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Concerns raised over EU proposals to speed recognition of qualifications

12 June 2014 - 11:33am

The CSP has raised concerns about proposals to introduce a European Professional Card (EPC), which aims to accelerate the recognition of professional qualifications across the EU.

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The CSP questions the benefit of the cards descibed by the proposals

According to the European Commission, the EPC should simplify the administrative procedure for recognition and make the process more transparent. As a first step, the proposals will include seven professional groups: physiotherapists, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, mountain guides and real estate agents.

But CSP international adviser Birgit Mueller-Winkler said: ‘The EPC is meant to be an administrative tool to make the process easier for physiotherapists wanting to work in another country. But it’s another layer of bureaucracy. It’s questionable whether it’s of benefit to the applicant.’

In its response to a consultation on the proposals, the CSP says the process of gaining recognition as a physiotherapist in a different European country is complex and involves ‘more than submitting a prescribed list of documents’.

The society also questions whether the scheme would enhance trust between the competent authorities in different countries. And it raises particular concerns about the possibility of ‘tacit recognition’ of professional qualifications. This is because if a host country fails to approve qualifications within a given deadline, the EPC would still be issued automatically.

The CSP response says: ‘The impact of tacit recognition on patient health and safety and professionals practising without formal recognition should not be underestimated.’

The European Commission will consider responses to the consultation and assess whether the EPC is appropriate for the professions involved.

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