The system of diploma recognition is based on Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. Its purpose is to permit access to a regulated trade or profession in a Member State (EU/EEA) for applicants who have learned their trade or profession in another Member State.
A regulated trade or profession refers to a trade or profession the practice of which calls for the proof of specific qualifications. This system of diploma recognition applies primarily to citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
Austria has a number of regulated trades and professions under the authority of different agencies. These agencies are also responsible for the recognition procedure in question. In many cases, the competent authorities are the Länder, in some cases also the chambers or federal ministries. The Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy is the coordinating national and international contact point as well as the competent authority for the declaration of cross-border services in the field of trades, which fall under the Trade Act (GewO). The competent authority for the recognition of trade and craft qualifications in the case of establishment is the locally competent Provincial Governer (Landeshauptmann).
If Austrian citizens want to take up a trade or other activity in another EU/EEA Member State, the host countries will offer the opportunity to have the qualifications gained in Austria recognised. This is of course only necessary for those trades or professions regulated in the host country. More relaxed regimes are applied if the job is to be performed for a limited period of time only. In most of these cases notification of the competent authority will suffice. More information can be obtained from the contact points established in the Member States.