Recognition of qualifications in business

24. 10. 2013 | Source: Ministry of Industry and Trade of The Czech Republic

Information for nationals of the EU, the CR, the EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland who wish to practise a regulated profession or professional activity in the Czech Republic. A regulated profession/activity is a profession/activity which is subject to legislative requirements which, if not met, do not allow the person to pursue the given profession/activity in the CR.

Legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications in the context of licensed trades in the Czech Republic

  • Act No 18/2004 on the recognition of professional qualifications and other competence of the nationals of EU Member States and amending certain laws (the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications), as amended, and Act No 455/1991, the Trade Licensing Act, as amended.

Object and purpose of the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications

The Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications transposes the relevant legislation of the European Communities (Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications, Articles 39, 43 and 49 of the Treaty establishing the European Community) and regulates the procedure of administrative authorities, professional bodies and employers governed by public law in the recognition of professional qualifications and other competences required for the performance of regulated activities in the Czech Republic, provided that professional qualifications have been gained or the activity has been carried out in another Member State of the European Union, another State party to the European Economic Area Agreement or the Swiss Confederation.

The provisions of this Act apply in cases where the provisions of special legislation do not otherwise regulate the recognition of professional qualifications and other competences for the performance of regulated activities. This does not prejudice the temporary or occasional performance of a regulated activity.

Persons affected by the recognition of qualifications under the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications

The following persons may apply for the recognition of qualifications under the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications:

  • nationals of Member States of the European Union (i.e. Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom), other States party to the European Economic Area Agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as ‘Member State’), and members of their families (Article 2 of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council),
  • persons permanently resident in the Czech Republic and third–country nationals if they have been granted the legal status of a long—term resident in the European Community by another Member State, or if they have been granted leave to stay in a Member State in order to engage in academic research, and persons granted asylum and subsidiary protection in the Czech Republic, and members of their families, provided that they have been granted long–term residence in the Czech Republic,
  • nationals of a state other than a Member State if they have been granted leave to stay in the Czech Republic or another Member State of the European Union for the purposes of study, an exchange visit of pupils, unpaid vocational training or voluntary services,
  • nationals of a state other than a Member State who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have received assistance to participate in illegal immigration and who cooperate with the competent authorities, if they have been granted leave to stay in the Czech Republic or in another Member State of the European Union to this effect,

provided that professional qualifications for the performance of this activity have been acquired or this activity has been performed in a Member State other than the Czech Republic.

Basic principles for the recognition of professional qualifications

With regard to the performance of a regulated activity in the Czech Republic, administrative authorities and professional chambers are entitled to demand that nationals of another Member State comply only with those conditions that special legislation requires of Czech citizens. When deciding on the recognition of professional qualifications, recognition authorities are governed by the public interest and the interests of natural and legal persons that could be adversely affected by the performance of regulated activities by persons with insufficient professional qualifications and that are protected by special legislation laying down conditions for the performance of regulated activities with this in mind. These protected interests are primarily the protection of life, health, and property, consumer protection, environmental protection, protection of national treasures, protection against serious breaches of special legislation or other grave consequences.

Procedure to recognize professional qualifications

Applicants submit applications for the recognition of professional qualifications to the recognition authority or to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which forwards it to the recognition authority without undue delay. Applicants may also seek the recognition of other competences. The particulars of an application and the documents required are referred to in Section 22 of the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications.

Note:

Documents submitted with an application for the recognition of qualifications

  1. an identity card, proof of nationality, and where appropriate proof of the applicant’s legal status
  2. evidence of professional qualifications,
  3. evidence of other competences (good character)
  4. proof of payment of the administrative fee.

The documents referred to in a) are submitted as copies. The recognition authority may demand the submission of the original of such documents for examination. The documents referred to in 3b) and c) are submitted as originals or officially certified copies if the authenticity of copies cannot be verified by way of administrative cooperation. Documents are submitted together with a translation into Czech, unless issued in Czech. If the recognition authority doubts the correctness of a translation and the correctness of the translation cannot be verified by way of administrative cooperation, it may demand the submission of an officially certified translation of the document into Czech by an interpreter registered in the register of experts and interpreters.


