Most vocational professions and trades in Norway are not “regulated”, i.e. controlled by law. You do not therefore need to have your foreign vocational education and training recognised in order to work in these professions or trades in Norway, although some employers may prefer you to have formal recognition. Recognition is also necessary if you wish to take further advanced vocational education to gain a master certificate.
Some professions and trades are regulated. This means that you must have received recognition from the recognition authority that processes applications for this specific profession or trade, before you can obtain employment.
There are two different procedures you can use to apply for recognition:
Most counties offer this kind of assessment of foreign vocational education and training. In such cases, your competence will be assessed against the vocational education in which you have competence and the curriculum for this vocational education in the Norwegian system. You will find these curriculums on the website of Utdanningsdirektoratet (Norwegian Directorate of Training and Education)
The purpose of a competence assessment is to give an overview of which specific areas of the profession/trade in which you have competence.
The county authorities may offer further theoretical training if required, and may also inform you about how you can obtain practical training/work experience.
There are 19 county councils in Norway and they all offer assessment of prior experiential learning.
On VOX’s website (Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning) you will find more information about who to apply to at the county authorities for an assessment of prior experiential learning: VOX – County authorities that assess prior experiential learning
If you wish to have your foreign vocational education and training assessed in order to work in a regulated profession or trade, you will sometimes need to have your foreign craft’s certificate assessed by another authority in the counties. If you have vocational education and training from another country that has lead to a craft or journeyman’s certificate there, you can contact one of the following offices in the counties:
Fagopplæringskontorer (in Norwegian only)
Please contact them for further information on the documents they require from you in order to apply.
You must be registered in the Folkeregister (National Population Registry Office) in Norway, and you may only apply for assessment of your foreign education with a Norwegian craft or journeyman’s certificate to the county authorities where you are registered as living. All the documents you submit must be translated into either Norwegian or English. Read more about documentary requirements
Some professions in Norway are regulated. This includes some trades with craft or journeyman’s certificates, for example electrician and telecommunications-electronics installer. To work in one of these trades in Norway, you must apply for vocational recognition (authorisation) at the recognition authority that is responsible for that specific trade.
You will find a list of these trades and the relevant recognition authorities on our website under I want to work – Regulated professions in Norway. Separate rules apply for recognition of vocational competence for EU/EEA citizens.