National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants, upon application, the right to practice as a licenced or authorised professional and authorises the use of the occupational title of healthcare professional.
Valvira applications and issues decisions on the above matters, also in cases where training has been undertaken outside of Finland.
Health care professionals
Under Finnish law, licensing is granted to the following professions: physician, dentist, pharmacist, psychologist, speech therapist, dietician, dispenser, nurse, midwife, public health nurse, physiotherapist, medical laboratory technologist, radiographer, dental hygienist, occupational therapist, optician and dental technician (17 titles in total).
The practice of these professions is restricted to licenced professionals only.
Licensing is granted, upon application, by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.
National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health may grant an authorisation to practice to nationals of countries outside the EU/EEA and who have obtained their qualifications in a country outside of the EU/EEA.
The authorisation is valid for a fixed period of time and may be restricted to a specific place of employment.
Protected occupational titles
The protected occupational titles as defined in the Decree on Health Care professionals are: orthopaedic technician, podiatrist, trained masseur, chiropractor, naprapath, osteopath, practical nurse for social and health care, psychotherapist, hospital physicist, hospital geneticist, hospital chemist, hospital microbiologist and hospital cell biologist (13 titles).
The professions with protected occupational titles may also be practised by those who possess the required training, experience and professional skills and knowledge. However, they are not entitled to use the protected occupational title.
Professionals entitled to use a protected occupational title will be entered into the central register of health care professionals maintained by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.
Healthcare professionals trained and graduated in Finland who apply for protected occupation title or licence. Applications will be processed within 30 days of receipt of the application by Valvira.
Graduated as an unregulated osteopath or naprapath in Finland. The processing time for a title protection application is approximately three months.
Professional practice rights decisions are subject to a fee, and the fee will be charged also fromthe rejected decisions. Half of the application processing fee will be charged for the cancelled application.
A person practicing as a healthcare professional in Finland without a licence may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment.
Students in another EU / EEA country applying for a student registration have a minimum processing time of 30 working days after the application is received. The above applies to all student registrations.
The processing time for applications for professional practice rights from another EU / EEA country is defined in the Healthcare Professionals Act as 3-4 months and it begins to run once Valvira has received all necessary documents. The treatment time comes from an EU directive and is the same in all Member States. Missing documents will be notified within 30 days of arrival of the application. If there are no document deficiencies, it is possible that the application will be completed within the above time limit.
In order to ensure equal treatment of applicants, applications will be dealt in the order of arrival. Contacts and calls considerably slow down the processing of applications. The applicant's need to get to work quickly does not affect the order in which applications are processed. If patient safety is compromised, Mervi Koivuniemi (firstname.lastname@example.org) should be contacted from the health care unit in question. Contact information should specifically address the risk to patient safety that adherence to the processing time poses.
Valvira processes approximately 20,000 applications for licencing and protected occupational titles for healthcare professionals each year.