In our latest blog entry, CWC Recruitment delved into the two main training tracks available to nurses seeking to obtain the Urkunde, a Qualification Recognition certificate necessary for them to work as Registered Nurses in Germany. Germany faces a significant shortage of registered nurses, and as a placement agency, CWC Recruitment is dedicated to not only bringing nurses to Germany but also ensuring that their nursing qualifications from their home countries are fully recognized by German authorities.
In most cases, nurses initially begin working in Germany as assistant nurses, thanks to partial qualification recognition. To achieve full qualification recognition, several paths are available, which are detailed in our blog entry about QR tracks. One of these paths is the so-called Kenntnisprüfung track (Knowledge ExaminationTrack), involving a combination of theoretical and practical nursing studies. It’s at this point that educational providers become essential, as healthcare facilities may not have the resources for the theoretical learning component. Educational providers take charge of delivering the necessary nursing content for each deployed nurse to ultimately obtain the Urkunde (Qualification Recognition).
During the process of partnering with educational providers, numerous questions may arise. Who is responsible for covering the course costs? Are there any public financial assistance programs available to employers and candidates? How can educational providers assist in this journey?
CWC Recruitment collaborates closely with Care Forward (CF), an educational provider specializing in guiding nurses through the Knowledge Examination Track (Kenntnisprüfung). In this article, we introduce you to two CF representatives who will explain their role, how they support nurses on their path to obtaining the Urkunde (Qualification Recognition), and the financing options available.
CWC: We’re excited to discuss some important aspects of Care Forward. Could you provide a brief explanation of what CF is and its primary functions?
CF: Overall, Care Forward’s mission is to strengthen the healthcare system in Germany by enabling nurses a successful start and transition into their new life in Germany. Care Forward serves as a dedicated course provider specialized in supporting international nurses throughout the Qualification Recognition Journey. Our courses offer training and valuable resources, equipping nurses to successfully pass the QR exam and assume roles as Registered Nurses.
CWC: What are the core values of Care Forward?
CF: Our guiding principles revolve around trust and guidance. We aim to accompany candidates and employers throughout the entire journey, in tandem with the growth of our initiative. While technology enables us to scale our services within the healthcare ecosystem, we remain closely connected to each candidate, ready to provide assistance whenever and wherever it’s needed.
CWC: On your website, Care Forward promotes its courses as comprehensive, covering various aspects from the German language to integration into society. Could you give us a concise overview of how a CF course is structured?
CF: Care Forward’s courses are designed with a three-fold focus within a global pedagogical approach. First, there’s an emphasis on the German language, encompassing both everyday language and specialized medical terminology. Second, the most robust part of our program is the preparation for the QR Exam, which includes a combination of online and in-person courses held at partner schools located either in the same city or within the same federal state as the workplace. Third but equally significant are the modules dedicated to cultural integration. These sessions focus on the cultural differences between the candidates’ home countries and Germany, facilitating their understanding of and adjustment to cultural nuances. For instance, candidates from countries with consistent climates might need to grasp the significant temperature fluctuations between seasons in Germany. Other examples include explaining how recycling operates in Germany and navigating the intricacies of German bureaucratic processes. Also, it’s important to note that all modules are conducted in German, ensuring continuous language practice throughout all three components listed previously.
CWC: How are these courses developed and structured?
CF: For the language and QR training, we maintain standardized content, making the setup relatively straightforward. However, with regards to the cultural integration modules, a specialized team conducts ongoing research and integrates new content based on their findings. This content is dynamic and continuously updated, as the process of integration is not a fixed science that can be fully defined at a single point in time.
CWC: Suppose an employer decides to engage CF as an educational provider. What are the costs healthcare facilities need to consider when partnering with an educational provider, such as CF?
CF: While deployed candidates continue their work as assistant nurses in their respective healthcare facilities, they also undergo theoretical and practical training as part of the Knowledge Examination Track (Kenntnisprüfung). Throughout this learning period, the employer continues to pay the candidate a regular salary. The Federal Employment Agency provides financial support to employers through the Employer Wage Subsidy. This subsidy covers up to 100% of the lost wages due to training-related downtime. CF assists in the application process for these corresponding funds. This is a long-term investment for both parties: employers gain access to nurses who become registered through the QR process, and candidates can expect higher pay once they obtain the QR certification.
CWC: While this is considered an investment, is there any financial assistance available to employers?
CF: Absolutely, and this is where the Bildungsgutschein (BGS), a financial voucher, comes into play. This voucher signifies the willingness of the Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Agency, abbreviated as AfA) to cover some of the costs associated with a specific program, in this case, offered by Care Forward. It serves as a document acknowledging AfA’s awareness of the program itself (Maßnahme) and all its features, including candidate participation, duration, and content.
CWC: What does the BGS cover, and to what extent?
CF: The BGS covers two key components: the costs of the courses itself (including the theoretical and practical section, integration and language if applicable) as well as the expenses related to the candidate’s salary during their learning period. The latter, already mentioned earlier, is a way of supporting the employer and can cover up to 100% of the candidate’s salary corresponding to the learning time (Ausfallzeit). The specific amount is determined by AfA, but regardless, the candidate receives 100% of their salary, whether it’s fully or partially covered by AfA.
CWC: How can employers apply for the BGS?
CF: As implied in your question, it’s the employer’s responsibility to submit the BGS application for each candidate. However, there’s no need to worry, as CF provides comprehensive guidance throughout the entire process. The steps are:
CWC: Is there any advice that CF can offer employers to streamline the BGS process and make it more efficient?
CF: Trust in the support provided by CF is crucial, given the knowledge and expertise we’ve gained from countless candidate experiences. We recommend following the timelines we provide to ensure a smooth start to the QR course. As an employer, it’s also essential to maintain regular communication with all stakeholders, including CF and AfA, to stay informed about the process. Lastly, patience is key, as this is a bureaucratic process that takes time. The timing for BGS filing may vary depending on the region, but our experience suggests that the first forms should be submitted around 5 or 6 weeks before the course’s start date.
CWC: Finally, now that we understand how CF and BGS filing operate, could you share some key metrics with us?
CF: Certainly. The most important indicator is the passing rate for the QR exam. As of 2023, we’ve achieved an impressive passing rate of 92% on the first attempt at the QR exam. This success can be attributed in part to the introduction of our new B2 technical language course in September 2021.
CWC: Congratulations on that achievement! Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
CF: Thank you! We are continually striving to enhance our service by integrating technology alongside personalized guidance. One distinctive feature of CF is our support in assisting healthcare facilities with the filing of all necessary documents. The results speak for themselves, as you can see in the table below:
CWC: Thank you for providing this valuable information!
CWC is a recruitment agency that brings nurses from all over the world to Germany with the goal to solidify the healthcare network and compensate for the current lack of a health workforce. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime at email@example.com. For any inquiries about the educational courses provided by CF, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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