In order for you to work as a licensed health care professional in Finland, Valvira must grant you a licence to practice. You may be granted a licence to practice a profession upon application and will also be entered in the Central Register of Health Care Professionals (known as Terhikki) upon application. Practicing as a health care professional without a licence in Finland is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
In order to be licensed to practice your profession, you must submit an application to Valvira. Your application must specify which profession it concerns. If you are applying to be licensed for more than one profession, you must submit a separate application for each one.
Your application must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. The application may also be in free format.
Valvira may verify the language skills of all applicants who have completed their professional training related to the application or their general education in a language other than Finnish or Swedish. You must submit a certificate of language proficiency to prove your language skills.
When the applicant submits the certificate of language proficiency with the application, Valvira may on a single occasion recognise the applicant’s professional qualifications and grant the licence to practice the profession as a licensed professional. In such a case, the applicant is only charged a fee for a single decision, as two separate decisions are not required.
If the applicant cannot enclose the certificate to prove the required language skills with the licensing application, Valvira can only recognise the applicant’s professional qualifications. The recognition of professional qualifications does not entitle the applicant to act as a health care professional in Finland. A two-stage process is required in such a case:
Recognition of professional qualifications
Grant of licence to practice the profession
If the applicant submits the certificate of language proficiency at a later date, the applicant is charged a fee also for the grant of the licence.
Appendices to the application
A copy of your valid passport or similar official document to verify your identity and citizenship
A document certifying your change of name if any of your appended documents were issued under a name that is different from your current name
A copy of your original qualification certificate and any appendices demonstrating the content and scope of the qualification (e.g. diploma supplement or transcript of records)
Certificate of a licence to practice your profession issued by a competent foreign authority if you have been licensed to practice your profession in a country other than Finland. This certificate must be no more than three months old and it must indicate that the licence is valid and not subject to any restrictions. If you have been licensed to practice your profession in more than one country, you must submit the certificates from all those countries in either the original or as a copy);
If you cannot provide the certificate mentioned in point 4, the proof that practitioners of this profession are not registered in said country must be established by means of a certificate to that effect issued by the competent authority of the said country or a proof by other reliable means.
Certificate issued by a competent authority verifying that your qualification complies with EU requirements either in the original or as a copy.
Translations into Finnish, Swedish or English of the aforementioned documents made by a translator certified or authorised in Finland or another EU/EEA member state. The translations may be submitted in the original or as copies.
Applicants who have completed their professional training related to the application or their general education in a language other than Finnish or Swedish must submit a copy of their National Certificate of Language Proficiency or Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate.
Copies of employment certificates on practicing your profession after qualification. Translations of these certificates into Finnish, Swedish or English made by a translator certified or authorised in an EU/EEA Member State must also be provided. The translations may be submitted in the original or as copies.
Formal requirements for application documents
You can initiate your application by submitting plain copies of the application attachments. However, Valvira may subsequently require the submission of original or authenticated copies of the above-mentioned supporting documents for the application.
If Valvira requests authenticated copies, they will be obtained from notaries public in Finland and other EU/EEA Member States and from Finnish missions abroad. Copies issued by a foreign authority are acceptable if endorsed with an Apostille. The copies submitted to Valvira must bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission.
Translations of the documents into Finnish, Swedish or English must be appended to the application. The translations must be made by a translator certified or authorised in Finland or another EU/EEA Member State. The translations must be submitted either in the original bearing the translator’s original stamp and signature or as authenticated copies bearing the original stamp and signature of a notary public or a Finnish mission.
Valvira will not return your application documents and does not make copies of documents.
Only applicants whose language skills have been verified can be licensed as health care professionals. As a health care professional, you must have sufficient spoken and written language skills to be able to carry out your duties. The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. Applicants must submit with their application either their Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate or National Certificate of Language Proficiency. The Civil Service Language Proficiency Test must be passed with a level of Satisfactory or higher in all subject areas. For the National Certificate of Language Proficiency, an intermediate level (levels 3–4) or higher is required. Applicants may freely choose either language test. Certificates of studies in the Finnish or Swedish language, e.g. language course certificates, will not be accepted as proof of language skills by themselves. For further information on language examinations and certificates, please see the website of the National Board of Education (www.oph.fi).
Aptitude test and adaptation period
If your training does not comply with the requirements specified in Directive 2005/36/EC, you may demonstrate your professional qualification by taking an aptitude test or undergoing an adaptation period. Valvira will determine whether applicants need to take an aptitude test or undergo an adaptation period.
The recognition of professional qualifications is governed by the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications as provided in the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC). The Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications governs the recognition of professional qualifications obtained by citizens of EU Member States in a Member State other than Finland. The Act also governs the recognition of professional qualifications on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
A regulated profession is a profession which may only be practiced by persons fulfilling certain criteria of professional competence laid down in law, i.e. which is subject to licensing.
Conditions for recognition of professional qualifications in the general system of recognition, i.e. when the profession is unregulated in the country of training (professions other than doctor, dentist, dispenser, nurse and midwife)
The recognition of professional qualifications is based on documents issued by a competent authority in another Member State.
The recognition of professional qualifications is subject to the condition of the applicant having the right in his or her home Member State to practice the profession for which recognition of professional qualifications is sought.
During the past ten years, the applicant must have practiced the profession for at least one year on a full-time basis or for the equivalent length of time on a part-time basis in another Member State where the profession is not subject to regulation. The requirement of one year’s professional experience does not apply if the applicant’s formal qualification documents verify the completion of regulated professional training. The training shall be regulated under binding statutes and the regulatory equivalence must be demonstrated by means of a document issued by the authorities. Conformity with standard or other lower-level regulation is not equivalent to binding statute.
When necessary, Valvira may commission expert opinions from universities and other educational institutions in support of its decision-making. Expert opinions are subject to a fee.
The decision on recognition of professional qualifications may impose a requirement of the completion of an aptitude test or an adaptation period of no more than three years when the content of the applicant’s training materially differs from the content of equivalent training provided in Finland. The choice of compensatory measure is up to the applicant.
The application processing time is roughly 3–4 months and it begins to run once Valvira has received all necessary documents.
Professional practice rights decisions are subject to a fee, and the fee will be charged also fromthe negative decisions. Half of the application processing fee will be charged for the cancelled application.Currently valid fees.
The decision on your licence to practice your profession will be issued in Finnish or Swedish. The invoice will be sent as a separate mail delivery.