Crafts - Assessment of the equivalence of foreign professional qualifications in crafts that require a licence (master craftsman examination)

There are around 200 professions in the skilled crafts sector in Germany.

53 of these professions are summarised as crafts requiring authorisation in Annex A of the Crafts Code:

  1. Optician (m/f/d)
  2. Baker (m/f/d)
  3. Vessel and equipment constructor (m/f/d)
  4. Cooper (master craftsman qualification) (m/f/d)
  5. Boat Builder (master craftsperson) (m/f/d)
  6. Well builder (m/f/d)
  7. Gunsmith (m/f/d)
  8. Surgical instrument maker (m/f/d)
  9. Roofer (m/f/d)
  10. Turner (ivory carver) and wooden toy maker (master craftsman qualification) (m/f/d)
  11. Electrical Machine Engineer (master craftsperson) (m/f/d)
  12. Electrics Technician (master craftsperson) (m/f/d)
  13. Screed layer (m/f/d)
  14. Precision machinist (m/f/d)
  15. Butcher (m/f/d)
  16. Tile and mosaic layer (m/f/d)
  17. Hairdresser (m/f/d)
  18. Scaffolder (m/f/d)
  19. Glass Blower and Glass Apparatus Maker (m/f/d)
  20. Glazier (m/f/d)
  21. Glass finisher (m/f/d)
  22. Hearing aid audiologist (m/f/d)
  23. Communication Technician (master craftsperson) (m/f/d)
  24. Installer and Heating Fitter (master craftsperson) (m/f/d)
  25. Refrigeration Mechanic (m/f/d)
  26. Coachbuilder (m/f/d)
  27. Tinsmith (m/f/d)
  28. Pastry cook (m/f/d)
  29. Automotive Mechatronics Technician (m/f/d)
  30. Mechatronics for Agricultural and Construction Machinery (m/f/d)
  31. Painter and varnisher (m/f/d)
  32. Bricklayer and concrete specialist (m/f/d)
  33. Vulcaniser and tyre mechanic (m/f/d)
  34. Metalworker (m/f/d)
  35. Builder of stoves and air heating systens (m/f/d)
  36. Organ and harmonium maker (m/f/d)
  37. Maker of orthopaedic footwear (m/f/d)
  38. Orthotic Technician (m/f/d)
  39. Parquet layer (m/f/d)
  40. Interior decorator (m/f/d)
  41. Roller shutter and sunshade mechatronic technician (master craftsman qualification) (m/f/d)
  42. Sign and luminous advertisement maker (m/f/d)
  43. Chimney sweep (m/f/d)
  44. Ropemaker (m/f/d)
  45. Stonemason and sculptor (m/f/d)
  46. Road builder (m/f/d)
  47. Stuccoist (m/f/d)
  48. Joiner (m/f/d)
  49. Thermal and noise insulation fitter (m/f/d)
  50. Master craftsman in cast stone and terrazzo manufacture (m/f/d)
  51. Dental technician (m/f/d)
  52. Carpenter (m/f/d)
  53. Motorbike and Bicycle Mechanic (m/f/d)

The professions in the crafts requiring a licence are also called master craftsman professions. The master craftsman professions are regulated.
This means that you may only work in these professions on a permanent basis if you are entered in the register of craftsmen. To be entered in the register of craftsmen, you must provide proof of a specific qualification in the respective craft trade (master craftsman title).

You can also be entered in the Register of Craftsmen with a professional qualification from another country. For this, you must have your professional qualification recognised by the Chamber of Crafts. In the recognition procedure, the Chamber of Crafts compares your foreign professional qualification with the German professional qualification.
The recognition procedure is called "equivalence assessment".

What is an equivalence assessment?

You have the right to a recognition procedure. The procedure is called "equivalence assessment".

The competent Chamber of Crafts checks whether your professional qualification is equivalent to the German professional qualification (the master craftsman's examination under German craft law). The competent authority compares the qualifications using certain criteria. Important criteria are the content and duration of the training. The competent Chamber of Crafts also takes your professional experience, your other certificates of competence and qualifications into account when assessing equivalence.

You will receive notification of the result of the procedure. The notification will state any existing and any missing professional qualifications. However, you will not receive a master craftsman title.
After a successful equivalence assessment, you can be entered in the Register of Craftsmen (see More information) and start working permanently and independently in this profession that requires a licence.

