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FAQ - Recognition of qualifications as a teacher

The Berlin school systems offers the following three options:
Teaching at primary schools (grades 1 to 6).

Teaching at integrated secondary schools and grammar schools (grades 7 to 13).

Teaching at vocational schools (grades 7 to 13).

Please note that there is no teaching profession in Berlin exclusively for lower secondary level. Therefore, foreign-teacher training courses for teachers who are qualified to teach grades 5 to 8 or 9 in their country of origin are for teaching at primary schools. In order to teach at primary schools, teachers are required to have studied three three subjects which are relevant to primary teaching. Academic credit points in German and mathematics are compulsory for primary teaching.

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The procedure for the recognition of foreign teacher qualifications is regulated by the Gesetz zur Anerkennung und Gleichstellung ausländischer Lehrkräftequalifikationen (Lehrkräftequalifizungsfeststellungsgesetz Berlin – LQFG Bln) and the Verordnung über den Anpassungslehrgang and an aptitude test in accordance with the act on the implementation of directives 89/48/EEC, 92/51/EEC and 2001/19/EC for the Teaching Professions (EG-Richtlinienverordnung für Lehrerberufe – EG-RL-LehrVO)

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The allocation of the foreign teaching qualifications to a specific Berlin teaching position is made by the recognition office within the framework of the recognition procedure.

The decisive factor is the type of school or class level for which the teaching qualification was acquired in the country of origin. You can choose for which teaching position you want to achieve equal status, but only if an assignment to more than one Berlin teaching position is possible according to your existing qualifications.

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If all the necessary application documents have been submitted in full and it is clearly evident that you have completed a relevant qualification as a teacher according to the law of the respective country, you will receive a decision after four months at the latest, which will be sent to you by registered post.

In individual cases it may be necessary to obtain an expert opinion from the Central Office for Foreign Qualifications (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen) in order to assess your qualification. In such cases, the processing time may be extended by the processing time required by that office.

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The fee is not due until your application has been processed. You will receive a notification of the fee with the request to transfer the amount within one month.

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There are currently no deadlines in Berlin within which the conditions must be fulfilled. Since it cannot be ruled out that the legal basis and thus also the recognition procedures will change, you should complete the requirements within the subsequent 5 years if possible.

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With the detailed notification of a decision, you will receive detailed information on the study and examination requirements still to be fulfilled. The courses of study offered in the primary and secondary teacher-training programs at Berlin universities are suitable.

You can apply to a teacher-training program at any time, but you can only be given advice tailored to your individual needs by the university once you have received detailed notification of the decision made in your case. We therefore recommend that you do not contact the university until you have received those details. The application deadlines and procedures can be found on the homepages of the universities.

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With the detailed notification you will receive comprehensive information about the relevant advisory offices at Berlin universities. Please note that you can only receive advice tailored to your individual needs by the university once you have received detailed notification of the decision made in your case. (cf. point 8 above)

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The Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie is unable to cover costs incurred in connection with your further studies.
Under certain circumstances, a portion of the tuition fees can be covered by the financial-hardship funding (Härtefallfonds). Please inform yourself about the conditions for such funding at the office responsible.

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If you already have relevant professional experience as a teacher at state schools or recognised private schools when you apply for a teaching position and can provide proof of this experience, the assessment of your professional qualifications will include examintion of whether any discrepancies in your foreign training that have been identified can be considered to have been partially or wholly compensated for by this teaching experience.

Please make sure you follow the instructions in the information brochure on the information that a proof of teaching experience must contain.

If your teaching experience in Berlin comprises in the main teaching of German as a foreign or second language, it will not be possible to take that experience into account, since German is taught in Berlin schools as a native-language subject.

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Participants in the practical training of the integration course will be informed about their rights and obligations at a special induction event at the beginning of the course.

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No: Once the registration procedure for the aptitude examination has begun, it is no longer possible to change to the practical training of the integration course.

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You have to have proven the required German language skills at the latest before you are admitted to the practical training of the integration course at a school or before you register for the aptitude test.

In order to begin the application procedure, proof of the required German language skills is not yet required.

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Yes, it is possible to apply as a native-speaker teacher at a ‘Staatliche Europa-Schule Berlin’ with an initial notification confirming that foreign training as a teacher has taken place. The prerequisite for this is a corresponding demand in the designated Berlin ‘Europa-Schulen’.

Temporary employment as a substitute teacher at any recognized primary or secondary school in Berlin can, moreover, be arranged if those schools have registered personnel requirements.

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You can also apply in other federal states after reaching equal status with a Berlin teaching qualification. The office responsible in the other federal state decides whether it shall be possible to be employed in the teaching profession there.

Since the teacher-training program can vary from state to state (different teaching offices and subjects), you should submit your application in the state in which you want to work as a teacher.

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