If a professional activity is regulated in an EU/EFTA member state, the foreign recognition bodies may require a certificate attesting to the level that a given qualification holds within the Swiss education system and providing information about professional experience, compliance and the professional activity itself. In Switzerland, different authorities issue such certificates, depending on the type of qualification.
- SERI certificates (for upper-secondary level vocational qualifications, tertiary-level professional qualifications and Bachelor's/Master's degrees awarded by Swiss universities of applied sciences)
Depending on the professional activity and the amount of time that the person or legal entity will remain in the EU country (i.e. temporary provision of service or more long-term establishment) a different certificate will need to be obtained. Ask the foreign recognition body which certificate is required. The application form (E4) indicates which documents you need to submit by post (see below).
1. Certificate for Swiss vocational and professional qualifications
If you have obtained one of the qualifications listed below in Switzerland, you can submit a request to SERI to issue a certificate indicating the level that the qualification holds within the Swiss education system and confirming that the qualification is a state-issued or state-recognised qualification.
- Federal VET Certificate (upper-secondary level vocational qualification awarded upon successful completion of two years of training)
- Federal VET Diploma (upper-secondary level vocational qualification awarded upon successful completion of three or four years of training)
- Federal Diploma of Higher Education (tertiary level professional qualification awarded to those who obtain passing scores on a federal professional examination)
- Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education (tertiary level professional qualification awarded to those who obtain passing scores on a federal professional examination)
- Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education (tertiary level professional qualification awarded upon successful completion of a federally recognised study programme at a professional education institution)
2. Certificates attesting to legally authorised professional activity and establishment in Switzerland for the purpose of seeking authorisation to provide services in an EU/EFTA member state
SERI issues certificates in accordance with EU Directive 2005/36/EC. This attestation certifies that the holder is legally established in a member state for the purpose of pursuing the professional activity concerned. Moreover, the attestation also states that the person is not prohibited from practising the professional activity, even temporarily, at the moment of issuance of the attestation.
3. Certificates attesting to professional experience in trade, commerce and industry in Switzerland for the purpose of seeking recognition of this professional experience in an EU/EFTA member state
SERI issues certificates in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC. These certificates attest to the fact that the individual or legal entity has indeed carried out the given professional activity in Switzerland. The certificates also indicate the corresponding role that the person plays within the specified company. This enables professional experience is Switzerland to be credited in the EU/EFTA member state and allows Swiss vocational and professional qualifications to be recognised.
4. Certificates attesting to compliance of Swiss architectural qualifications with EU directives
Holders of Swiss architectural qualifications may submit a request to SERI to issue a certificate confirming compliance of said qualifications with EU directives. Since architecture is considered to be a sectoral professional activity, a certificate stating that the Swiss qualification is listed in Annex III of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons may be useful to the foreign recognition body.
5. Certificates for holders of Swiss teaching credentials or a qualification in the field of curative education who wish to carry out their professional activity in an EU/EFTA member state
For Swiss teachers or persons holding a qualification in curative education who wish to work abroad, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) issues a certificate confirming that their teaching credentials or qualification in curative education complies with EU directives.
For holders of a federal tertiary-level professional qualification or a continuing education and training qualification in human, dental and veterinary medicine, pharmaceuticals or chiropractic medicine who wish to carry out their professional activity abroad, the Commission for Medical Professions (MEBEKO) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) issues certificates confirming the validity of qualifications and their compliance.
For holders of non-university qualifications in health care who wish to carry out their professional activity in an EU/EFTA member state, the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) issues certificates confirming the Swiss registration status of health professionals who wish to work abroad.