The fee for an application for the recognition of professional qualifications is CZK 2,000.

The administrative fee may be paid in the form of fee stamps or to a special account, i.e. Account No 3711–1525001/0710, held at the Czech National Bank.

The application form for the recognition of qualifications is at the end of this document. You can also visit website of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports where you can also find out more about the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications and access an alphabetical register of all regulated professions (not just trades).

If the recognition authority recognizes an applicant’s professional qualifications, it issues a decision to this effect. If the recognition authority demands compliance with compensation measures prior to the recognition of the applicant’s professional qualifications, the compensation measures required are set out in the decision. If an applicant subsequently provides evidence of compliance with a countervailing measure, the recognition authority issues a decision in this regard without undue delay. An applicant becomes professionally competent to carry on a regulated activity under special legislation after the decision on compliance with a compensation measure enters into force.

The recognition authority issues a decision on the recognition of qualifications without undue delay, i.e. within 60 days of delivery of an application for the recognition of professional qualifications and submission of all documents to the competent recognition authority. The recognition authority returns evidence of professional qualifications and other competences to the applicant within 15 working days of the date that the decision enters into force.

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Recognition authority

If applicants intend to carry on a regulated activity as an entrepreneur in the form of a trade or as the responsible representative of the holder of a trade authorization, the recognition authority is the Ministry of Industry and Trade. This ministry recognizes the professional qualifications of EU nationals obtained in another Member State so that they can enter into business activities falling within the remit of the Trade Licensing Act or so that they can obtain a trade authorization to operate regulated activities within the remit of the Trade Licensing Act, i.e. those trades for which proof of professional competence is required (link to TLA annexes and the MIT website).

Assessment of professional qualifications by reference to documents from other Member States by trade licensing offices in respect of trades to which Article 16 of Directive 2005/36/EC applies

Nationals of a Member State may also prove professional competence to the competent trade licensing office directly by means of documents in accordance with Section 7(5) of the Trade Licensing Act (link to Section 7 of the TLA) in respect of all vocational trades and in respect of those professional or permitted trades where this possibility is expressly laid down in the Trade Licensing Act (Annex No 2 for professional trades and Annex No 3 for permitted trades). In these cases, there is no need to apply to the recognition authority for the recognition of professional qualifications. This does not prejudice the right to apply to the recognition authority for the recognition of professional qualifications.

Regulated activities in the context of the Trade Licensing Act

Regulated activities in the context of the Trade Licensing Act are vocational, professional and permitted trades where proof of professional competence is required. A full list of these trades is provided in Annexes 1 to 3 to the Trade Licensing Act.

Activities falling within the individual vocational, professional and permitted trades are described in Governmental Order No 469/2000 laying down the content of individual trades.

For regulated trades, the entrepreneur, or a person appointed by the entrepreneur to hold the position of responsible representative, must comply with the requirements of professional competence.

For the ten trades singled out in Annex No 5 to the Trade Licensing Act, the requirements of professional competence must be met by all persons who actually engage in professional activity pertaining to the trade (employees, entrepreneurs). Entrepreneurs are held liable for compliance with this obligation. It is not a condition to obtain a trade authorization, but is required when the trade is actually commenced. Trade licensing offices run checks on the fulfilment of this condition.

Vocational trades

A list of vocational trades can be found in Annex No 1 to the Trade Licensing Act.

Evidence of professional competence for vocational trades

Legislation on professional competence for vocational trades offers numerous possible qualification requirements that can be used as alternatives to provide evidence of professional competence.

Professional competence for vocational trades is documented by proof of

  1. due completion of secondary education with a certificate of apprenticeship in a relevant field of education,
  2. due completion of secondary education with a school–leaving examination in a relevant field of education, or with vocational training subjects in a relevant field,
  3. due completion of higher vocational education in a relevant field of education,
  4. due completion of higher education in a relevant field of study programmes and study fields, or
  5. recognition of professional qualifications issued by the recognition authority in accordance with the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications,
  6. verification or recognition of full qualifications achieved in a relevant field based on the Act on the Recognition of the Results of Further Education.

