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How to get your qualifications recognised when you move to Norway

If you're moving to Norway, it's always a good idea to check whether your profession requires accreditation of qualifications or education. If that's the case, you will need to apply through the official recognition process.

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In this article, we will go through the different types of recognition currently available in Norway and guide you through the application process. Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

Migration to any foreign land tends to be a demanding and complex process. From familiarising yourself with the culture and language to getting to know the job market and workplace rules, it can be a lot to take in.

However, there are some things that you should ideally start reading up on even before you move to a country in pursuit of a job.

The requirements for regulated professions – which specify which demands and qualifications one needs to meet to work in such a profession – are one of those things.

The Local has an in-depth guide about regulated professions in Norway, available here.

Another key aspect of getting your education recognised when you move to Norway is the recognition application process.

In this article, we will go through the different types of recognition currently available in Norway and guide you through the application process.

Who needs to have their education recognized to work in Norway?

In total, Norway has 161 regulated professions (you can find the full list here). If you want to work in any of them, you’ll need to have your education and qualifications recognized beforehand.

Furthermore, there are 15 agencies responsible for verifying whether qualifications obtained outside of Norway meet the required work standards in regulated professions in the country.

In the past, NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education), an independent body under the Ministry of Education and Research, played an important role when it came to the recognition of foreign education.

However, as of January 1st, 2023, all of NOKUT’s recognition services for foreign education moved to the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills.

Note that all requirements and guidelines decided by NOKUT will therefore be continued in the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

At the moment, the NOKUT website and the information about foreign education on it are still valid and relevant but expect a new website to be set up soon.

A lot of professions are regulated by the EU Professional Qualifications Directive, which aims to streamline the process of getting education and qualifications authorised if they were obtained in a country within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).

However, note that the recognition process can be more complex if you received your education outside of the EEA. In such cases, you will often need to contact the competent state bodies directly to see which rules apply to your case.

The different types of recognition in Norway

As the NOKUT website (which remains the relevant point of information until further notice) points out, the exact type of recognition you need to apply for is determined by your educational background and your individual needs, i.e., what you intend to use the recognition for once you get it.

There are cases in which you will not need to get your education recognized, so – if you’re not sure – always make sure to check with a potential employer first.

In Norway, there are several types of recognition, including the recognition of foreign higher education (Bachelor, Master, PhD), the recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education, and the recognition of foreign vocational education and training. Each type has a separate recognition scheme.

1. Recognition of foreign higher education

If you believe Norwegian employers might have issues recognizing your foreign education, then applying for recognition of foreign higher education could be a good idea.

However, note that recognition is not required in order for you to use your diploma in Norway.

You can submit an application for this type of recognition here.

The NOKUT site also offers additional information about the recognition procedure and the documentation requirements for all three recognition processes listed in this section.

2. Recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education

The relevant recognition authority (previously NOKUT, now the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills) is tasked with assessing the level and scope of your foreign tertiary vocational education.

At the time of writing, this recognition scheme is voluntary, and you can apply for work in Norway without this recognition.

You can find more information on how to apply to have your foreign tertiary vocational education recognised here.

3. Recognition of foreign vocational education and training

The relevant recognition authority also assesses the scope and level of your vocational education and training compared to Norwegian vocational education and training.

Note that your qualification’s vocational content determines which Norwegian craft or journeyman’s certificate your qualification will be compared to, as NOKUT points out on its website.

You can apply for this type of recognition here.

As stated beforehand, if your education requires special authorization – that is, if you want to work in a regulated profession – you will need to undergo a different form of the recognition process.

Remember that many Norwegian industries have additional requirements outside of education recognition.

In some cases, you might be eligible for the automatic recognition of certain degrees from selected countries. Automatic recognition is a standardized statement that shows how certain degrees from selected countries are usually assessed by the competent authority.

The statement may be downloaded and used immediately without having to submit an application for recognition. You can find more information about the process here.

