What is the European Professional Card?
The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure you can use to have your EU professional qualifications recognised in another EU country. It is not a physical card, but electronic proof that you have passed administrative checks. After you get the EPC, you must still register with the relevant Competent Authority.
For what professions can I apply for through the EPC procedure?
At the moment, if you are a general care nurse, a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, a mountain guide or a real estate agent, you can apply for an EPC. For all other regulated professions, you must contact the relevant Competent Authority
How do I apply for an EPC?
You will first need to sign in to Your Europe website, the European Commission authentication service. You will need to create an account if you don’t have one already. You will then need to complete your EPC profile with your personal information and contact details. Once your profile information is complete, you can create an application, upload electronically scanned copies of the relevant documents and submit them to you home country.
What documents are required?
The following documents are or may be required in some or all cases:
- Proof of nationality/identity
- Proof of legal establishment
- Evidence of formal qualifications or professional competences
- Proof of good character/repute/non-bankruptcy
- Proof of absence of a suspension or prohibition from practice
- Proof of good health
- Proof of financial standing
- Proof of insurance coverage
- Additional information about the training duration and contents
- Other relevant training
- Professional experience
- Information on equal treatment of qualification
Translations are not needed for passports and ID cards, however, authorities may ask you for translations of other documents.
What is a home country?
The home country is the country where you obtained your qualifications and can have them verified. The host country is the country where you want to work.
Is there a charge for using the EPC procedure?
For each application, both home country and host country authorities could charge you fees to examine your file. If they do, you will receive a separate invoice from each authority.
I got my qualifications from outside the EU – can I still apply for an EPC?
If you got your qualification outside the EU, you can apply for an EPC if your qualification has already been recognised in one EU country and you have exercised your profession there for at least 3 years following its recognition. This EU country can then be classed as your home country.
How long will it take for my EPC to be processed?
If your profession benefits from automatic recognition, eg. nurse or pharmacist, your home country authority has up to 1 month to check your application and forward it to the host country. The host country will make a final decision within 2 months.
If you don’t benefit from automatic recognition, eg, physiotherapist, real estate agent or mountain guide, the host country will make a final decision within 3 months.
If the host country authorities don’t make a decision within these timeframes, your qualifications are tacitly recognised and you can generate an EPC certificate from your online account.
Will I automatically get the EPC?
If the host country authorities find that your education, training and professional experience don’t meet their standards required in that country, they could ask you to undergo an aptitude test or an adaptation traineeship.
If the authorities reject your application, they have to explain why and how you can appeal.
For how long will the EPC be valid?
The EPC is valid indefinitely if you are seeking long-term establishment.
It is valid for 18 months in most cases where you are providing temporary services or 12 months for professions which have an impact on public health or safety.
Is my EPC online application private?
Yes. Your employers, professional organisations or other interested parties can verify online the validity of your EPC by using the reference number on your certificate.
To check your EPC, they will also need your personal identification data number (ID or passport number) you provided when you submitted your application.