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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a licence to practise a psychological psychotherapist from the EU/EEA/Switzerland

Description

The profession of psychotherapist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a psychotherapist in Germany without restriction, you need a license to practice medicine. The approbation is the state admission to the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a psychotherapist without a license to practice medicine. Even with a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain the license to practice medicine in Germany.

In order to obtain the license to practice medicine, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised. In the recognition procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification and checks its equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the license to practice medicine.

In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the granting of the permit. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

If your professional qualification does not originate from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

Application

You submit an application for a licence to practise as a psychotherapist to the competent authority.

You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you.

The responsible authority then checks whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met. The approbation can only be granted if your training from abroad is equivalent to the German training.

Equivalence test

The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. The competent body will check whether your professional qualification is equivalent. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German professional qualification.
 

Possible results of the test

If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authority can confirm the result in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted the license to practice as a psychotherapist.

Are there significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Perhaps you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). You must prove your professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of the state in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.

However, it may be that the essential differences cannot be compensated by this knowledge. You are then not allowed to work as a psychotherapist in Germany.

The competent authority will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional experience. The decision of the competent authority also states the level of your training and the level that is necessary in Germany.


Compensatory measures

You can take a compensatory measure to compensate for the main differences.

There are various compensatory measures:

  • Adaptation period: The adaptation period lasts a maximum of three years.
  • Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only those areas in which significant differences have been identified are examined. The aptitude test is an oral-practical case examination.
     

You can choose between an adaptation course or an aptitude test.

If you successfully complete the compensatory measure and meet all other requirements, you will receive a license to practice as a psychotherapist.

The approbation is granted by the State Administration Office in Halle (Saale).

  • You have a professional qualification as a psychotherapist from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
  • You want to work as a psychotherapist in Germany.
  • Personal suitability: You are reliable for working as a psychotherapist and have no criminal record.
  • Health suitability: You can work psychologically and physically as a psychotherapist.
  • You have german language skills at the required language level. These are usually general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and technical language skills at level C2.

The competent authority will inform you which documents you have to submit. Important documents are generally:

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of content and duration of your training (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience as a psychotherapist (e.g. job references)
  • Information as to whether you have already submitted an application for a licence to practise medicine in Germany
  • You do not live or work in Germany yet? Then you may have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof includes, for example, applications for a job, invitations to interviews, personal declaration
     

You usually hand in these documents later. The competent authority will inform you when you should hand in the documents:

  • Proof of your personal suitability: Extract from criminal record or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin. The proof may not be more than 3 months old when the application is submitted.
  • Proof of your fitness for health: Medical certificate. The proof may not be more than 3 months old when the application is submitted.
  • Proof of your German language skills: Language certificate.
    For the approbation you need general German language skills at level B2. You can also submit the required proof of language proficiency during the approbation procedure. During the approbation procedure, you must also take a specialist language test at level C2.
     

The competent authority will inform you which documents you must submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.

If your documents are not available in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who have been publicly appointed or authorised.

The competent authority will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the effort required for processing.

In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

There is no deadline.

Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents. This may prolong the procedure.

  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from the competent authority.
  • Online procedure possible: Ask the competent authority whether you can submit the application online.
  • Personal appearance required: no

Partial access to the profession for professional qualifications from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland:

Your professional qualification is not equivalent and there is only a partial match with the German professional qualification? Can the activity be objectively separated from the other activities of a psychotherapist? Then you may be able to work in the profession with a partial access to the profession. However, with partial access to the profession, you may not carry out all activities in the profession. You may then only carry out the activities for which you are qualified by your training.
There are certain requirements for the partial professional permit:

  • You can work in this profession with your professional qualification in your country of training.
  • Your professional qualification corresponds only partially to the German professional qualification. The differences to the German professional qualification refer to certain activities that are important for the profession in Germany.
  • Your professional qualification must correspond to a specific activity of the professional qualification in Germany.
  • Health suitability
  • Personal suitability
  • Knowledge of German: You must have the German language skills required for the partial exercise of your profession.

You can apply for partial access to the profession at the competent authority.

Temporary professional permit

With the so-called temporary professional permit, you can work for a limited period of time without a license to practice medicine. With the temporary professional permit, you are allowed to work under the supervision of a person with a license to practice medicine. Perhaps you are then only allowed to carry out activities in a certain area of work. You must meet the following requirements for the temporary professional permit:

  • Proof of your professional qualification
  • Health suitability
  • Personal suitability
  • Knowledge of German: You must prove the German language skills required to practise the profession within the framework of the professional permit.

You can apply for a temporary professional permit at the competent authority.

You may not apply for a temporary professional permit if you have also submitted an application for a licence to practise medicine.

Freedom to provide services

You only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? Then you usually do not need the state permission. You must meet these requirements:

  • You must be established in another EU, EEA or Swiss country.
  • You must prove your professional qualification.
  • You must report your activity in writing to the competent authority.

The competent authority will inform you.
 

Equivalence notice

In the permit procedure, the examination of equivalence (recognition procedure) can also be carried out. You can request a separate decision for the result of the examination.


Procedure for ethnic German repatriates

As a ethnic German repatriate, you can either go through the recognition procedure according to the laws mentioned here or according to the Federal Displaced Persons Act. You can decide for yourself. The responsible body will advise you on which procedure is right for you.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Health

No authority found