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Recognition of foreign diplomas in Switzerland
Certain professions are regulated in Switzerland, so that an officially recognized diploma is required to practice them. The regulated professions include, for example, doctor, civil engineer, health specialist, teacher, psychologist, lawyer or taxi driver.
A recognition procedure must be applied for for regulated professions. This decides on the equivalence of the foreign with the Swiss diploma or ID. If there are significant differences in training, adjustments may be required. Upon successful completion, the authority issues an equivalence. However, it does not issue Swiss ID cards or diplomas.
Depending on the profession, professional recognition is carried out by a national or cantonal office. SERI keeps a list of which authority is responsible for which profession: Regulated professions and activities in Switzerland [PDF, 976.16 KB].
The most important regulated professional areas and the corresponding official bodies:
Non-university health professions
The Swiss Red Cross (SRK) is responsible for foreign degrees in nursing, physiotherapy, nutritional advice, osteopathy, etc.: redcross.ch.
The Medical Professions Commission (MEBEKO) at the Federal Office of Public Health checks the recognition of diplomas and advanced training titles in human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and chiropractic: www.bag.admin.ch.
Pedagogy / teaching
Apprenticeships, special education, speech therapy, psychomotor skills
The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Education Directors (EDK) is responsible for the recognition of foreign professional diplomas and university degrees: www.edk.ch.
Teachers for vocational schools / higher vocational schools
Applications for recognition are to be sent to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI): www.sbfi.admin.ch.
Recognition is also the responsibility of SERI (see above).
The Psychology Professions Commission (PsyKo), Federal Office of Public Health, is responsible for the recognition of foreign university degrees and advanced training titles: www.bag.admin.ch.
The recognition of foreign diplomas is the responsibility of the respective cantonal court or higher cantonal court. The Federal Supreme Court keeps a list: www.bger.ch.
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for the recognition of professional qualifications in this area: www.sbfi.admin.ch.
Architect, civil engineer and other engineering professions
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for recognizing foreign diplomas: www.sbfi.admin.ch.
Electrician, electrician, electrician
The Federal Heavy Current Inspectorate (ESTI) is responsible for the recognition of these professional qualifications: www.esti.admin.ch.
The application for recognition must be sent to the Federal Commission for Engineering Geometers: www.cadastre.ch.
EU / EFTA citizens
Service providers from these countries can bypass the recognition procedure if they work in Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days per year. Instead, they register for the accelerated reporting procedure. Further information: www.sbfi.admin.ch.
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