town hall
Procedure descriptions

Having foreign job qualifications recognised for HWK (Chamber of Crafts and Trades) professions

You have a foreign qualification in a craft or trade and are looking for work in Baden-Württemberg? Or you’d like to become self-employed in a craft or trade that requires a licence? If so, you are entitled to have your foreign job qualification recognised as equivalent to a German job qualification. You can have your professional experience and other evidence of your suitability taken into account as well as your job qualifications.

Tip: Start by seeking an initial consultation. This will help you find the right certification body for the respective job qualification and compile the necessary documents. You will find more information about equivalency and the addresses of initial contacts in the IQ-Netzwerk portal for Baden-Württemberg. The websites of the Chambers of Crafts and Trades provide information and leaflets about their equivalency procedures.

Responsible department

The Chambers of Crafts and Trades in Baden-Württemberg.



You have acquired a job qualification abroad.


Ask the competent Chamber of Crafts and Trades to advise you. Afterwards, you can lodge an application to have the equivalency of your qualifications recognised.

The competent authority will check whether there are any significant differences between your job qualification and the German equivalent.

Note: If you cannot procure some or all of your foreign documents, the competent authority may offer you a skills analysis to determine your professional competence (e.g. subject-related interview, test of work).

If the competent authority does not find any significant differences, you will receive a certificate of equivalency. You will not receive a German examination certificate.

If the competent authority finds significant differences, it will analyse your existing job qualification and explain the major discrepancies between your qualification and the German one. If your qualification is deemed partly equivalent, ask the competent authority about adjustment qualifications.

Note: You would like to become self-employed in a craft or trade that requires a licence, but the equivalency of your foreign qualification is not fully recognised? Ask your competent Chamber of Crafts and Trades about alternatives.

Required documents

Please bring the following documents to the consultation:

  • passport or personal ID card
  • evidence of training (references, documentation of final qualifications) from your country of origin
  • personal data sheet in German listing your professional experience, activities and advanced training

Note: You must have your foreign-language documents translated into German. The translations must be prepared by official sworn translators in Germany or abroad.


The costs will depend on the outlay required in each case. You are obliged to pay these unless they are to be paid by another organisation.

Tip: The Chambers of Crafts and Trades will provide information about the costs you can expect.

Processing time

The competent authority must conclude the procedure to establish the equivalency of your qualifications within three months. However, the process may take longer if your documents are incomplete, e.g. because the competent authority will be required to analyse them.


You will find detailed information about this topic in the portal provided by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Finanz- und Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 11.04.2023. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
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89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
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