Key terms

All key terms related to professional recognition are explained here.


Accreditation is a formal recognition of the equivalence of a professional qualification gained from a college and/or through work with an Austrian apprenticeship, regardless of whether this involves training from an EEA country or from a third country.

Responsibility: Federal Ministry for Labour and Economy

Advice Centre

Advice centres support individuals throughout Austria who need further information on the issues of integration as well as working and self-employment.

Application offices

These are the offices which you can contact that are responsible for applications for the recognition procedure. You can find out the precise office responsible for your profession using our Recognition Guide


Assessing foreign university degrees can be an alternative to the validation procedure. It is not binding, but can be obtained without too much bureaucracy. Academic evaluation of foreign degrees can be a very useful aid in practical work situations, e.g. for job searches, applications and preliminary discussions with the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS). Recognition (validation) is itself carried out by the administrative authority responsible for the relevant profession.

Responsibility for school-leaving certificates: Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and ResearchApplications are made online: 

Responsibility: Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, ENIC NARIC AUSTRIA. Applications are made online:

Certificate of proficiency

A certificate of proficiency attests to the fact that the trade professional has all of the technical and commercial knowledge, abilities and experience required to be able to exercise a regulated trade or sub-trade independently.

Contact point

See Advice Centre


The National Academic Recognition Information Centre is the official contact point for all cross-border recognition queries in the university area. It is responsible for queries related to international recognition of academic degrees and titles, and compares foreign curricula with Austrian curricula. Applications are made online:


The equivalence of foreign and Austrian school-leaving certificates must be reviewed before starting university studies. This is done by the university or university of applied sciences responsible.


Integrity means that the individual has not received a criminal conviction and has no prior convictions. Individuals with integrity have no criminal record and have a clean certificate of good character.

Non-regulated professions

No formal recognition is required in order to be entitled to exercise “non-regulated” professions. However, recognition may increase your chances on the employment market. The more this qualification is in demand on the employment market and the more it is needed by companies, the higher your chances when searching for jobs.


Nostrification is the term for formal recognition of foreign school and college-leaving certificates. This involves a comparison of the school attendance records abroad and the examinations taken abroad with Austrian curricula. If there are greater differences in the teaching content then supplementary examinations are required.

Registration certificate

EEA and Swiss citizens who are entitled to residence for more than three months under EU law receive upon request a “registration certificate” to document their right of residence under EU law (a corresponding application must be made within four months following entry into Austria).

The settlement authority which is responsible locally for the primary residence of the EEA or Swiss citizen:

  • The Governor or 
  • The district administrative authority authorised by him or her: The district commissions / The municipal authorities (Vienna: municipal authority department 35)

Official decision

Official decisions are the decisions and orders enacted by the administrative authorities which are addressed to certain individuals. Application offices issue official decisions for the purposes of communicating those decisions regarding comparison of a foreign school or degree certificate or evidence of qualification with an Austrian equivalent. Decisions can therefore provide information on the equivalence and if necessary, the compensation measures required to achieve this.

Regulated professions

These are professions for which a qualification or certificate of proficiency is required. These include e.g.: health professionals, architects, lawyers, doctors, or all those professions that are executed on a commercial basis. However, the majority of professions are non-regulated professions.

Teaching permit (teaching authorisation/licence)

A teaching permit is evidence of the qualifications acquired which enable an individual to teach one or more subjects.


The dual system which combines training at a vocational college with practical experience in a company (apprenticeship) is a special feature of German-speaking countries. Based on the prominence and the high value attributed to completing an apprenticeship in the Austrian employment market, it makes sense to utilise the option of comparing foreign professional qualifications with the Austrian final apprenticeship examination with a view to potential recognition. (Accreditation)


Validation is the formal recognition of a foreign degree as equivalent to an Austrian bachelor’s or master’s degree or diploma or doctorate. This means complete equivalence with the Austrian degree, the right to hold the corresponding Austrian academic degree and the right to exercise a profession associated with this degree in Austria.

Validation is based on a comparison of the curricula (temporal and local difference). The relevant university or university of applied sciences or its council or teaching institution of higher education is responsible for this. An application for validation may only be made once to an Austrian university.