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Recognition of foreign skilled labour in healthcare.
Recognition of foreign skilled labour in care professions.

Recognition of foreign skilled labour in the healthcare sector.

You have already finished a care-apprenticeship or an academic care-education abroad in a non-EU-country and you are planning to work in Germany?

In order to do this, you will have to pass a knowledge test for the recognition of foreign skilled labour, either according to the health-care-act (Krankenpflegegesetz KrPflG) or to the nursing-profession-act (Pflegeberufegesetz PflBG). This test is constituted of two parts, an oral exam and a practical exam. In the oral exam, you will be tested for your theoretical knowledge, whereas in the practical exam, the examiner wants you to show your nursing skills within concrete care-related situations. After passing the exam, you are officially allowed to call yourself – depending on which of the above mentioned laws your knowledge test is based on – health-care-professional (“Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger:in”), paediatric-care-professional (“Gesundheits- und Kinderkrankenpfleger:in”) or nursing specialist (“Pflegefachmann/-frau”).

In order to take the knowledge test, you need a deficit notification. That is a document, which determines the topics asked during your exam. You receive the deficit notification from the central recognition authority that is in charge of the province (Bundesland) you live in. Further, you need a German language certificate at a minimum of B1-level or better.

WBS SCHULEN also offer the possibility to participate in preparatory courses, in which you are going to be prepared individually and targeted for your exam. In order to be able to pass the knowledge test we strongly recommend visiting these courses.

Your contact.

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Your benefits at one glance.


We prepare you individually and intensively for the exams.


Your qualification from abroad is going to be treated as equal as the German nursing-qualification.


Having your recognition, you can undertake more responsibility and give your career a huge boost.

You are already working in Germany?

a young woman in a nursing gown.

You are on the right page, if you...

  • are already living and working in Germany,
  • You have a nursing-qualification that should be recognized in Germany,
  • you have got a deficit notification,
  • and you have a language certificate (minimum level B1)

Enrol directly here for a preparatory course and the knowledge test. All courses and exams take place in our schools.

To the courses.

What are the preparatory courses?

In order to pass the knowledge test and to receive the recognition as “Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger:in", "Gesundheits- und Kinderkrankenpfleger:in" or "Pflegefachfrau/-mann", we recommend to participate in our preparatory courses. During these courses, we prepare you individually and targeted for the topics that are going to be asked in the exam.

All together, the preparatory courses comprises 240 and 130 teaching units divided into two blocks of theoretical lessons, which are held within 3 weeks, each of those in our schools. In between, you are going to have a phase of practical work in order to enhance your nursing skills.

The preparatory courses are AZAV-certified and therefore free of charge, as the Agentur für Arbeit reimburses the costs for participating in a course due to the qualification- and opportunities-act (Qualifizierungs- und Chancengesetz QCG).

To the preparatory course (theoretical exam)

To the preparatory course (practical exam)

Praxisanleiter Pflege

You still have question?

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Not everything cleared up yet?

Then watch this video! There we explain step by step what you can do to receive your recognition as a nursing professional in Germany. We explain the process of your recognition from the preparatory course to the final exam. If you have any further questions, just give us a call or write to us, we are happy to help.

You are still living abroad, but you would like to work in Germany?

You have already finished an apprenticeship or an academic education in the field of nursing and you would like to work in Germany? In the following paragraphs, we explain step by step, how that works and what you will have to do.

You find further information regarding the topic working in Germany at the “Portal for skilled labour from abroad” from the German government.

You decide to get your qualification recognized in Germany in order to work here.
You apply for the deficit notification and do a B1-level language certificate.
You look for an employer you get a job offer from (e.g. an employment contract).
Apply for a visa at the respective authority (please consider the specific minimum requirements).
Travelling to Germany, starting to work and start of the preparatory course.

Information for employers.

Are you working with or employing foreign skilled workers whose professional qualifications have not yet been recognized in Germany? Then there is good news:
WBS Schools are expanding their services and will now support you with professional recognition for skilled workers.
Foreign skilled workers must have their professional and academic qualifications assessed for equivalence by the central recognition agency in their state.
If equivalence is not established, foreign skilled workers must make up the deficiencies through an adaptation course or a proficiency test.
WBS Schools specialize in proficiency tests as part of the recognition process for foreign skilled workers in the healthcare sector.
The proficiency tests are described in the training and examination regulations for healthcare professions. The recognition process and proficiency tests are very complex and difficult for many foreign skilled workers to understand. Therefore, we have described this process in short explanatory videos, using proficiency tests for nursing professions as an example.


If you are already employing skilled workers from abroad without a recognized qualification, you can enrol them for a preparatory course and the knowledge test in order to receive their full recognition. There are many advantages:

  • Recognition of skilled workers acts against the shortage of skilled workers in Germany.
  • You can enhance the staffing ratio and therefore relieve your team.
  • Fully recognized skilled workers can carry out tasks with a higher level of responsibility.
  • Internationalization and diversification of your team.
  • The preparatory course is – thanks to the AZAV-certification – free of charge, as the Agentur für Arbeit reimburses the costs based on the qualification- and opportunities-act (Qualifizierungs- und Chancengesetz QCG).
Praxisanleiter Weiterbildung

FAQ in terms of knowledge tests and preparatory courses.

Through the knowledge test the authorities can ensure that your knowledge and skills in terms of nursing are on an equivalent level as having the qualification as a “Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger:in", "Gesundheits- und Kinderkrankenpfleger:in" or "Pflegefachfrau/-mann". After passing your exam, you are allowed to call yourself with one of the respective titles and to carry out all activities related to the profession.

In order to participate in a preparatory course and the knowledge test you need a deficit notification from the central authority of that province (Bundesland), the exam is going to take place in. Further, you need a German language certificate in a minimum level of B1.

The deficit notification is a document, which states the differences between your qualification from abroad and the German qualification. These differences are also going to be the topics for your exam, which means that the examiner will not ask you questions about topics that you have already learned about in your apprenticeship. In order to receive a deficit notification, you have to send an application to the central authority for the recognition of medical professions in your province (Bundesland).

Either as an employee or as an employer the Agentur für Arbeit reimburses the costs for the preparatory course, which is based on the qualification- and opportunities-act (Qualifizierungs- und Chancengesetz QCG). Further, the oral exam costs 450,00 EUR and the practical exam 550,00 EUR. Unfortunately, they will not reimburse these costs.

Even if you fail an exam, this is not a problem at all, as you only retake this particular exam, not the whole knowledge test. For example, if you fail the oral exam and pass the practical one, you only will have to retake the oral one. You can immediately retake it, so that you do not lose too much time. However, please keep in mind that you will have to pay again for the failed exam.

The recognition of your employees’ qualification is a great opportunity to enhance your staffing ratio. Instead employing them as unskilled staff, you can appoint them as skilled labour and therefore relieve your whole team. Further, the recognition does not cost you a single Cent, as the Agentur für Arbeit reimburses the costs for the preparatory course.