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International mobility of health workers and Brexit

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The mobility of professionals within the EU boundaries, including healthcare professionals, is provided for by Community Directive 2005/36/EC.

Community Directive

The Directive describes specific procedures based on the principle of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications, in order to allow citizens from EU Member States, from the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and from the Swiss Confederation to pursue regulated professions for which they obtained relevant qualifications in their home country.

The Directive is applicable when the profession you wish to pursue in another Member State is regulated in the host country, i.e. the pursuit of that profession, according to current law or regulation or administrative provisions, is subject to prior qualification, and that profession is equivalent to the profession you qualified for in the issuing Member State.

The pursuit of regulated professional activities is allowed only if the professional qualification is recognised by the host country of establishment.

In Italy, the above Directive was implemented by  legislative decree dated 9 November 2007, no. 206 (d.lgs.206/2007), whose provisions, resulting from arts.  49 and 50 of D.P.R. 31 August 1999, include NON-EU citizens who have obtained their professional qualification in a NON-EU country and who wish to pursue their profession in Italy on a permanent basis.

The same law is referred to for professional qualifications obtained by NON-EU citizens in EU Member States or obtained by Italian citizens in NON-EU countries.

Recognition of healthcare qualifications obtained abroad

The Italian Ministry of Health is the competent Authority for the recognition of healthcare qualifications obtained abroad, as provided by d.lgs.206/2007.

Therefore, if you are a professional who wishes to move to Italy and permanently pursue a regulated health profession on the basis of a qualification obtained in your home country, you are bound to apply for, and obtain, the recognition of your professional qualification by the Italian Ministry of Health.

If you are a professional qualified in another EU country and you wish to pursue health professional activities in Italy on a temporary and occasional basis, you will not apply for recognition of qualification but you will give notice to the Italian Ministry of Health about the professional activity you wish to pursue, regulated as “free provision of service” according to d.lgs.206/2007.  

From the official website of the Italian Ministry of Health it is possible to print the documents which are specifically required for the professional activity you wish to pursue in Italy: application form and relevant list of documents to be submitted together with the application for recognition.

The recognition procedure starts when you send the application and it ends when the recognition decree is issued, provided that the application fulfils all the requirements set by d.lgs.206/2007.

When the recognition procedure follows the general system and significant training gaps in the profession are highlighted by the documents’ assessment, recognition can be subject to prior success in compensatory measures, like adaptation periods or aptitude tests.

Recognition is denied if the qualification obtained abroad has no correspondence with the profession one wishes to pursue in Italy.

The competent Authority for the publication of the recognition decrees concerning health professional qualifications is the Italian Ministry of Health (as provided by art. 32 - law no. 69/ 2009 and art. 16, paragraph 6, legislative decree no. 206/2007), and the publication duty is fulfilled by publishing the above decrees on the official website of the Italian Ministry of Health.


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Data di ultimo aggiornamento 20 april 2023


Department for European Policies
Recognition of professional qualifications acquired in the United Kingdom