The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure introduced in 2016 to obtain recognition and pursuit of one's professional qualification in another EU Member State. It is easier, faster and more transparent than ordinary procedures for recognition of professional qualifications.
The EPC can be applied for establishment and free provision of services, as an alternative to the traditional procedure, for the following professions:
- Nurse responsible for general care
- Mountain guide
- Real estate agent.
The professional can apply for an EPC through Your Europe website by following the directions "Applying for an EPC". The section "Check the EPC formalities in your country" lists the documents to be uploaded as required by the Member State where the professional wishes to establish himself/herself or to exercise his/her activity temporarily/occasionally. It is recommended that each document requested by the competent authority be scanned individually in high resolution and be no larger than 10 MB.
In the case of requests for either establishment or temporary work for professions with an impact on public safety and/or health, the application, submitted to the country of origin, is then transferred online to the host country. Following appropriate evaluations, the latter will decide whether: i) to issue the card directly; ii) or to issue it after some specific tests have been successfully passed (adaptation period of max. three years; or, in principle at applicant's choice, an aptitude test); iii) or to refuse to issue it, motivating the decision made.
In Italy, the EPC is issued by the competent national authority. Whereby the professional intends to operate under the freedom to provide services outside those established under Article 7.4 (regulated professions with public security or public health implications – for which the host Member State may request prior verification of professional qualifications), the EPC is instead issued by the competent authority of the home Member State, whereby applicable, and replaces the prior declaration in the traditional procedure.
Issuance of the EPC, for the purposes of establishment, does not confer an automatic right to practise the profession in Italy if Italian law establishes other requirements and/or control procedures. In particular, the following rules apply:
- Pharmacists are subject to membership to the Charter of Pharmacists (Ordine dei Farmacisti) having territorial jurisdiction;
- Nurses are subject to registration with the national Charter (Federazione Nazionale Ordini Professioni Infermieristiche - FNOPI);
- Mountain guides are subject to registration with the regional and provincial charters;
- Real estate agents must submit the required notice of certified start of activity (SCIA - Segnalazione Certificata d'Inizio Attività) to the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Handicrafts and Agriculture of the city where the agent intends to operate.
Employers, professional organisations and other interested parties can check the validity of the EPC online on Your Europe website.
EPC holders must keep constantly updated all their personal data entered online at the time when they submitted their applications – in particular with regard to IDs, as employers or other relevant parties can check on EPC validity through its reference number and its associated ID. Therefore, whereby the EPC holder is issued a new ID, he/she is required to upload it in the Portal.Recognition of professional qualifications