German universities are responsible for recognizing degrees and academic credits for the purpose of university admissions and access to advanced study. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) of the Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) provides country-specific recommendations for the on-site evaluation of foreign higher education qualifications. Please click on the link below to reach the ZAB database, where these recommendations can be found under the heading “Zeugnisbewertungen” (assessment of qualifications).
The certification authorities (Anerkennungsstellen) of the German federal state in which the applicant resides or intends to reside are responsible for the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications and degrees for the purpose of pursuing a profession. The Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act, which was adopted by the Federal Government and entered into force on 1 April 2012, is intended to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications acquired outside Germany. The Qualifications Act considerably expands applicants' right to have their foreign professional qualifications assessed which fall within the Federal Government's responsibility. It also establishes processes which are as consistent and transparent as possible. It includes the establishment of a legal claim to an assessment process for roughly 350 non-regulated professions (technical trades in the vocational training dual system in accordance with the Vocational Training Act and other trades). More information is available on the webpage “Recognition in Germany” published by the Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, in the ZAB database under the headings “Dokumente” (documents) and “Zuständige Stellen in Deutschland” (responsible authorities in Germany) and at the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (please see below).
Furthermore, the ZAB has since 4 January 2010 offered private applicants the option of an assessment of their qualifications (not an official recognition), which is provided at the applicant's own cost on the basis of the Lisbon Convention. Further details about the content and potential uses of the certificate provided in this assessment, as well as the assessment application form, can be found at the KMK website listed below.
The website of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) of the Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) also provides extensive information about the recognition of school and university diplomas in the academic and professional spheres.