Directive 2005/36/EC


The EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications also applies to Switzerland by virtue of Annex III of the AFMP. Switzerland thus takes part in the EU's mutual recognition system for regulated professional activities. Different rules apply depending on whether the qualification holder wishes to move abroad for an extended period of time or carry out regulated professional activities temporarily or occasionally for a maximum of 90 working days per calendar year.

European system for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications for persons wishing to live and work abroad for an extended period of time (establishment)

This system is built on three pillars:

  • Automatic recognition of seven sectoral professions
  • Recognition of work experience in crafts, trade and industry
  • General system

For seven sectoral professions (physician, pharmacist, dentist, veterinarian, nurse, midwife and architect), recognition is practically automatic, as training requirements have been harmonised. For some professional activities in crafts, trade and industry, the recognition system is based on professional experience. In all other cases, the general system applies: the host member state has the right to compare training and professional experience with its domestic requirements and to grant recognition or require compensatory measures in the event of substantial differences. Compensatory measures take the form of an adaptation course or an aptitude test.

Provision of service

EU Directive 2005/36/EC provides for a simplified procedure for service providers in Title II (Free provision of services), which is subject to short deadlines. According to Article 7 of Directive 2005/36/EC, EU member states have the possibility to implement a declaration and review procedure for regulated professional activities. Failure to do so would mean that service providers would be free to act without decalaring their professional activity. For professions having an impact on public health or safety, professional qualifications may be verified. Where there is a significant difference between professional qualifications and training required in the host member state, admission to employment referred to in Article 7 (4) of Directive 2005/36/EC is subject to the passing of an aptitude test. This gives service providers the possibility to prove that they have acquired the knowledge that had been deemed missing.

The declaration procedure for EU/EFTA service providers wishing to carry out regulated activities for no more than 90 working days per calendar year was implemented in Switzerland with enactment of the Federal Act and Ordinance on the Declaration Requirement and the Verification of Service Provider Qualifications in Regulated Professions (DRPA and DRPO).

Swiss nationals also benefit from the accelerated declaration procedure in EU/EFTA states: access to the EU/EFTA labour market for the provision of services is simplified for them. The timeframes required for the competent authorities to verify foreign qualifications of Swiss nationals are shorter than those laid down in the standard recognition procedure.

Further information