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Recognition of foreign professional qualifications - special needs educator (Heilpädagoge/in)

Special needs educators educate, support and assist people who have special needs due to difficult circumstances or disabilities. For example, they care for children, adolescents and adults with mental, sensory or multiple disabilities, or people who are suffering from chronic illness.

Special needs educators also provide support for children and adolescents with emotional or behavioural disorders. They nurture existing abilities and prevent disabilities and social exclusion. They use appropriate educational and therapeutic methods.

As a special needs educator you might work, for example, in these areas: Early childhood support, integrative/inclusive childcare facilities and schools, workshops for people with disabilities, integrational services and facilities for professional integration, psychiatric facilities for children and adolescents, residential facilities and assisted living, hospitals, care homes and hospices, independent practices, and roles in administration and pedagogic training.

Social-education professions are regulated in Berlin and in Germany. This means that to perform such jobs you require state approval. This approval can be granted, if you apply for your professional qualification to be reviewed to determine equivalence. The review of equivalence takes place based on the provisions of the law regarding the recognition of qualifications in caring professions (Sozialberufe-Anerkennungsgesetzes (SozBAG)).

Online processing

Service provided online

Prerequisites

  • Foreign professional qualification
    You have acquired a comparable professional qualification as a special needs educators in another country
  • Application for determination of equivalence
    You have not applied for recognition in another federal state to date.
  • Personal suitability
    According to § 5 of the law regarding the recognition of qualifications in caring professions (SozBAG), state recognition cannot be granted if you have been found guilty of any serious offences that are associated with untrustworthiness to practise the profession. To verify this, we require an extended certificate of good conduct for presentation to an authority pursuant to § 30 a of the Central Federal Register Law (BZRG). Any previous convictions are listed on the certificate of good conduct. State recognition can be granted if the certificate of good conduct has no entries.
  • German language skills
    To receive state recognition, your German skills must be at least at level C1 of the common European framework of reference for languages.

Documents required

  • Application
    (under ‘Online Processing’ or ‘Forms’)
    A completed and signed application form declaring that you have not submitted an application for determination of equivalence in another federal state.
  • Curriculum vitae
    An up to date curriculum vitae in tabular form in German (listing your education, training and work experience).
  • Identity document
    Copy of your identity document or other official identification document containing a photograph.
    Your residence permit if already present, and provided that you are not a citizen of an EU state.
  • Evidence of the intention to perform gainful activities in the State of Berlin
    • A copy of your police registration in the state of Berlin (registration with the registration office) if you already live in Berlin (see ‘Further Information’).
    • If you are not yet a resident of Berlin, you will need evidence of your intention to work in Berlin. This could be a copy of an employment contract or evidence of contact with an employer in Berlin. At the very least, we will require a statement that you intend to work in Berlin.
  • Evidence of your foreign professional qualification
    A copy of your certificate of your professional qualification in the original language, including a detailed overview of teaching subjects and hours (diploma supplement/study book) in theory and practice.
    Please enclose a German translation of these documents.
  • Certificate of marriage, if applicable
    A copy of your marriage certificate is only required, if it is associated with a change of name. Please enclose a German translation of these documents.
  • Other evidence of work experience, if applicable
    Further evidence of relevant work experience and other evidence of competence, e.g. references from employers, professional training measures, courses or other seminars
    Please enclose a German translation of these documents.
  • Evidence from the country of origin, if applicable
    Evidence of your qualification to practise the profession in the country you have trained in is only required, if the profession is regulated in this country
    Please enclose a German translation of these documents.
  • Documents in German
    • You must present your documents in German. Translations must be prepared by publicly appointed or authorised translators.
    • Translations of foreign documents that are not written in the Latin alphabet must also include a transliteration of the professional title pursuant to the ISO standard.
    • No German translation is necessary for any documents that were originally issued in English.

Fees

EUR 96,00

Average time to process request

usually 3 months, provided that all documents are available in their entirety

Responsible authorities

You can only submit your request for determination of equivalence in Berlin, if you intend to work in this regulated profession in Berlin in the future.

You can also access this service online via the Business Portal of the Single Point of Contact.
Online business services

Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family

Show other authorities offering these services on the main Service Portal.