The free movement of persons, which is one of the main objectives aimed at increasing mobility within the EU and is set forth in founding EC treaties, covers in addition to the free movement of workers, co-ordination of social security systems and civil rights also mutual recognition of qualifications.
To this end, Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 (Official Journal
of the European Union, 2005 – L 255) on the recognition of professional qualifications was adopted; it regulates the system of recognition of qualifications and enables EU Member State nationals to have access to and perform regulated professions or activities in other Member States under the same conditions that apply to the nationals of the host Member State.
Directive 2005/36/ES, which came into force on 20 October 2007, consolidates and updates 15 previous directives covering all the rules of recognition, with the exception of certain professions regulated by specific sectoral directives (lawyers, activities in the field of toxic substances, insurance brokers, transport sector).
SYSTEM OF MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
The system of mutual recognition of professional qualifications applies to all nationals of EU Member States, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation, who wish to pursue a particular regulated profession or activity as self-employed or employed persons in another host Member State.
In order to qualify for the system of mutual recognition of qualifications, you must be:
• a national of one of the EU Member States, a national of signatory states of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) or the Swiss Confederation;
• a person who has acquired her or his qualifications in one of the aforementioned countries;
• a person who wishes to pursue her or his profession in another Member State (known as the host Member State), which regulates the profession concerned;
• a third country national who acquired qualifications on EU territory.
Mutual recognition of professional qualifications implies that nationals of EU Member States and nationals of the states with whom EU has concluded agreements on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) as well as third country nationals who have acquired their qualifications on the territory of the EU shall have access to pursuing regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia in accordance with the specific procedure of recognition of professional qualifications.
A regulated profession or a professional activity is a profession or activity, the pursuit of which is subject to requirements specified by law or implementing regulation.
There are different systems of recognition of professional qualifications, or three categories of professions that are subject to certain rules of recognition:
• “sectoral professions” – recognition based on the harmonisation of minimum qualification requirements in accordance with the principle of automatic recognition (doctors with basic training and specialised doctor, nurses responsible for general care, dental practitioners and specialised dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, midwifes, pharmacists and architects);
• automatic recognition of “professional experience” (professions in the field of crafts, trade and industry),
• “general system” of recognition of qualification (all professions other than the aforementioned).
PROCEDURE FOR RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
The procedure of recognition of a qualification is initiated by a candidate lodging an application with the competent authority for a particular regulated profession or professional activity specified in the Register of regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia, including enclosures and payment of the administrative fee in accordance with the Administrative Fees Act.
After the receipt of the application, the competent authority informs the candidate about any missing certificates and asks for additional documentation, as necessary.After the receipt of a complete application, the competent authority must issue a decision within two months.
There are three types of applications, which form Annexes to the Rules on the procedure of recognition of the qualifications of nationals of EU Member States, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation relating to access to regulated professions and professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia (Uradni list RS, No. 23/2008):
Application for the recognition of professional qualifications within the general system (Annex I – applicable to all regulated professions specified in the Register of regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia, other that those listed below);
Application for the recognition of professional qualifications included in the Register of regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia (Annex II – recognition based on work experience in the field of crafts, industry and trade – applicable to activities specified in List IV of the Register of regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia);
Application for the recognition of professional qualifications within the sectoral system (Annex III – recognition based on minimum qualification requirements – applicable to professions specified in List V of the Register of regulated professions or professional activities in the Republic of Slovenia).
The following must be attached to the application:
• evidence of nationality,
• diploma, certificate and other evidence of education, as well as certificates of professional competence and experience;
• evidence of other qualifications;
• any other evidence, as necessary.
On the basis of a decision on the recognition of professional qualifications, the candidate is enabled to pursue a regulated profession for which he/she has been qualified in a Member State of the EU, EEA or the Swiss Confederation under the same conditions that apply to Slovenian nationals, provided that the activities covered by that profession are comparable.
PROVISION OF SERVICES ON A TEMPORARY OR OCCASIONAL BASIS IN THE CASE OF REGULATED PROFESSIONS OR PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
The provision of services on a temporary or occasional basis means that the service provider provides services for a limited period of time in a Member State of the EU, EEA or the Swiss Confederation in which he/she is not legally established.
