Professional qualifications, diplomas and further training are highly valued in almost all professions in Switzerland. Foreign diplomas are not always recognised. Language skills and employment certificates from previous employers are also extremely important when looking for work.
Knowledge of German is an important prerequisite for almost every job in German-speaking Valais. Because Valais is a bilingual canton, a good knowledge of French is often requested in job advertisements. Because it is internationally recognised, English is often used by large companies for internal and external communication. For jobseekers in the tourism sector, additional language skills are advantageous, depending on the area of activity.
You can have a foreign diploma or degree recognised to confirm its equivalence to a Swiss diploma or degree. In the case of regulated professions (nurses, teachers, etc.), foreign qualifications must be recognised for their holder to be allowed to practise. The applicable conditions and governing bodies vary depending on the profession and training in question. Recognition is subject to a fee, with the employer bearing the costs in many cases. In the case of non-regulated professions, recognition of diplomas and degrees is not necessary, but you can nonetheless request a confirmation certificate. This demonstrates the equivalent level of the foreign diploma in the Swiss education system and can help with job searches. Further information can be obtained from the National Contact Point or the Vocational, Academic and Careers Guidance (Berufs-, Studien- und Laufbahnberatung).
Recognition of Foreign Qualifications / www.sbfi.admin.ch
Regulated Professional Activities / www.sbfi.admin.ch
Vocational, Academic and Careers Guidance (Berufs-, Studien- und Laufbahnberatung) / www.vs.ch
Recommendations of recognition / www.swissuniversities.ch
Professional licence to practise as a doctor
According to the applicable legal provisions, doctors who wish to work in Valais require a professional licence (Berufsausübungsbewilligung – BAB) from the Canton of Valais. The Department of Health issues three different BABs:
- self-employed (in your own name and independently)
- dependent (employed, professionally responsible)
- doctor in continuing education
Retrospective vocational qualification
Adults with professional experience who do not have a recognised diploma or degree can obtain a Swiss qualification through vocational education and training or professional education and training. The procedure varies depending on previous education, professional experience and age.