Law on Recognition and Assessment of Qualifications (AuBG)

Main points:

Aim of the law: integration into the labour market and support for immigrants to quickly find jobs appropriate for their qualifications
Target group: persons with access to the Austrian labour market or the intention to work in Austria
Scope: formal qualifications acquired abroad; the necessary requirements to enter the specific profession remain unaffected à no impact on quality standards


Key elements of the law:

Legal entitlement to recognition and assessment procedures: this law ensures the right to a recognition and assessment procedure for the target group
Introduction of two service facilities: the recognition portal („Anerkennungsportal“) and the national contact point for information and counselling (“AST – Anlaufstellen für Personen mit im Ausland erworbenen Qualifikationen”)

The online recognition portal will serve as information and orientation portal that provides specific information about the relevant authority (including direct links to application forms, if available), required documents as well as translations and certifications and the costs of such procedures.
The online portal will be based on the further development of the existing website http://www.berufsanerkennung.at/en that offers a step-by-step guide to the recognition process for applicants. The portal will be completed by the end of this year. 
The national contact points serve as information and counselling centres for individuals, especially for persons entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection (http://www.anlaufstelle-anerkennung.at/anlaufstellen).


Introduction of assessment procedures for all levels of educational certificates and diplomas - from school level, over secondary school and apprenticeship to higher education qualifications: an assessment has to be understood as comparison statement for persons with international qualifications planning to study or work in Austria.
The difference between a recognition and an assessment is that the result of a recognition process is an official decision while the result of the assessment is an informal comparison statement. This statement provides prospective employers with a better understanding of the applicant’s educational level and the comparability of the qualifications acquired abroad. Moreover, not all jobs on the labour market require a formal recognition, but only regulated professions.

For example, if a Russian doctor intends to work as a doctor in Austria, he/she will need to run through a formal recognition procedure. But if he/she intends to work as a pharmaceutical representative, an assessment is sufficient to provide the potential employer with necessary information on the applicant’s qualifications.  
Harmonisation with EU legal standards concerning procedural provisions applicable to qualifications acquired in a third country: these provisions include a standardised procedural deadline of four months and a mandatory indication of necessary compensation measures applicable for all recognition procedures à both for qualifications acquired in the EU (according to the directive on the recognition of professional qualifications) and for qualifications acquired outside of the EU
Introduction of specific procedures applicable to persons entitled to asylum or subsidiary protection: in many cases these persons are not able to provide documentary evidence of their qualifications, as they had to flee and were not able to collect all necessary documents. The new law grants this target group access to all recognition and assessment procedures, if the applicant is not able to provide documentary evidence of his/her education and professional qualifications through no fault of his/her own.
Consistent statistical monitoring of all procedures: currently, there is no central statistical monitoring of all recognition and assessment procedures. The new law enables the nationwide collection of standardised data for these procedures and thus allows a profound annual evaluation.    

Contact

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