The Directive 2013/55/UE amending the directive on the recognition of professional qualifications entered into force on 17 January 2014. The Members States had until 18 January 2016 to transpose its content in national legislation. The Directive amends the Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and the Regulation n°1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System.

This piece of legislation is meant to ease the circulation of regulated professions thanks to the recognition of the qualifications obtained in another EU member State. It applies to both temporary mobility and permanent establishment.

The directive plays an important role in the supervision of health professions represented within EurHeCA. Some belong to the automatic recognition regime which defined minimum training conditions harmonised at European level. Among EurHeCA members, it is the case for midwives and pharmacists.

In the second case, the national competent authorities have to assess the qualifications of the professional willing to practice in a new EU country to decide whether they comply with the rules in force in the Host Member State. Among EurHeCA members, it is the case for podiatrists and physiotherapists.

Thus, this revision has practical consequences for healthcare professionals, notably regarding:

  • The modalities and delays to deliver the European professional card;
  • The common formation framework;
  • The recognition of professional internships;
  • The administrative cooperation among Member States to mutually inform themselves of any disciplinary action or penal sanction taken against a professional;
  • The Member States’ evaluation exercise of regulated professions;
  • Partial access.


On 11 May 2020, the European Commission published its evaluation of the implementation of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. This evaluation report, foreseen within the Directive, insists on the new elements introduced by the revision of 2013 and notably:

  • The setting-up of harmonized training requirements for “sectoral”professions : doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinary surgeons, midwives, pharmacists and architects;
  • The new modalities for automatic recognition which allow the establishment of common training principles  and to extend the automatic recognition system to new professions;
  • The facilitation for establishing and providing services in another Member State notably through the requests under the general system of recognition;
  • The new rules regarding partial access, traineeships and language skills;
  • The mandatory use of the IMI System;
  • The use of new tools aiming at facilitating the mobility of professionals such as the European Professional Card (EPC).


The European Commission will have to publish a new evaluation of the implementation of the Directive in the Member States every five years.

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