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Regulated professions

A profession is called regulated if its access, scope of practice or its title is regulated by law. This includes:

  • Professions with automated recognition of qualifications on European level;
  • Professions regulated on a national level; and
  • Activities that are regulated in some or all Member States.


Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications

European legislation facilitates the free movement of professionals through Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and its amendments. The Directive allows for a Europe-wide automated recognition of professional qualifications for seven regulated professions:

  • doctors,
  • nurses,
  • dental practitioners,
  • veterinary surgeons,
  • midwives,
  • pharmacists, and
  • architects.


Regulated professions database

Directive 2005/36/EC also establishes a European database with information on regulated professions. This database records information provided by Member States on the regulation of professions and professional activities on national level.

Regulated professions in ESCO

Occupations in the occupations pillar of ESCO can be part of regulated professions, i.e. they can have a scope of practice that is (partly) covered by the regulated profession. In order to provide transparency for end users on the regulation of professions, ESCO systematically provides reference to the regulated professions database and to Directive 2005/36/EC and its amendments.


European legislation on free movement of professionals, including Directive 2005/36/EC and its amendments

Regulated professions database of the Commission