Prior to first providing services in the Republic of Slovenia and if a material change in the situation occurs after the commencement of services, the service provider must submit a written notification, done on the official forms, to the competent authority, including the personal data of the service provider and data on insurance coverage or other means of personal or collective protection with regard to professional liability; the notification must be accompanied by the following documents:
• proof of the nationality of the service provider;
• an attestation certifying that the service provider is legally established in a Member State of the EU, EEA or the Swiss Confederation for the purpose of pursuing the activities concerned, and that he/she is not prohibited from practicing, even temporarily, at the time of issuing the attestation;
• evidence of professional qualifications;
• if a profession is not regulated in the state of origin, evidence that the service provider has pursued the activity concerned continuously or in a total duration of at least 2 years during the previous 10 years;
• and according to the Construction Act documents and data of the project (the intended length of service, data of the project designer, contractor or supervisor) on which he/she will be working on that specified limited period of time and proof of insurance covering liability against damage (must cover damage caused in the Republic of Slovenia).
The competent authorities of the Republic of Slovenia may require the service provider to furnish the recipient of the service with any or all of the following information:
• whether the service provider is registered in a commercial register or similar public records, the register in which he/she is registered, his/her registration number, or equivalent means of identification contained in that register;
• if the activity is subject to authorisation in the Member State of the EU, EEA or the Swiss Confederation in which he/she is established, the name and address of the competent supervisory authority;
• any professional association or similar body with which the service provider is registered;
• the professional title or, where no such title exists, the formal qualification of the service provider and the Member State of the EU, EEA or the Swiss Confederation in which it was awarded;
• if the service provider performs an activity which is subject to VAT, the VAT identification number referred to in Article 79 of the Value Added Tax Act (Uradni list RS, No. 117/06);
• details of any insurance coverage or other means of personal or collective protection with regard to professional liability.
Within one month of receipt of the notification and accompanying documents, the competent authority must either inform the service provider of its decision not to check his/her qualifications or issue a decision on the recognition of professional qualifications, or inform the service provider of the reason for the delay.
If the profession is not regulated in the state of origin, the service provider must have provided the services in the state of establishment continuously or cumulatively for at least two years in the last 10-year period, before he/she may start providing these services in the Republic of Slovenia.
The written notification must be extended at the time of the first occasional performance of services in the Republic of Slovenia in a given calendar year if the service provider has already performed those services in the Republic of Slovenia.
To work as an architect in another EU country, you must apply to the authority that oversees the profession in that country, providing proof of your qualifications.
Which qualifications are recognised?
The authorities in any EU country must recognise any of the architects’ qualifications listed in:
• Annex V.5.7.1 of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications or
• Annex VI of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications – provided your studies started no later than the academic year mentioned.
Your qualifications are automatically recognised if they are from a university or equivalent-level institution and if your studies for them:
• lasted at least 4 years full-time or 6 years study of which at least 3 years full-time
• had architecture as the principal component
• had theoretical and practical components
• taught the basic knowledge and skills listed in Article 46 of Directive 2005/36/EC on recognition of professional qualifications.
The qualifications listed in Annex V.5.7.1 of the Directive all meet these criteria. Those listed in Annex VI do not, but are still automatically recognised.
Even if your architect’s qualification does not meet the criteria for automatic recognition and is not listed in Directive 2005/36/EC, it may still be recognised in other EU countries under the general system for recognition of qualifications. However, if the relevant authorities think your training is significantly different from the training required in that country, you may have to sit an aptitude test, or to complete an adaptation period. For detailed information on which qualifications may be recognised on this basis and what conditions may be attached, see Articles 10 to 15 of Directive (2005/36/EC).
• Directive on recognition of professional qualifications (2005/36/EC)
• Automatically recognised qualifications – recent additions
Useful documents relating to the recognition of professional qualifications: Frequently asked questions, Code of conduct (approved by the Group of Coordinators), Directive 2005/36/EC – User Guide, Common platforms