Brexit and its effects on the granting of professional practice rights in Finland
On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) announced that it is due to leave the European Union in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This means that unless a separate withdrawal agreement is made before 30 March 2019 or the Brexit date is postponed, the Union’s primary or secondary legislation will not apply to the UK as of 30 March 2019 (00:00 CET). This will also concern the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications), under the provisions of which Valvira grants professional practice rights for social welfare and healthcare professionals.
The United Kingdom was originally due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. On Friday 5 April, UK Prime Minister Theresa May decided to ask the EU for a further extension. The leaders of the 27 EU Member States were ready to extend the due date until 31 October 2019. If the UK Parliament approves the Withdrawal Agreement, Brexit can enter into force earlier. In that case, Brexit would enter into force at the beginning of the month following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. During the extension period, the UK will remain a Member State with their usual rights and responsibilities.
If you qualified as a social welfare or healthcare professional in the UK and wish to have professional practice rights in Finland, Valvira recommends that you apply for the right no later than 31 October 2019. You can submit your application to Valvira (address PO Box 210, 00281 Helsinki) and complement it later if necessary. Further information about the application process and necessary documents:
Healthcare, Professional practice rights, Qualified in EU/EEA Member State and
Social welfare, Professional practice rights for social welfare professionals, Qualified outside Finland, Qualified in an EU/EEA member state
In Valvira’s view, after 31 October 2019, if Brexit happens, the UK will be a non-EU/EEA country or a third country, which means the following:
- If you completed your studies and qualified before 31 October 2019, you have qualified in another EU/EEA member state. If you qualify on 31 October 2019 or later, you will have qualified outside EU/EEA or in a third country. Application instructions:
Social welfare, Professional practice rights for social welfare professionals, Qualified outside Finland, Qualified outside the EU/EEA
Healthcare, Professional practice rights, Qualified outside the EU/EEA Member State
- If your profession or training has not been regulated in the UK and you wish to complete the one-year work experience to be able to apply for the professional practice right, you should get your work experience in another EU/EEA member state.
- If you are a medical student and complete your fourth or fifth year of study on 31 October 2019 or later and if you wish to work in a temporary locum role, you will be treated as a person studying in a third country. This means that as a medical student you can work in a temporary locum role after the full completion of your fifth year of study and the first part (clinical knowledge) of the three-phase examination organised by the University of Tampere. It will no longer be possible to obtain the four-year study right as of 31 October 2019.
Jussi Holmalahti, Director, tel. +358 (0)295 209 500
Maarit Mikkonen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 (0)295 209 561 (available as from 25th February 2019)