Recognition of qualifications as a teacher

Schüler mit Lehrer im Klassenraum beim Mathematikunterricht

If you want to work as a teacher in the public school service in Berlin, but have acquired your professional qualification as a teacher outside of Germany, you will need a recognition of your professional qualification (brief assessment). In order to be hired for an indefinite period of time, you will usually also need an equivalence test of your qualification in comparison to the corresponding Berlin teaching qualification (detailed assessment).

The recognition office for domestic and foreign teaching qualifications issues recognitions and checks the equivalence of your qualification. The procedure is usually subject to a fee. You can find more information in the information brochure of the Recognition Office.

  • Teachers with international degrees

    Recognition of professional qualifications

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The Recognition Office - contact and availability

The recognition office can be reached as follows:

by e-mail to
by telephone at +49 30 90227 6928

The office hours by telephone are:
Mon, Thu: 2-15 p.m.
Wed: 10-12 h

Individual counselling is only possible after making an appointment with the responsible case worker following an application.

Information on the application

The application - possibilities and ways

You can submit your application for recognition of your foreign training as a teacher already from abroad if you have a justified interest in doing so, such as moving to Berlin in the near future. After you have submitted the application with all the required documents, you will receive a written notification of recognition.

Please do not send your application documents by e-mail. Use the service of the Single Point of Contact Berlin for submitting your application and additional documents.

Please submit your application online in the service portal

Alternatively, you can send your application by post. In this case, please send your application to:

Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family Affairs
Recognition Office for International Teacher Qualifications
II E 1.11/II E 1.12/II E 1.13
Bernhard-Weiß-Strasse 6
10178 Berlin

Please note that you must sign and submit the completed application form and the data protection declaration in order to apply by post.

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Required documents

In order to be able to carry out a recognition or equivalence examination of your professional qualification with a Berlin teaching qualification, the recognition office requires the following documents from you:

Required documents Short notification Detailed notification
01. application form x x
02. curriculum vitae in tabular form in German language x x
03. declaration of identity (only online application procedure, will be requested automatically) x x
04. identity document x x
05. proof of educational qualification (e.g. final diploma from university) x x
06. proof of studies (e.g. diploma supplement) x
07. evidence of work experience (confirmation from school or Ministry of Education on type, scope, duration of work as well as subjects and grades) x
08. other evidence of qualifications which must be acquired in addition to higher education studies in order to qualify for the profession of teacher in the country of origin x x
09. if available: Recognition or equal opportunities certificate from another federal state x x
10. if available: Confirmation of participation in an adaptation course or an aptitude test in another federal state x x
11. if available: Marriage certificate or other proof of change of name x x
12. if available: Proof of German language skills at level C 2 x

Please note that some documents are only required for a detailed decision.

Formal requirements for the documents to be submitted

non-German Documents

All documents that are not written in German must additionally be supported by a German translation, the documents under no. 05, no. 08 and no. 11 by a sworn translator.

Documents that are not written in Latin script

Translations of foreign documents that are not written in Latin script must additionally contain a transliteration according to the ISO standard.

Format requirements for the online application

Each document must be uploaded as a single document in PDF or JPEG format. Please do not submit merged collective files with all documents in one document, as this makes the processing process more difficult.

Fees and processing times

The processing times are generally as follows:

EU member states 3-4 months
EEA states that are not EU members 4-6 months
All other states 6 months

You have two options for submitting your application:

  • Brief assessment notice – a fee of 55.00 euros is charged for this.
  • Detailed assessment – a fee of 222.00 euros will be charged for this.

If the examination of your application shows that you do not have a completed foreign teacher training, a fee of 55.00 euros will be charged.

The recognition decision

In the recognition procedure, it will be determined whether the training you have proven is actually a completed training as a teacher (brief assessment and detailed assessment).

If the completed training as a teacher is confirmed by the recognition office, you have the opportunity to apply for corresponding job offers as a native speaker teacher (e.g. at the Staatliche Europa-Schule Berlin) or to apply for temporary positions.

If you apply for the detailed assessment, an additional check will be made as to whether the foreign qualification as a teacher corresponds to the Berlin teacher training to such an extent that it can be equated with a Berlin teaching qualification.

If there are differences in training that do not allow for immediate equivalence with a Berlin teaching qualification, you will be given conditions that you must fulfil before full equivalence can be granted, e.g. completion of a practical school adaptation course. You can find more information on educational differences and compensation possibilities in the FAQ list and in the information brochure on this page.

With equalisation, you can be employed for an unlimited period of time at a public school in Berlin, provided that you can prove German language skills at level C 2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) when you are hired.

Information on the required German language skills

At the latest when you are hired for an indefinite period in the Berlin school service, you must prove that you have German language skills at level C 2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

You can find various ways of acquiring this language knowledge in the flyer “Language Skills and Pathways”.

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If you still have to compensate for educational differences, it is advisable to acquire the language skills by the start of the school-practical adaptation course or the assessment test. This will increase your chances of successfully completing your recognition procedure.

Information for refugee teachers

The Recognition Office offers a simplified application procedure to persons who have a special protection status according to Section 24 of the Residence Act and who prove this to the Recognition Office.

As in the regular procedure, the application is submitted either by post to the Recognition Office or online via the service portal Berlin.

The documents to be submitted differ from the regular documents and formal requirements as follows:

  • The application procedure is free of charge.
  • Completeness of the documents is not required, but a copy/scan or photo of the diploma should be available if possible. In addition, the signature of a written declaration in German and, if possible, the respective national language on the correctness of the information provided and the authenticity of the documents submitted is required.
  • Translations and transliterations should be submitted if possible. The translation of the certificate by a sworn translator is not required, but desirable. Typewritten documents are also accepted.
  • Applications are not subject to the usual processing time.
  • Proof of a language placement test or certificate of participation in a German course (e.g. from a VHS) is required in order to be able to make a decision on the type of decision (short or detailed assessment). For resource reasons, a detailed assessment is only issued in this procedure if language skills of at least C 1 level are proven in this step. For persons with lower language skills, a brief assessment is issued.

Due to the different regulations to the regular procedure, the validity of the notifications issued in this simplified procedure is limited to a maximum of three years and contain a reservation indicating that the information provided is incomplete. An extension within the framework of the regular procedure and against payment of a fee is possible.

Information for applicants with teaching qualifications from other federal states

The (Second) State Examination for a teaching profession is generally recognised and entitles you to work in Berlin as a teacher at public schools.

The First State Examination for a teaching profession or a “Master of Education” degree obtained in a federal state other than Berlin generally give you access to the preparatory service. Only in exceptional cases can access not be granted, for example if the subjects are not trained in Berlin.

The competent application office decides on admission to the preparatory service.


FAQ - Recognition of qualifications as a teacher

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the recognition of foreign teaching professional qualifications. Weitere Informationen