February 3, 2016
European Professional Card Opens Borders for Estate Agents to Conduct Business Throughout The European Union
European Professional Cards for Estate Agents
Beginning January 18th estate agents will be amongst the first professions able to apply for a European Professional Card (EPC). The other professions included in the first group to benefit from the EPC are general care nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and mountain guides. The aim of the EPC is to make it easier for professionals to offer services throughout the EU by simplifying the procedure for getting their professional qualifications recognised in another EU country.
The EPC was introduced in the modernised Professional Qualifications Directive, followed by an implementing regulation adopted last year for the first five professions. It is not a plastic card, but an electronic certificate issued via the first EU-wide fully online procedure for the recognition of qualifications. It is based on the existing Internal Market Information system and allows professionals and the regulating national authorities to communicate within a secure network. The application documents lodged by a professional will first be checked by the national authorities in his/her country of origin.
The EPC will be available to professionals on a voluntary basis. It does not replace the procedure foreseen for the recognition of qualifications by the Professional Qualifications Directive. It is an alternative which is intended to be quicker and easier for professionals to use. It is available for those who want to practise their profession in another EU country on a temporary and occasional basis or establish themselves there on a permanent basis. When an application has been approved the professional will be able to generate an EPC certificate in pdf format.
In the future the EPC may be extended to other professions which meet the criteria set out in the Professional Qualifications Directive. In the meantime CEPI-CEI looks forward to its successful implementation for estate agents.
Further information about the procedure and deadlines is available at http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/professional-qualifications/european-professional-card/index_en.htm .
What the EPC Card Is:
The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure you can use to have your professional qualifications recognised in another EU country.It is easier and quicker to manage than traditional qualification recognition procedures, and more transparent: you can keep track of your application on-line and re-use already uploaded documents to start new applications for different countries.
You can use the EPC procedure if:
- You want to practice your profession in another EU country on a temporary and occasional basis (temporary mobility) OR
- You want to settle in another EU country and practice your
profession there permanently (establishment)
- Your home country authorities will assist you with your application and check that it is correct and complete. They will also certify the authenticity and validity of your documents.
- If in the future, whether you want to make a request to settle long-term or provide services temporarily in another country, your file will already exist in the system and you will not need to upload all the documents again. This will save you time on subsequent applications.
- If the host country authorities in charge of your application do not take a final decision within the appropriate deadline, recognition will be granted automatically and you will be able to generate an EPC certificate.
Resources for Further Information: