IQ Network Berlin

Zentrale Erstanlaufstelle Anerkennung (ZEA) – Central contact point recognition

The Otto Benecke Stiftung e. V. ran the Zentrale Erstanlaufstelle Anerkennung (ZEA) Project e. V. in Berlin-Charlottenburg from 2012 - 2018. The information centre primarily focused on three areas:

Recognition and qualification
Guidance targeted at migrants who have a professional qualification from their home countries and would like to work in Germany. The ZEA advised those seeking advice about which legal requirements were needed for vocational recognition, offered support in searching for a first German job and gave advice on qualification recognition including which office to contact, what documents to submit, fees, duration of the process etc.

The advisers supported people going through the recognition process or who had applied for evaluation of their degrees, in their search for suitable qualification measures. Identified major differences between qualifications can be compensated for, to allow the equivalence of qualification obtained in the home country with the German reference one. Arrangements in the form of exam preparation courses or adaptation training were offered for regulated careers. In preparation for local job market requirements, people holding non-accredited academic degrees have the option of taking part in a ‘bridging’ scheme. The aim of every such arrangement is professional employment appropriate to the qualification.

Recognition and qualification consultation was provided in German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian and Arabic.

Arbeitgeberservice-Beratung (Employer service advice)
Small and medium-sized businesses were given guidance and advice on legal requirements, the application, and the qualification schemes relating to the recognition procedure. The specialised counselling offered information and support for employers in Berlin intending to hire people with foreign professional qualifications or university degrees, and who had questions regarding professional accreditation.

Training for employees of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)
The Otto Benecke Stiftung e. V. trained employees of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA) (Federal Employment Agency) and job centres on foreign qualification recognition. Participants gained an overview of the basics and processes of professional recognition, together with clear-cut courses of action for referral to the recognition and advisory offices.

These training schemes were aimed at providing employment agency staff with the necessary knowledge to help them better assess their clients’ home-country degrees and understand what type of equivalence process or evaluation was necessary. They also learned what support services were offered by the IQ Network Berlin, and gained greater understanding of the challenges of professional recognition for integration into the job market.

The ZEA was part of the ‘Integration via Qualification’ (IQ) Berlin State Network, which was coordinated by the Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales (Senate Department for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs).

The ‘Integration via Qualification’ support programme aims at long-term improvement of the integration of migrants into the job market, and is financed by the Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS) (Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

Funding bodies

The funding programme "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" was funded by:


Project partners


Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V.
Kennedyallee 105-107
53175 Bonn


Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V. | Kennedyallee 105-107 | 53175 Bonn | Tel: 02 28 / 81 63-0 | mail:

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