Bilateral Recognition Agreements

Switzerland concludes bilateral agreements with selected countries for the mutual recognition of certain qualifications. These agreements go beyond the general rules set out in Annex III of the AFMP or in the VPETO and allow for more flexible requirements regarding the recognition of qualifications. Holders of qualifications covered by these agreements thus benefit from simpler and faster recognition procedures. Currently, such bilateral agreements exist with Germany and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Vocational education and training (VET) qualifications that are regulated by federal law in Switzerland and Germany can be recognised as equivalent in a simplified procedure if the following requirements are met:

  • The VET qualifications apply to comparable professional activities. There are no significant differences in the occupational profiles.
  • The VET qualifications are on the same system level according to the annex to the agreement.
  • At the time the application is made, the statutory basis for the qualification with which equivalence is to be established is in force in the country of the examining authority.

These criteria must be met cumulatively for a German qualification to be recognised in the simplified procedure. Holders of qualifications covered by the agreement can apply for recognition under the standard procedure; the simplified procedure is automatically applied if the requirements are met.

Principality of Liechtenstein
Initial vocational education and training qualifications in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein (vocational diplomas and certificates) are equivalent if the following requirements are met:

  • the relevant documents pertaining to the qualifications are identical apart from the titles; and
  • the training and the qualification procedure for obtaining the qualifications were conducted as stated in the relevant documents.

The qualifications mutually recognised as equivalent are listed in the annex to the agreement with Liechtenstein. This list is regularly reviewed and supplemented. Holders of an equivalent qualification do not have to submit an application to the competent authorities under this system of automatic recognition.

Agreement with the Principality of Liechtenstein (in german)

The possibilities of concluding further bilateral recognition agreements of this kind are considered on an ongoing basis.