The UK's withdrawal from the EU entered into force on 1 February 2020. With the withdrawal agreement provided for a transition period, during which cooperation based on the UK's membership of the EU was dismantled in a controlled manner and the future relationship was negotiated. During the transition period, the EU-UK relationship continued under the EU’s rules that were valid at the time, as if Britain were still a member of the EU. The only significant exception was that during the transition period, the UK was no longer involved in EU decision-making nor in the activities of EU bodies.
On 24 December 2020, the UK and the European Commission, which negotiated on behalf of the EU, concluded negotiations on the future relationship.
The transition period for the UK's withdrawal from the EU ended on 31 December 2020 and the UK's withdrawal from the EU entered into full force on 1 January 2021. As a result of the withdrawal, the UK became a “third country” among other non-EU/EEA states in matters concerning professional qualifications.
The withdrawal of the UK from the EU, which entered into force on 1 January 2021, has no impact on the rights of professionals to practise a profession for professionals who received a decision on the recognition of professional qualifications under the Directive on professional qualifications (2005/36/EC) before the end of the transition period.
In addition, applications for the recognition of professional qualifications submitted before the end of the transitional period, by 31 December 2020, shall be processed and resolved in accordance with the abovementioned Union legislation.
Valvira has recommended that all health and social care professionals who graduated or are about to graduate in the UK and who also wish to be licensed in Finland apply for recognition/permission to use the professional title by 31 December 2020 at the latest. The application can then be processed and resolved in accordance with the legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications.
Professional qualifications in social and health care completed in the UK after 31 December 2020 are considered to have been completed in a third country. In such cases, the application will be processed in accordance with the same provisions that apply to other applications submitted on the basis of qualifications completed outside of the EU/EEA states.
Applications submitted after the end of the transition period shall be subject to the provisions on qualifications completed outside of the EU/EEA, irrespective of when the qualification was completed.