Citizens of the Czech Republic or nationals of another Member State of the European Union may also prove professional competence

  1. in respect of the trades referred to in Part A, Annex No 1 to this Act by means of the documents laid down in Section 7(5)(b), (c) or (e),
  2. in respect of the trades referred to in Part B, Annex No 1 to this Act by means of the documents laid down in Section 7(5)(b), (c), (f) or (h), or
  3. in respect of the trades referred to in Part C, Annex No 1 to this Act by means of the documents laid down in Section 7(5)(j), (k), (l) or (m).

Documents proving professional competence in accordance with Section 21 may be replaced by evidence of

  1. due completion of secondary education with a certificate of apprenticeship in a related field of education and evidence of one year’s experience in the field,
  2. due completion of secondary education with a school–leaving examination in a related field of education and evidence of one year’s experience in the field,
  3. due completion of higher vocational education in a related field of education and evidence of one year’s experience in the field,
  4. due completion of higher education in a relevant related field of study programmes and study fields,
  5. due completion of retraining for relevant work activities, issued by an establishment accredited in accordance with special legislation, or by an establishment accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, or by a ministry in whose purview the sector in which the trade is operated falls, and evidence of one year’s experience in the field, or
  6. six years’ experience in the field.

If, in the context of the professional competence, experience is required in the field, this means the performance of professional activities pertaining to the field or a related field of a trade by a self–employed person in the field or in a related field based on the relevant business authorization, a person authorized by the management of an enterprise or organizational unit of an enterprise, a responsible representative, a person directly responsible for the management of activities which are the subject of a trade, or a person performing independent professional work corresponding to the field of a trade as an employee, civil servant, member of an organization or similar status. Related fields are fields that use the same or similar work processes and expertise.

Professional trades

A list of professional trades can be found in Annex No 2 to the Trade Licensing Act.

Evidence of professional competence for professional trades

Professional competence for professional trades is regulated by special legislation referred to in Annex No 2 to the Trade Licensing Act or laid down in that annex.

Nationals of a Member State of the European Union and citizens of the Czech Republic may prove professional competence by means of a document on the recognition of professional qualifications issued by the recognition authority in accordance with the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. These persons may also prove professional competence by means of documents certifying that they performed the activity in question in another Member State of the European Union directly to the trade licensing office, where this is so provided in Annex No 2 to the Trade Licensing Act (by reference to Section 7(5)(relevant subparagraph) of the Trade Licensing Act).

Permitted trades

A list of permitted trades can be found in Annex No 3 to the Trade Licensing Act.

Evidence of professional competence for permitted trades

Professional competence for permitted trades is regulated by special legislation referred to in Annex No 3 to the Trade Licensing Act or laid down in that annex.

Nationals of a Member State of the European Union and citizens of the Czech Republic may prove professional competence by means of a document on the recognition of professional qualifications issued by the recognition authority in accordance with the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. These persons may also prove professional competence by means of documents certifying that they performed the activity in question in another Member State of the European Union directly to the trade licensing office, where this is so provided in Annex No 3 to the Trade Licensing Act (by reference to Section 7(5)(relevant subparagraph) of the Trade Licensing Act).

Applicants whose professional qualifications are recognized in accordance with this Act are regarded as persons professionally competent to engage in regulated activity under special legislation. Where the fulfilment of conditions other than the condition of professional qualifications or other competent is required for the performance of a regulated activity in the Czech Republic, these conditions are not affected by recognition under this Act.

The provisions of special legislation regulating the recognition of foreign education in the Czech Republic do not apply to recognition under this Act; the requirements laid down in special legislation for admission to courses at post–secondary vocational colleges and universities are not affected by the recognition of professional qualifications under this Act.

Forms

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