The European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement in part Council Directive 2005/36/EC(1) (“the Directive”) on the recognition of professional qualifications and come into force on 19th October 2007. The Directive replaces the previous Council Directives 89/48/EEC(2), 92/51/EC(3) and 99/42/EC(4) on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, as well as the Directives laying down minimum standards of training in specific professions, namely the professions of doctor, nurse, dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, midwife, pharmacist and architect (“the sectoral professions”).

These Regulations establish rules for the recognition of professional qualifications enabling migrants, referred to in these Regulations as “applicants”, from the States of the European Economic Area or Switzerland to gain access to the professions in which they are qualified and to practise under the same conditions as professionals in the United Kingdom where those professions are regulated. These rules set out provisions for facilitating the provision of temporary and occasional professional services cross-border, and also provisions in relation to applicants seeking to establish themselves on a stable basis in the United Kingdom.

These Regulations implement the Directive in relation to all regulated professions other than the sectoral professions. They also implement the Directive in part in relation to the sectoral professions, and the extent to which these Regulations apply to applicants in the sectoral professions is set out in regulation 3. The provisions of the Directive relating to the sectoral professions which are not implemented by these Regulations will be implemented in regulations to be prepared by the Department of Health, the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Part 1 of the Regulations sets out provisions relating to the application of the Regulations and the functions of competent authorities. Articles 23, 27, 33, 37, 39, 43 and 49 of the Directive, referred to in regulation 3(9)(a), relate to sectoral professionals whose qualifications were acquired before certain dates of reference. Articles 21(1), 23 and 27 of the Directive, referred to in regulation 3(9)(c), concern the principle of automatic recognition for sectoral professionals and on the basis of acquired rights.

Part 2 of the Regulations sets out the rules for recognition of professional qualifications where an applicant moves to the United Kingdom seeking to provide professional services on a temporary and occasional basis. It sets out the role of a competent authority in relation to such an applicant, including specific provisions for professions having public health or safety implications, and it sets out the procedures and formalities with which an applicant must comply. It also makes provision for administrative cooperation between competent authorities of relevant European States.

Part 3 of these Regulations makes provision for recognition of professional qualifications where an applicant moves to the United Kingdom seeking to provide professional services on a permanent basis.

Chapter 1 of Part 3 sets out the rights of applicants to practise in the United Kingdom on a permanent basis. It imposes duties, subject to certain conditions and exceptions, upon competent authorities not to refuse, on grounds of inadequate qualifications, applicants who seek to practise a regulated profession in the United Kingdom if they hold the qualifications required by a relevant European State to practise the profession in that State. It also provides for competent authorities, in certain cases, to require an applicant to complete either an aptitude test or an adaptation period before authorising the applicant to practise the regulated profession in the UK.

Chapter 2 of Part 3, which applies only to the professions of farriers and harbour pilots, makes provision for automatic recognition of professional experience by way of a certificate.

Chapter 3 of Part 3 of these Regulations sets out the procedure for the issue and revocation of a Certificate of Experience in respect of relevant experience and qualifications gained in the United Kingdom.

Chapter 4 of Part 3 makes provision concerning the evidence to be provided by an applicant or a competent authority in a relevant European State, the procedures to be followed by competent authorities when making decisions and the rights of an applicant to use the professional title or designatory letters applicable to the profession in the United Kingdom.

Part 4 of these Regulations makes provision for rights of appeal against decisions of competent authorities, the right of an applicant to use the lawful academic title acquired by the applicant in his home State, and for the provision of information by competent authorities in the United Kingdom. It also revokes previous Regulations governing the functioning of the First, Second and Third General Systems (except for the profession of company auditor where the provisions of the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) (First General System) Regulations 2005 still apply).

A full regulatory impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the cost of business and the voluntary sector is available from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

A Transposition Note is available and can be obtained from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, VQ and EU Recognition Team, Vocational Reform Division, Moorfoot, Sheffield S1 4 PQ.

(1)

OJ No. L 255, 30.09.2005, p.22, as amended by Council Directive 2006/100/EC of 20th November 2006, OJ No. L 363 of 20.12.2006, p.141

(2)

OJ No. L 019 24.01.1989, p.16

(3)

OJ No. L 209, 24.7.92,.p. 25

(4)

OJ No. L 201, 31.07.99, p. 77