1. If you would like to work in the skilled crafts sector in Berlin, submit an application for equivalence assessment to the relevant Berlin Chamber of Crafts. You can also submit the application for equivalence assessment online from another country. The responsible Chamber of Crafts will inform you which documents may need to be submitted as certified copies. Please do not send any originals by post. If documents are not available in German, a German translation is also required.
2 The Chamber of Crafts will check the documents and determine whether and to what extent your professional qualification from abroad is equivalent to the German professional qualification in the skilled crafts sector.
3. After paying the administrative fees, you will receive a notification with the result of the recognition assessment procedure. Possible results may be
  • a.) You will be recognised if your professional qualification and the German professional qualification are equivalent.
  • b.) Sometimes there are significant differences between the professional qualifications. The differences are listed in your notification. You can use this decision to obtain further qualifications and later submit a new application for equivalence assessment.
  • c.) If your professional qualification is not equivalent at all, you will not be recognised.

  • This recognition procedure is mainly suitable for third-country nationals.
  • For nationals of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, there is another recognition procedure: The granting of an exceptional authorisation in accordance with Section 9 (1) No. 1 HwO (see More information).
  • Regardless of the equivalence check, if you want to start self-employed work in the skilled crafts sector in Berlin, you must register with the relevant Chamber of Crafts in the register of skilled crafts requiring authorisation (Handwerksrolle). These are different procedures, more information can be found below under " More information".


  • Training of foreign craftsmen
    You have formal training in crafts from abroad.
  • Place of activity in Berlin
    You want to work in Berlin in the corresponding trade.
  • Documents and translations
    You must submit your documents in German. The translations must be done by publicly appointed or authorized translators.

Documents required

  • Application for a declaration of equivalence between the foreign professional qualification and the German reference profession
    Please use the available form or the online processing.
  • Proof of identity
    Suitable proof of identity is, for example, a passport (passport substitute), all European identity cards or a convention passport.
    Your proof was not issued in German? Then please also enclose a German translation.
    The following information must be legible in Latin letters on the proof, e.g. in the translation of the proof of identity: Surname, first name, place of birth, date of birth. The proof of identity should include a photo of you and your signature.
  • Curriculum vitae
    The curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé should provide a tabular overview of your:
    1. training programmes ( professional training, academic training, school education)
    2. further training
    3. previous jobs
    The CV must be written in German.
  • Training certificates
    Submit your proof of professional qualification. This can be, for example: examination and degree certificates, professional certificate, diploma certificate, Bachelor's and/or Master's certificate or comparable documents. If available, also enclose evidence of the content and duration of your training. These can be, for example Diploma Supplement, the Transcript of Records, the Relevé de Notes, the study book, the examination regulations as well as subject and grade overviews or comparable documents.
    Your certificate was not issued in German? Then please also enclose a German translation.
  • Proof of professional experience
    Certification of the type and duration of your relevant professional experience. This includes, for example, references, work books, professional training or comparable documents.
    Was your certificate not issued in German? Then please also enclose a German translation.
  • If applicable, a certificate from the State of training
    If the profession is regulated in your country of training: a certificate stating that you are authorised to practise the profession in your country of training. The certificate must be issued by the competent authority in your country of training.
    Was your certificate not issued in German? Then please also enclose a German translation.
  • If applicable, proof of name change
    If your first name or surname no longer matches the name on your professional qualification certificate (e.g. due to marriage, change of nationality, change of gender or similar reasons), please enclose official proof of the name change with your application. This can be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, naturalisation certificate or other suitable proof of the name change.
    Was your proof not issued in German? Then please also enclose a German translation.
  • If applicable, declaration or proof of previous applications for equivalence assessment
    A declaration that you have not yet submitted an application for equivalence assessment or, if applicable, documents relating to previous applications for equivalence assessment submitted to other competent authorities.


  • Mostly up to about EUR 600.
  • The Chamber of Crafts will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the amount of work involved and are due immediately upon receipt of the notification of fees.
  • Additional costs may possibly arise for you (e.g. for translations or certification of your documents). These costs vary from case to case.

Average time to process request

Approx. 3 months, if all documents are complete.

Hinweise zur Zuständigkeit

The Berlin Chamber of Crafts is responsible for determining equivalence in the craft trades subject to authorisation in the case of intended activities in Berlin. The Chamber of Crafts will provide you with advice even before the application is made and will identify the appropriate occupation in the craft trade sector for you.
The Chamber of Crafts will inform you which documents you have to submit in original or as certified copy or as simple copy.

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