The Cell for Heath Care Professions is primarily responsible for the professional recognition of foreign diplomas.
First, we must make an initial distinction between these foreign diplomas:
- Diplomas obtained within the European Economic Area (EEA = European Union + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and in Switzerland. Application of EU Directives 2005/36/EC concerning the recognition of professional qualifications. These Directives are only applicable to the citizens of the Member States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland or equivalent countries.
- Special case of Article 49 bis §1 and §2 of Royal Decree No. 78 (Non-EEA citizens with a diploma which is academically equivalent to a Belgian diploma)
Subsequently, we must also make a distinction between recognition with a view to practicing a certain profession (professional recognition), and purely academic recognition (equivalence). Within the present legal structures, professional recognition is only possible within the framework of the European Legal Order. Besides allowing one to practice a profession, the purely academic recognition can also provide: access to other trainings, a teaching position…
In general, we can say that professional recognitions fall under the competence of the Federal Government (our department for health professions) and equivalence falls under the competence of the Communities (www.ond.vlaanderen.be and www.enseignement.be).
Applications for recognition of the Physiotherapy diploma are handled directly by the Cell of Health Professions.
Here, our role is usually limited to providing information and references. It is the Communities (http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/naric/ and http://www.enseignement.be/index.php?page=24833&navi=2088) which are competent for most of these diplomas.
Article 49 bis §1 and §2 of Royal Decree No. 78
This Article concerns health professionals who do not have the nationality of a Member State of the European Economic Area or of Switzerland, whose foreign diploma has been declared academically equivalent by either the French or the Flemish Community, and who want to practice their profession in Belgium.
Article 49 bis §3 of Royal Decree No. 78
Non-European citizens who have a diploma issued by a Member State of the EU which is accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC, are declared equivalent to European citizens with respect to the handling of their application for professional recognition.
This procedure concerns European health professionals who are authorised to practice their profession in a Member State of the EEA and who want to practice their profession in Belgium during a very short period (for example, five days or one month).
Please contact the Cell directly.