Furthermore, you can find NOKUT’s list of sectors with regulated jobs and information on where to apply to get your qualifications recognised here.

Note: For most professions and trades in Norway, no specific recognition is required before you can start working. If you don’t see your profession on the list of regulated professions, you might not need recognition.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How to boost your career chances in Norway

High wages and an excellent work-life balance attract many to Norway for a job. Once you've settled into your new role, you'll want to keep your career moving forwards.

EXPLAINED: How to boost your career chances in Norway

Upgrade your language skills

Plenty of jobs and careers can be done in Norway without strong Norwegian language skills.

However, to advance your career, including with firms where the working language is English, you will want to invest in learning the language.

Generally, the B1 and B2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference should be enough to help you navigate working life in Norway. However, taking things to the next level and moving up to the C level could boost your job prospects. A C-level certificate helps demonstrate your Norwegian language proficiency and that you have invested in Norwegian.

The better your language skills, the more options you will have open to you. Not just this, conversing with Norwegian colleagues in their native language will also help you gel with your team more, which will prove beneficial if you wish to progress your career within one company.

Get to grips with Norwegian working culture

Like most other countries, Norway has a hierarchical structure in workplaces. However, great emphasis is placed on the belief that all employees can express their opinion on the best way to tackle the task at hand. Transparency and honesty are valued.

Workers in Norway are also expected to be able to take the initiative and work independently when required. This means many should be confident in making their voice heard constructively and getting to work rather than waiting for direct instructions or orders.

Due to the more laidback and informal office culture, workers are expected to, to varying degrees, socialise outside of work, either in the form of after-work drinks or team-building activities.

While every office or department has its own politics, coworkers should be seen much more as collaborators than competitors.

Building a rapport with your colleagues will ultimately play into your hands if you wish to progress your career. Furthermore, while the dress code is more informal than in other places, punctuality is seen as a form of respect – so you mustn’t take a relaxed attitude to turning up for meetings on time.

Make sure your CV is suitable for Norwegian recruiters

Ensuring your CV is adapted for Norwegian recruiters will also help you make that leg-up.

Consider a design with not too much information squeezed in. Key qualifications are a management summary of your skills, experience, qualifications and soft (or interpersonal) skills. Some information, such as hobbies and interests, helps the recruiter relate to the person behind the CV.

One thing to consider is that unless applying for a job in a competitive environment, you should make achievements and accomplishments less about yourself and more about the team you were a part of.

Additionally, when it comes to a CV, you should only submit one in Norwegian if you are confident and comfortable enough writing one in Norwegian. If you have someone translate your English CV into Norwegian but aren’t comfortable with the language, employers may feel you are trying to deceive them.

READ ALSO: The dos and don’ts of writing a killer CV to impress Norwegian recruiters


Having a robust professional network can bolster your career opportunities. LinkedIn is a very big deal in Norway, so it’s worth ensuring your profile is fully up to date and you create or share the odd post to highlight to recruiters doing some background that you are invested in your career and networking.

There are also typically a decent amount of industry or networking events held in person. Staying on your colleague’s good side will also pay off when it comes to networking. Personal recommendations from recruiters can go a long way. Therefore an ex-work friend putting in a word with your prospective employer because you left them with a good impression can help you get a boost in your career.

Getting your qualifications officially recognised in Norway

There are around 160 or so regulated professions in Norway, which means you will need some qualifications, training or education to qualify for the role.
If you have obtained qualifications abroad, you must have these officially verified and recognised by the relevant Norwegian authority to perform certain roles.

There are multiple agencies responsible for checking and verifying whether qualifications and training obtained outside of Norway are of the required standard.

For example, healthcare workers must assess their written and verbal Norwegian language proficiency and may be sent on additional courses to learn about the country’s health system. Applicants must cover the cost of additional language training.

Getting your qualifications verified confirms to Norwegian employers that your training equates to the corresponding Norwegian qualification.