Parliamentary Education and Agriculture Committees behind the draft amendment to the Act on the Principles of Recognition of Professional Qualifications

The Parliamentary Education and Agriculture Committees supported the government’s draft amendment of laws aimed at aligning Polish legislation to the European Union’s provisions regarding the rules for the recognition of professional qualifications.

It concerns a draft amendment of the laws: on the principles of recognition of professional qualifications acquired in the Member States of the European Union and on the profession of veterinarian and medical and veterinary chambers, drawn up by the Ministry of Education and Science.

On Tuesday, the first reading of the draft took place during the meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committees of Education, Science and Youth, and Agriculture and Rural Development. MEPs have neither proposed nor tabled any amendments to the draft.

As the Deputy Minister of Education and Science Włodzimierz Bernacki explained at the meeting of parliamentary committees, the draft amendment stems from the need to adopt the European Parliament and Council Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications in the Polish legal system. According to the European Commission, some provisions of the Directive have been incorrectly or incompletely implemented in the Polish legal system.

He stated that as part of the proposed amendment, the professions were redefined to which the provisions of the Act on the Principles for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications acquired in EU Member States would not be applied. In accordance with the definition of professions excluded from this Regulation proposed in the draft, the provisions do not apply to the profession of notary, as well as to regulated professions and regulated activities, which are directly and in particular related to the exercise of public authority in Poland. The professions directly and in particular related to the exercise of public authority in Poland include, inter alia: police officer, prosecutor and judge professions. As Bernacki explains, Polish citizenship is required to practice these professions in Poland.

The draft also includes provisions on the use of the so-called compensatory measures when material is found to be significantly different with regard to the education or training received by someone who applies for recognition of professional qualifications in another EU Member State. “Significantly different material” means – according to the provisions of the project – material that includes the acquired knowledge, skills and competences, which are essential for the practice of the profession, and for which the training received by the applicant shows significant differences in terms of of content, compared to the extent of education required in the Republic of Poland.

The provisions on the application of the so-called compensatory measures when material proves to be significantly different with regard to the education or training received by someone who applies for recognition of professional qualifications in another EU Member State.

The draft amendment also proposes an amendment to the provisions on checking the knowledge of the Polish language to the extent necessary to practice a particular regulated profession or activity. This applies to people who have their professional qualifications recognised. “The proposed solutions will expand and clarify the regulations in the law on checking the knowledge of the Polish language” – indicated in the justification accompanying the draft.

It was emphasized that control of the knowledge of the Polish language – as before – could only take place after the decision on the recognition of professional qualifications has been issued or after the European Professional Card has been issued.

“The competent authority will be able on its own initiative to check the knowledge of the language in any case of a professional endangering the safety of patients, and in the case of persons practicing other professions – only in case of well-founded doubts such as to the knowledge of the Polish language to the extent necessary for the exercise of a particular regulated profession or a particular regulated activity “- explained in the notes.

The draft clarifies the provisions on the principles of granting partial access to a regulated profession in the case of specialists eligible for the recognition of qualifications under the so-called automatic system for the recognition of professional qualifications.

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