German-speaking medical specialists (m/f/d) are particularly in demand in Switzerland and, as we have already reported, we are currently recruiting as a recruitment consultancy for a Swiss group of medical specialists for the Bernese Oberland. Here once again the job offer.

The online editorial team of Hamburg-based Kontrast Personalberatung GmbH has researched how complex the recognition of diplomas and approvals from abroad is and how this is done.

Result: With a manageable amount of effort, nothing stands in the way of a financially very rewarding career change to Switzerland.

Who has to have his diploma recognised?

Persons with a diploma from an EU/EFTA state require diploma recognition for professional establishment in Switzerland. If the stay lasts longer than 3 months, a valid work and/or residence permit must be presented within 8 days of moving to Switzerland.

The identity card and a valid employment contract or confirmation from the employer are required.

The recognition of diplomas - how does it work?

There are special agreements between EU/EFTA states and Switzerland, based on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FMPA), on the transfer of diplomas. A distinction is made between direct recognition and indirect recognition of diplomas and continuing education titles.

Direct recognition is granted if the diploma is awarded in one of the Contracting States and the following requirements are met:

  • the holder of the diploma or the spouse is a citizen of Switzerland or of an EU/EFTA state,
  • the diploma (including all certificates) complies with the EU Directives (2005/36/EC) or the EFTA Agreement and
  • the diploma (including additional identity documents) has been issued by the authorities listed in the directives / conventions

Indirect recognition takes place when a Contracting State has recognised the diploma from a third country, Switzerland takes over this recognition. The conditions are:

  • The holder of the diploma or the spouse is a citizen of Switzerland or an EU/EFTA state,
  • the holder of the diploma in the Contracting State is fully entitled to exercise the profession with the same rights as those persons who have completed the training and obtained the corresponding diploma in the State of recognition (in accordance with the EU Directive),
  • the holder of the diploma has at least 3 years' relevant clinical experience in the corresponding profession in the recognition state and/or Switzerland - but not more than 5 years, and
  • the holder of the diploma has a knowledge of the official Swiss language (at least level B2)

What to do if the diploma is not recognised?

If a doctor (m/f/d) wishes to be admitted to the liberal profession whose diploma has not been recognised, she must obtain a federal diploma.

The Medical Professions Commission (MEBEKO) decides on the necessary requirements.

The following documents must be submitted for an examination by the MEBEKO (fee approx. CHF 600.- to 800.-):

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Proof of identity
  • Matura certificate (copy including official translation)
  • Diploma (copy including official translation)
  • List of examinations taken during the course of study (incl. official translation)
  • If available, detailed evidence of professional experience abroad. These include details of the duration (start/end), function and degree of employment. An official translation is also required of these documents.

Specialists in Switzerland are in great demand and as we have already reported, we are again recruiting for a Swiss group of general practitioners and specialists.

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