The 2013 amendment to the Qualifications Directive provided for a European Professional Card (EPC) in a view to facilitating temporary mobility of the provision of services in the EU. It is contemplated that card may be made available in respect of particular professions, under implementing acts adopted by the Commission according to needs expressed by the professions. It is an electronic certificate which facilitates professional in providing services or becoming established in another EU state.
This digital procedure is based on the Internal Market Information System. The EPP is currently available for members of the following professions who can now pursue their professions more freely as the EPC simplifies the procedure for having professional qualifications recognised in another EU country:
- general care nurses,
- mountain guides; and
- real estate agents.
The list of professions to which the ECP applies may be expanded over time.
There are different timelines set out for the consideration of applications for ECPs. The competent authority shall acknowledge receipt of an application within one month of receipt and inform the applicant of any missing documentation. The procedure for examining an application must be completed as quickly as possible and result in a duly substantiated decision by the competent authority within 3 months after the date of the submission of the completed applies.
The revised Professional Qualifications Directive included changes in the definition of minimum training requirements for professions which benefit from automatic recognition under EU Directives. The harmonised minimum training standards were revised.
The revised directive allows the possibility of establishing up common training frameworks and common training tests aimed at offering a new method of automatic recognition. The common training frameworks should be based on a common set of skills, knowledge and competence as necessary to pursue the particular profession.
The common training framework or test may be established if the profession concerned or the education and training leading to the profession is regulated in at least one-third of the member states.
Evaluating Other EU Qualifications and Training I
The mutual evaluation of the exercise of regulated professions is a mechanism which seeks to ensure greater transparency and justification for regulated professions. Member states must provide a list of the regulated professions and activities reserved for them and justify the regulation.
There are rules on partial access to a regulated profession. This is access to part of the activities reserved to the profession. It may benefit professionals who engage in a genuine economic activity in the home state which does not exist in its own right in the member state to which they wish to move.
The directive applies to professionals whose traineeship is carried out in another state. Professionals who have completed their professional traineeship in another state are entitled to have that traineeship acknowledged by the competent authority of the host state.
Evaluating Other EU Qualifications and Training II
The 2013 amendments to the Qualifications Directive reduced the professional experience requirement for professionals coming from non-regulating member states and clarifies the documentary requirements and procedural steps. It amends the classification of education levels. This classification of qualifications is based on five levels of education and the requirements for compensatory measures.
The revised legislation clarifies the checking of language knowledge of a professional, should take place only after the host member state has recognised the qualification. It might intervene before the profession has accesses to the profession.
In the case of professions with implication for patient safety, states may apply systematic language controls. An alert mechanism is established for professions with patient safety implications and for professions involved in the education of minors, child care and early child care education.
Competent authorities must inform other competent authorities through the internal market information system about professionals who have been prohibited, even temporarily, from exercising professional activity or who have made use of falsified documents.