such as:

  • industry: textile, chemical and oil, printing, manufacturing, construction, etc.;
  • manufacture of transport equipment,
  • activity connected with transport,
  • telecommunications,
  • photographic studios, etc.,
  • restaurants and hotels,
  • services:  postal, personal, for local communities, leisure, etc.

A simplified system for the recognition of qualifications

For a person who has the right to exercise their profession in one of the EU Member States (country of residence), if he/she moves to another Member State (host) for the temporary and occasional exercise of the profession, the simplified procedure is foreseen.  The host State assesses the temporary and occasional nature of the provision of services, in particular in relation to its duration, its frequency, regularity and continuity.

The provisions of Directive 2005/36/EC concerning the simplified procedure for professional qualifications and it applies to all professions covered by the Directive, both in the case of self-employed persons and employed persons.  However, the simplified procedure shall be subject to a minimum of one year professional experience during the last ten years preceding the provision of services, or evidence of regulated education and training when the profession is not regulated in the Member State of establishment of the service provider.

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