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In order to work in Finland as a social worker, social service professional, professional of applied gerontology or rehabilitation councellor, you must be granted a right to practise by Valvira. In order to be allowed to use the title of practical nurse, home support worker or disability support worker, your protected occupational title must be registered with Valvira. Valvira grants rights to practise and protected occupational title registrations on application, also on the basis of degrees completed abroad. This guide is for applicants who have studied in a country other than Finland in the European Union or the European Economic Area.
Valvira’s task is to investigate whether your training qualifies for the same profession as the relevant Finnish training. Work experience, supplementary professional training and continuing education may be considered in the comparison assessment. If necessary, Valvira can request an expert opinion on your professional qualifications which will be charged from you.
Submitting an application
You may send your application to Valvira by mail, using theapplication form(pdf). You may also submit a freeform application indicating in which profession you are applying for the right to practise. Also include your name and your contact details for managing the matter. If you choose, you may submit your application through ouronline service, if you are able to use strong identification.
Please attach the following documents to your application:
Document certifying your identity and nationality (passport or identity card)
You do not need to attach a document proving your identity and nationality if you submit your application in the Valvira online service.
Degree certificate with appendices (e.g. diploma supplement, academic transcript)
More detailed description of the courses and training periods listed in the academic transcript (learning outcomes, contents and number of hours and operating environments and duties in the case of training periods)
If the educational institution supplies a general study programme to provide this information, the institution must separately confirm that you have completed the units as described. The educational institution may deliver the report directly to Valvira by e-mail. It is in your interests to supply information on your training in as much detail as possible, because Valvira will compare the content of your training to the corresponding training given in Finland.
Employment certificates for work in the profession following completion of your training. Employment certificates must have been issued by your employer, and they must state at least your job title, your job duties and the duration of your employment.
Certificate of supplementary professional training and continuing education
Certificate, no more than three months old, verifying that your right to practise the profession in question has not been restricted or revoked, such as a Certificate of Current Professional Status. If you have been granted the right to practise your profession in several countries, you must submit this certificate for each country. OR If you want Valvira to check your credentials directly with the competent authority, then you need to declare all the countries in which you have been granted the right to practise your profession.
Translations in Finnish, Swedish or English of documents mentioned in spots 2 – 6 if they are not issued in those languages. The translations must have been made by an authorised translator in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State.
Freeform consent stating that Valvira has your permission to submit your application documents to a Finnish educational institution for an expert opinion if necessary. A fee will be charged from you if this is done.
If you submit all the relevant documents with your application, the application process will be quicker. The processing period is calculated from the time when Valvira has received all the required documents and reports.
The attachments referred to in points 3–5 may be necessary for requesting an expert opinion. Please submit these attachments, as it will be in your interest when Valvira evaluates your education and training in comparison with the relevant Finnish qualification. Valvira may also be able to verify the information referred to in point 6 directly with the competent authority, in which case you do not need to submit these documents. This verification may delay the processing of your application. If Valvira is unable to verify the information with the competent authority, then you must submit the relevant certificates yourself.
Valvira may request further explanations as necessary. Please note that Valvira will not return any documents submitted, and Valvira will not make copies of any documents.
Valvira may request you to submit a certificate of sufficient language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish when you apply for your final right to practise.
You can submit uncertified copies of your attachment documents when you file your application. However, Valvira may later require you to submit officially certified copies of those attachment documents.
If Valvira does require officially certified copies, you can obtain those from a notary public in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State, or from a Finnish mission in other countries. You may also submit copies issued by a foreign authority and verified using the Apostille or Grand Legalisation procedure. Send to Valvira the copies that bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission.
Applications submitted by citizens of EU/EEA Member States who have completed their degree in an EU/EEA Member State other than Finland will be resolved by Valvira within 3 months of receiving all the documents required for the application.
If any documents are missing from your application that Valvira requires, Valvira will request them from you within 30 days of receiving your application. If no documents are missing, the application may be processed within the aforementioned time period. The decision on the right to practise a profession will be issued in Finnish or Swedish.
Decision and fee
A fee is charged for every decision concerning professional rights, even if decision is a negative one. If you cancel your application, you will be charged half of the application processing fee.
Fee for a statement requested from a university or other educational institution to evaluate a foreign degree or training programme and
Legalisation and protected title registration of a professional arriving from an EU/EEA Member State OR
Decision on conditional recognition and
Legalisation or protected title registration after an adjustment period or a proficiency test
The decision on the right to practise a profession will be issued in Finnish or Swedish. The invoice will be sent separately by post after the decision.
In matters relating to the right to practice as a social welfare professional:
Primarily by email suosikki(at)valvira.fi
Or you can call us on mon-tue and thu-fri 10-11 a.m. Tel. : +358 295 209 550