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31.7.2012

Evolution of the Accreditation Debate

Alongside the previously cited demographic pressure, lobbying by industry and increasingly public debate on the inadequate accreditation system in Germany has led to the need for political action.

German government ministers help unveil a billboard that points out the shortage of skilled labour in the country. (© picture-alliance)


Bettina Englmann’s and Martina Müller’s study "Brain Waste" (2007) was an important step towards developing the BQFG, because it analyzed for the first time in detail the legal foundations as well and the accreditation competencies and possibilities with respect to qualifications acquired abroad. As a result, the study was the first official document which focused attention on the overall scope of the deficient and intransparent accreditation policies in Germany for certificates acquired abroad. At the same time, it showed that accreditation in Germany also depends on the immigrant’s origin and not simply on their qualifications (Reiche et al. 2010: 15). Numerous other studies followed which dealt in particular with the Bundesland-related specifics of accreditation practice. Also, they examined the broader context for accrediting qualifications acquired abroad.[1]

Parallel to the study "Brain Waste", with the publication of the "National Integration Plan" in 2007 the attempt to come to terms politically with the improvement of the situation relating to the accreditation of qualifications acquired abroad began (Bundestag document 17/6919: 1). Nonetheless, in the "National Integration Plan" from 2007 the subject remained on the whole of secondary importance (Integration Commissioner 2007), something that changed at the Dresden Education Summit in 2008. Here the heads of government of the federal government and the states (Bundesländer) agreed to improve the accreditation in Germany of certificates acquired abroad (Maier et al. 2012: 3). Increasing criticism of the deplorable state of the accreditation system led at the end of 2009 to the "Benchmark Paper for the Improvement of the Establishment and Accreditation of Occupational Qualifications and Certificates Acquired Abroad."

Parallel to the political debate at the national level, guidelines for practice were developed in most of the Bundesländer intended to serve as guidance for the disseminators of information.[2] These guidelines provide information about the responsibilities and sequences involved in the procedure for establishing competence and in the accreditation procedure. While in 2007 such guidelines were still rare, currently 11 Bundesländer now have such instructions for practice.[3] Until March 2011 the federal government was involved in developing draft legislation leading to the passage of the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act on November 4, 2011. This went into effect on April 1, 2012 (BMBF 2011). Now for the first time there is a nationwide uniform legal basis for the accreditation of qualifications acquired abroad.

This text is part of the policy brief on "Procedures for the Assessment of Qualifications Acquired Abroad in Transition".
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Fußnoten

1.
For example Reiche/Tröger/Scheibe (2010); IAQ/ZEW/Universität Magdeburg et al. (2009), various guidelines of the Bundesländer.
2.
Employees of accreditation agencies, immigrant counselling agencies, immigrant organizations, labor offices, integration commissioners, commissioners for foreigners as well as coordinators for immigration, integration course institutions.
3.
Brandenburg, Bremen, Hesse, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt.

Daria Braun

Daria Braun

Daria Braun wrote her diploma thesis on the recognition and accreditation of occupational qualifications acquired abroad of physicians in Hamburg. With this she concluded her studies in the field of Latin American Regional Studies at the University of Cologne. Since Mai 2012 she has been working as expert on educational questions for the Otto Benecke Foundation e.V. in the Central Drop-In Center for Accreditation (Zentrale Erstanlaufstelle Anerkennung) in Berlin. E-Mail: Daria.Braun@obs-ev.de


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