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Language skills

Directive 2005/36/EC provides (Article 53) that beneficiaries of recognition of the professional qualification must have the linguistic skills necessary to practice the profession in the host EU country.

Applicants are informed that, as for Italy, regardless of the regulated profession, the investigation procedure for professional recognition is conducted in Italian and any aptitude test or adaptation period required (compensatory measures) are always conducted in Italian.

For the profession of teacher, the verification of language skills is carried out by the educational institutions themselves on the signing of the employment contract, as established by the provisions of the Ministry of Education, University and Scientific Research (MIUR).

The language level required depends on the teaching subjects (for details, please read note dated 7 October 2013 - .pdf attached).

In general, the EU Directive clarifies the role of national competent authorities in checking language skills both for the purposes of patient's safety and the safeguard of professional's right.

Language checks must be proportionate to the services to be provided by the professional and must in no way be the ground for exclusion of the professional from the host EU Member State's labour market.

Each EU State must ensure that controls carried out by or under the supervision of the competent authority are limited to  the knowledge of one official or administrative language of that State, provided that it is also one of the official languages of the EU.

If the profession has implications for patient safety, the competent authorities must ensure knowledge of the Italian language. Controls must be carried out also for other professions, with the aim of ensuring that the professional has a sufficient knowledge of the Italian language for practicing the professional in Italy.

Language checks may only be carried out after issuing the European Professional Card or recognition of a professional qualification.

The professional may, however, appeal against such controls in compliance with Italian law.

A European citizen intending to practice a profession that has implications for patient safety or a temporary and occasional provision of services (freedom to provide services) must state in the application submitted to the competent authority (request for establishment in the first case, prior declaration of movement in the second case) that he or she has a knowledge of  the language of the host EU Member State sufficient to practise that profession.

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