Certain professions (mostly in medicine) have been ‘harmonized’ across the EU, so you may find your qualifications are automatically accepted. For other professions, you must prove that your training and experience covered a similar subject matter and duration as that of the locally required qualification. You may also be required to demonstrate your fluency in one or more of the local languages. If you’re not able to demonstrate any of the above, you may be given the opportunity to qualify by passing an examination or performing further supervised practice.
To determine what the qualification criteria are for your profession, visit the Belgian Official Information and Services website.
Under normal circumstances, any university degree or academic diploma should be recognised in Belgium, but if you anticipate any difficulties you should contact one of the National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC). They work together with the European Network of Information Centres (ENIC Network) and are available in all EU member states.
Belgium may be the European champion in terms of the number of occupations that are regulated and require some form of licence or certification. Many trades (e.g. photographer, used car dealer, plumber, electrician, bricklayer) require you to register your qualifications with the appropriate Chamber of Crafts and Trades (Chambre des Métiers et Négoces/Kamer van Ambachten en Neringen), particularly if you’re planning to be self-employed.
This article is an extract from Living and Working in in Holland, Belgium & Luxembourg from Survival Books.