How to ‘convert’ any foreign qualifications to use in France

Post-Brexit, it is harder to get UK qualifications accepted in France, but in some instances an 'attestation de comparabilité' can help your qualification be understood under its equivalent French qualification

4 October 2021

Post-Brexit, it is harder to get UK qualifications accepted in France, as agreements between EU states to promote labour movement no longer apply Pic: hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

People with foreign academic or professional qualifications can apply online for an 'attestation de comparabilité' to help employers and educational bodies understand the equivalent French qualification.

These attestations are not legally binding but they are useful and some firms and universities do ask for them.

They are obtained via the website of France Education International, the French arm of an international network of centres called Enic-Naric.

The process costs €70.

Work roles in France fall under either profession réglementée or non-réglementée.

The former require specific training and exams; such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, sports trainers, plumbers and chimney sweeps. See here for a full list.

Enic-Naric can provide a certificate for a limited number of these (but not for self-employed workers).

These include building trades, hairdressers, butchers and mechanics. See here for the list

For other regulated professions you should contact the profession’s governing body in France about recognition.

Requirements for jobs in non-regulated professions will depend on the employer.

Post-Brexit, it is harder to get UK qualifications accepted in France, as agreements between EU states to promote labour movement no longer apply.

Under these rules, employers are obliged to consider qualifications obtained in other member states, and in certain professions such as doctors, dentists, vets, midwives, pharmacists and architects, recognition is automatically given due to common training standards.

Bodies are not obliged to accept non-EU qualifications but it is still possible to have them assessed and the Brexit future relationship deal states the parties agreed on a ‘framework’ to help make the system of recognition flexible. Closer agreements may be made profession by profession in future.

Some jobs can only be held by EU nationals, such as notaires, avocats, chartered accountants, and state school teachers and public hospital nurses with fonctionnaire status.

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