On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.. Content on the site is being monitored to reflect this and the changes.
If your business provides services cross-border on the island of Ireland or to GB, you should review and act on any changes regarding to the Recognition of Qualifications that may apply to you from 1 January 2021.
The EU legislation on the recognition of qualifications will cease to apply to the United Kingdom as and from 1 January 2021.
As a member of the EU and the EU Single Market, UK nationals and EU citizens holding a qualification from the United Kingdom previously benefitted from a simplified – in some cases automatic – recognition regime in other EU countries, which allowed professionals such as doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, pharmacists, veterinary surgeons, lawyers, architects or engineers to supply services across the European Union, including in the United Kingdom.
As of 1 January, as a general rule, UK nationals, irrespective of where they acquired their qualifications, and EU citizens with qualifications acquired in the United Kingdom will need to have their qualifications recognised in the relevant Member State on the basis of each country’s existing individual rules applicable to the qualifications of third-country nationals as of the end of the transition period.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement nevertheless foresees a mechanism whereby the EU and the UK may later agree, on a case-by-case basis and for specific professions, on additional arrangements for the mutual recognition of certain professional qualifications.
We will update this content as and when the details of any such proposed mechanisms are available. In the meantime, please see below for guidance relating to current arrangements:
The Irish Government guidance indicates that after the transition period ends, there may be implications for people working in Ireland who obtained professional qualifications in the UK, or who seek to have a UK qualification recognised in Ireland. If you have already had these qualifications recognised by the relevant regulator, there will be no change and you can continue to practise in Ireland or elsewhere. For more information, click here and here.
If you hold Irish qualifications and plan to work or practise a regulated profession or activity in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the United Kingdom, you should consider seeking recognition of your qualifications there before 1 January 2021. Registration applications and queries should be addressed to the relevant professional or qualification body or regulator. In the case of some bodies, the regulator is local to Northern Ireland, while in other cases, there is a UK wide regulator. For more information, click here.