Online Platform / Procedure and Duration
Before initiating the recognition procedure, the first mandatory step is to read the information on the online platform to determine which authority is responsible for recognition of your foreign qualification. (Competent recognition bodies).
If SERI is the recognition body responsible for your foreign qualification, then the recognition application must be submitted via the online platform. If not, the application must be submitted to the relevant recognition body directly.
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1. Applicant enters data on the online platform (BeCC)
The recognition application must be submitted electronically. This requires registration of a personal user account in the online platform. Once you have fully entered in all data into the recognition application, upload accompanying documents and submit the recognition application electronically to SERI for a preliminary check.
2. SERI carries out preliminary check
SERI will carry out a preliminary check of the uploaded documents and will inform the applicant of subsequent steps in the procedure as well as the modalities and costs of the recognition procedure. Following this preliminary check, SERI will notify the applicant if there are any additional documents that still need to be submitted.
3. SERI examines and assesses detailed content
After receipt of all required documents and the corresponding processing fee, SERI will examine and assess the application. In the case of regulated professional activities, it may call in experts to assist with assessment if need be.
4. SERI reaches decision
After examination and assessment of the application documents, SERI will send its decision to the applicant by post together with instructions on how to appeal its decision. The procedure for the recognition of foreign qualifications does not lead to issuance of Swiss qualifications. In the case of regulated professional activities, if SERI feels that the duration and/or content of training for the foreign qualification differs substantially from that of a Swiss qualification, then compensatory measures can be taken (two options: aptitude test or supplemental training course). Upon successful completion of compensatory measures, recognition of equivalence will be issued upon request.
Confirmation of level
A level certificate is a document issued by SERI that informs schools, potential employers and authorities about the level that your foreign qualification holds within the Swiss education system. For non-regulated professional activities, SERI recommends a level certificate instead of recognition because you do not need to obtain recognition of your foreign qualification in order to work in Switzerland. It is up to potential employers to decide whether to hire an applicant with or without suitable training.
Recognition of equivalence
Recognition of foreign qualifications is necessary for regulated professional activities because the law requires a person to hold a specific qualification in order to carry out the given professional activity. With recognition of equivalence, SERI confirms that the foreign qualification is equivalent to a Swiss one. The examination and assessment of recognition (equivalence) is carried out in accordance with criteria set forth in the corresponding legal basis.
SERI examines and assesses only fully submitted applications (i.e. once all required documents have been submitted electronically). Once the complete application file has been submitted, it generally takes up to four months to process recognition applications for regulated professional activities. For non-regulated professional activities, the processing time is up to six (6) months. The recognition procedure may take even longer if more detailed clarification is required.
Please consult the different sections on this page and the FAQ beforehand. If you have a fundamental question about the recognition of foreign qualifications that has not been answered on this page, then please send your question via e-mail to SERI’s contact point for the recognition of foreign qualifications: (firstname.lastname@example.org)