How your nurses can achieve Full Qualification Recognition: Different options and their challenges

An Introduction to the process of Partial and Full Qualification Recognition

As a healthcare facility partnering with CWC (CWC Recruitment), you will have the opportunity to welcome new employees from abroad who are initially qualified to work as assistant nurses, holding (in most cases) a Partial Qualification Recognition (PQR). This blog post aims to provide you with an overview of what options are available and how you can support and guide your nurses until they achieve full professional recognition in Germany.


Let’s have a look at it together: What is a notice on the equivalence of professional qualification (Bescheid) and what does it tell us?

At the very beginning of the process to obtain QR, the recognition procedure happens, i.e. an application for the equivalence of the professional qualification acquired abroad is submitted. This takes place directly with the competent authorities in the federal state of the employer, i.e. you. The procedure is officially known as “Erteilung der Erlaubnis zum Führen der Berufsbezeichnung”. The authority checks all documents of our pre-screened candidates which then leads to one of the following two possible outcomes:


1) Nurse obtains Partial Qualification Recognition (also known as Defizitbescheid):

In this case, the nurse must complete a professional recognition measure with certain requirements (including language training) in Germany in order to receive Full Qualification Recognition.


2) Nurse obtains Full Qualification Recognition (so-called Vollanerkennung):

If the nurse receives Full Qualification Recognition, he or she can start working as a recognized registered nurse after entering Germany. In order to receive the professional recognition certificate, these nursing professionals must also be able to present a B2 certificate.


Based on our experience, most nursing professionals who come from abroad first receive a notice of Partial Qualification Recognition (Defizitbescheid). This is because nursing education in other countries may differ slightly from the requirements in Germany; and for obtaining full recognition, years of professional experience with work experience in various wards of a hospital must usually be proven. The nurses that CWC places usually come from so-called third countries and have a degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). 

A deficiency notice (Defizitbescheid) lists exactly which requirements must be fulfilled and proven in Germany in order to obtain full recognition and thus professional recognition in Germany.

Nurses can complete the following professional recognition measures in Germany:

  • Equivalence of professional qualification through a Recognition Training Course (Anerkennungslehrgang)
  • Equivalence of professional qualification through a preparatory course followed by a Knowledge Examination (Kenntnisprüfung)

In order to receive the professional recognition certificate that acknowledges the Full Qualification Recognition and once having completed the professional recognition measure training, the following documents must also be submitted: the B2 language certificate (in the future, the federal states are planning to switch to a technical language examination here, which will be taken in Germany), a medical certificate of suitability for the profession, a current certificate of good conduct from Germany as well as a current certificate of good conduct from the home country. CWC supports the nursing staff during this process to achieve Full Qualification Recognition.


Thus, there are two types of QR Measure Paths for nurses who initially obtain partial QR (Defizitbescheid):


1) Anerkennungslehrgang (Recognition Training Course):

The Anerkennungslehrgang is an internship happening at the employer’s facility, where the nurse can practice and learn the missing skills and knowledge identified in the deficiency notice (Defizitbescheid). It is common that the nurse is requested to work for a certain number of hours on certain wards. The duration of the recognition course can range from 4 to 12 months, depending on the needs of the nurse. At the end of the program, there is an oral exam (called a final interview) with the employer. 

Not all employers can offer the Anerkennungslehrgang option, as it requires a corresponding training infrastructure. As a rule, only hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation clinics can offer a recognition training course (Anerkennungslehrgang) if they can prove that they have the appropriate wards.


2) Kenntnisprüfung (Knowledge examination) with corresponding preparation courses

The Kenntnisprüfung path involves preparing for and taking theory and practical exams at a German nursing school. The process for preparing for these exams may vary. As a rule, the preparation, including the examination, takes between 6 and 9 months.

The possibility of the Kenntnisprüfung is available to all nurses in all facilities, regardless of whether they are employed in a hospital in the category of maximum care provider or in a smaller geriatric care facility with 50 beds. The preparation course is implemented with an educational partner (e.g. Care Forward), so that the preparation course can be planned independently of the type of facility. 

Another special feature of the Kenntnisprüfung is that if everyone agrees that the nurse will go through the Kenntnisprüfung path and take the knowledge examination in Germany in the future, a detailed examination of the submitted documents can be waived already at the time of application for the equivalence of the professional qualification and thus the deficiency notice (Defizitbescheid) can be processed and issued more quickly.


If you would like to get a detailed explanation of the differences between both tracks mentioned above to obtain Full Qualification Recognition, you are welcome to read this blog post on “How does the nurse recognition process work in Germany?”.


And now?

To put it simply, if you are a senior care facility, the decision is easy and you can currently only take the path via the “Kenntnisprüfung”. However, many hospitals and clinics that operate the necessary wards to be able to implement the course also use the “Anerkennungslehrgang” path with their own nursing school or partners, such as our training provider Care Forward. Overall, around 95% of our clients currently take the Kenntnisprüfung path. 

With the support of CWC Recruitment and our education partner Care Forward, you can ensure that your nursing professionals successfully complete the professional recognition and settle into their role as registered nursing professionals in Germany. Care Forward’s courses bring together language training, integration, and preparation for and implementation of the knowledge exam (Kenntnisprüfung). 

The costs for the knowledge exam path can be handled through the BGS (education voucher) of the Federal Employment Agency, we will go into more detail about this in another blog article.

CWC Recruitment brings nursing professionals worldwide together with healthcare facilities in Germany. Our team is always available to support you in all matters related to the deployment and integration of nursing professionals at If you are interested in booking Care Forward’s courses independently of our other services, feel free to contact us. We are here to support you every step of the way.

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