Any national of a Member State of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland has the right to work, to seek work, to set up business or to provide services in any other Member State.
Directive 2005/36 is in place to aid mobility between Member States of the EU, EEA and Switzerland. This directive applies to regulated professions including sectoral and general systems. The Directive works on the principle that a qualified professional in one Member State is qualified to exercise the same profession in another Member State.
The basic principle of the directive is the recognition of a foreign qualification, but every host country has the right to implement the necessary regulations and procedures to reach that goal. There is a great need for professional recognition, since the requirements for the same profession in different countries may vary. In the case of significant differences there is the possibility to implement compensation mechanisms, for example, an aptitude test or an adaptation period, which enable an assessment of the knowledge, skills and abilities of the applicant for working in a regulated profession.
In order to work in a regulated profession with foreign qualifications one must apply for the recognition of these qualifications by a competent authority. Information about regulated professions, competent authorities and application procedures, etc., in a certain country is provided by contact points. The Estonian ENIC/NARIC serves as an assistance centre that provides information about recognition of professional qualifications.
Recognition of professional qualifications in Estonia
The aim of the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act entered into force on 1 January 2001 is to promote the free movement of people and to guarantee that professional education and work experience obtained abroad is recognised in Estonia. Professional recognition is a procedure that enables a person with a foreign professional qualification to be admitted to a regulated profession or professional activity in Estonia. The system of professional recognition is not only valuable for foreigners, but also for Estonians, who have studied or worked in a foreign country.