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Certificate of Equivalence

Certificate of Equivalence for Foreign Vocational Qualifications

You obtained a foreign vocational qualification which corresponds to a non-regulated German qualification governed by Länder law? You would like to work in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Niedersachsen or Saarland? If both are the case, you can apply for a Certificate of Equivalence for your qualification.

What is the Certificate of Equivalence for?

The certificate shall facilitate access to the German job market. It states the full or partial equivalence of your qualification with a German qualification (the so-called reference qualification). In case of partial equivalence we will let you know how you can qualify for full equivalence.

Which German reference qualification applies to me?

In many occupational fields there are different vocational training courses leading to very similar professions: either via the dual education system according to the Vocational Training Act (for example electrician) or via training at a full-time vocational school (for example electrotechnical assistant). Therefore there might be more than one German profession existing for your qualification.

Please find two lists to help you find your reference qualification below (in German only):

Comparison of training professions in the dual system and professions governed by Länder law

Compilation of further training governed by federal law and continuing education governed by Länder law

In your application, please indicate the German occupation we are to compare your qualification with. Please select the occupation from one of the above lists from the right column. If your qualification is not in one of the lists or is in the left column, a different authority is responsible recognising your qualification. Please refer to the database 'anabin' for information on relevant authorities.

Certificates of Equivalence are issued only for completed vocational training.


Fees amounting to 485 Euro apply for a Certificate of Equivalence.

In case of withdrawal or denial of issue, fees calculated in proportion to the work completed will be charged.

There are no exemptions from fees.

Information on the possibility of applying for a recognition grant ("Anerkennungszuschuss"), including the relevant application forms, can be found at www.anerkennungszuschuss.de.


To apply for a Certificate of Equivalence please use our application form.

Please fill in the complete application form and enclose all relevant supporting documents. Please refer to our check list for information on which documents are needed. Send the signed application together with all supporting documents to:

Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB)
Postfach 2240
53012 Bonn

Legal basis

The ZAB issues Certificates of Equivalence for Berlin (since 20 February 2014), Baden-Württemberg (since 13 August 2014) Niedersachsen (since 1 February 2015) and Saarland (since 01 May 2017). Legal foundations are the recognition laws of Berlin, Baden-Württemberg, Niedersachsen and Saarland.

The ZAB has the task to assess the equivalence of foreign vocational qualifications with German reference qualifications pursuant to article 1, § 3 of these laws.

Do you have any questions?

Please email us at zabservice@kmk.org.

Please state in the subject line: Gleichwertigkeitsbescheid. This way, we can get back to you even quicker.

You can also contact us by phone.

Our support team looks forward to your message.