Regulated professions and European Professional Card /EPC/
Recognition of professional qualifications
The recognition of professional qualifications is of a major importance for the effective work of the fundamental freedoms of EU citizens on the internal market and for facilitating mobility within the EU.
Recognition of professional qualifications is recognition of the right to practice a particular profession. Recognition of professional qualifications is only required for regulated professions.
Regulated professions are those for access to or for the exercise of which one needs a professional qualification under the laws, regulations or administrative provisions of the host Member State.
Unregulated professions are those to which access is free, recognition of professional qualifications is not required and conditions to start practicing the profession in the host Member State are identical to those applicable to the citizens of that Member State.
More information related to the professional qualifications in the EU can be found on Your Europe portal: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/index_en.htm
Currently in the EU a total of 4700 jobs grouped into 841 different categories based on their professional qualifications are regulated. The list of regulated professions is different for each Member State. To find out if your profession is regulated in another EU country, you can use the database of regulated professions at the following address:
Depending on whether you want to establish in another Member State or only temporarily to work in it, different requirements apply. When you will practice your profession temporary in another Member State, you are subject to more flexible rules than if you want to establish permanently.
Recognition of professional qualifications in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, the general rules for recognition of professional qualifications have been introduced with the Law on Recognition of Professional Qualifications (LRPQ). Rules for the recognition of the right to pursue a regulated profession in Bulgaria are regulated in various normative acts pertaining to different professions from the list of regulated professions in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The definition of a regulated profession in the LRPQ states: Regulated profession is a professional activity or a group of professional activities included in the list of regulated professions in the Republic of Bulgaria, which is of public importance and/or is essential for people's life and health and access to which is subject to the laws, regulations or administrative provisions regarding:
а) possession of a specific professional qualifications, or
б) capacity, or
в) membership in a professional organization that works to maintain the high level in the professional field, for the implementation of which it has received special recognition by the state.
In Bulgaria, regulated professions are 80 in number and are defined in the list of regulated professions, which is adopted by Decision of the Council of Ministers.
European Professional Card /EPC/
The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure, that facilitates the recognition of the professional qualifications in a case the professional (person) want to practice the profession in another EU country. EPC is an electronic alternative of the already existing procedure of certification and recognition of the professional rights in the EU.
At present EPC can be issued for the following five professions:
- nurse responsible for general care,
- mountain guide,
- real estate agent.
If your profession is non-regulated in the host country, it is not necessary to apply for an EPC because you have direct access to the labour market.
More detailed information about the EPC can be found on the Your Europe portal including checking whether you may apply for EPC, application procedure, deadlines, required documents, formalities in the chosen countries for EPC, options to check the validity of an EPC by the employers and other useful information.
Applications for European Professional Card are submitted to Your Europe portal and require create an EU Login account, if you don't have one already in the European Commission's authentication service (EU Login). Check the EPC user guide for more detailed information.
Bulgarian authorities competent for issuing European Professional Card are:
- Ministry of Health for: nurse responsible for general care, pharmacist, physiotherapist.
- National Centre for Information and Documentation for: mountain guide and real estate agent.
More information on the recognition of professional qualifications as well as on regulated professions and European professional card can be found on the website of National Centre for Information and Documentation (NACID), here.
NACID is also the competent authority for the issuance of certificates of professional qualifications for not regulated professions in the Republic of Bulgaria needed for access to or for pursuit of a regulated profession in another country.
The e-services provided by National Centre for Information and Documentation, can be requested at: https://portal.nacid.bg/web/guest
National Centre for Information and Documentation (NACID)
Address: 52 A, MD. GM Dimitrov Blvd. Sofia, 1125
Phone: (+359 2) 817 38 24
Fax: (+359 2) 971 31 20
Ordinance on the conditions and procedures for issuing certificates related to professional qualifications acquired in the Republic of Bulgaria, needed for access to or pursuing of a regulated profession in another Member State