Recognition of qualification in Poland
Polish government clearly understands that the free movement of workers, freelancers and people in Europe is basically a norm, and in some group of business industries in Poland even a necessity. It is common know that in recent years the possibility of using a foreign workforce in Poland has significantly improved and facilitated. This is especially about employees from Eastern Europe. They are really the only ones that can compete with professionals from Poland and on the other hand it is impossible to imagine employing “more expensive” Germans, or French. At the moment, therefore, the legal immigration of workers from East to Polish construction is no longer a major problem. Now, the problem has been the admission of such employees to work to which Polish law requires additional professional qualifications.
This above mentioned problem is not connected with recognition (pl: “nostryfikacja”) of university diplomas or school certificates in Poland. This matter is very well stipulated by the provisions of the Polish Act of 27 July 2005 Law on Higher Education (Journal of Laws No. 164, item 135 with amendments) and the Regulation of the Ministry of National Education of 6 April 2006 on the recognition of school certificates and secondary school-leaving certificates obtained abroad (Journal of Laws No. 63, item 443).
The problem is primarily about the possibility of employ an “ordinary” worker on an position which requires professional qualification like qualification of excavator operator or tower crane-operator.
Recognition of qualification of EU citizens in Poland
In the case of employees who are citizens of EU countries, the situation is fair and clear. Over the years, the Union has tried to develop appropriate regulations. Firstly, as sectorial directives for individual professions (eg doctor, dentist), until the system directive 2005/36 / EC of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications was finally worked out. As a member state, Poland implemented the provisions of this act in the Act of 18 March 2008 on the rules for the recognition of professional qualifications acquired in the Member States of the European Union. The Directive and the law introduce the concept of regulated profession – we deal with it when the legal system of a given country, under administrative provisions, recognizes that the taking up and pursuit of a specific profession will be directly or indirectly dependent on having documents certifying obtaining a specific education or training. It is up to the Member State to determine the catalog of these professions under the Directive. If, therefore, a citizen of a foreign state intends to carry out relevant activities covered by restrictions in Poland or perform them as part of employment, he / she should obtain the decision of the competent authority. Depending on the profession and qualification, the state agencies will be different, which will be appropriate for the decision.
The Polish body, analyzing the scope of qualifications obtained by person abroad, will firstly examine the documents certifying foreign qualification. Polish body may also examine whether a given person has obtained abroad other additional qualifications or qualifications relevant for a given country (qualification levels). It can also take into account periods of apprenticeship after graduation or possible membership in foreign industry organizations. In some cases, the Polish recognition body may make the recognition of qualifications upon prior adaptation or an aptitude test. Detailed provisions in this regard can be found in the Regulation of the Ministry of Economy of November 2, 2009 on adaptation traineeship and skills tests in the course of proceedings for the recognition of qualifications for certain regulated professions belonging to the economy section and in the Regulation of the President of the Council of Ministers of March 5, 2009 determining the regulated professions for which the procedure for recognition of qualifications can be initiated.
If, however, the profession performed by a foreigner does not fall into the regulated group, such employee will not have to apply for the recognition of his qualifications. The employer who employs it will assess its suitability, professionalism and competence on its own.
Recognition of qualification of employees outside EU in Poland
On the other hand, there is no provision in Polish law which stipulates, either in detail or in general, the rules for the recognition of professional qualifications of persons from outside the European Union. As a matter of fact, there are some bilateral agreements concluded between the Republic of Poland and other states, but usually the provisions of these agreements are very general and if they touch on this matter, then it is only in scope of recognition of diplomas and not professional qualification like excavator operator.