Foreign Qualifications from Third Countries


SERI recognition of foreign qualifications from third countries is based on Art. 69 et seq. of the Vocational and Professional Education and Training Ordinance (VPETO) and Art. 55 f. of the Ordinance of 23 November 2016 to the Higher Education Act (HEdO), if the corresponding conditions are fulfilled. Both ordinances also provide for compensatory measures in the event of significant differences in training from one year to the next.

Vocational and Professional Education and Training Ordinance
(VPETO; SR 412.101)

Higher Education Ordinance (HEdO; SR 414.201)


A foreign qualification will be recognised if the following requirements are met:

  • Same level of training.
  • Same duration of training.
  • Comparable training content.
  • Foreign education and training abroad includes practical skills or relevant work experience.

These criteria must be cumulatively met in order for recognition of the foreign qualification to be given. The holder of the foreign qualification demonstrates proficiency in an official language of the Confederation that is required in order to work in the profession concerned in Switzerland.

Compensatory measures for citizens of third countries wishing to carry out a regulated professional activity

If comparison of foreign and domestic training shows that the above-mentioned requirements are not cumulatively met, SERI may order that the applicant undergo compensatory measures (i.e. aptitude test or adaptation course). In such cases, definitive recognition will only be granted after the said compensatory measures are taken.