Recognition of qualifications from other countries

In Spain there are 3 procedures for the recognition of studies carried out in another country:

  • Accreditation
  • Equivalence
  • Validation

Opting for one or other of the procedures will depend, solely, on the studies that you wish to have recognised.

The accreditation procedure is an option when the qualification that is to be recognised falls within the group known as regulated professions. Regulated professions can be found in Annex 1 Law967/2014 2 1st November which contains a list of 36 professions.

The equivalence procedure is an option when recognition of an unregulated profession is sought (those that do not appear on the list in Annex 1 of the Law)

Validation is official academic recognition of higher studies that allows the applicant to continue their studies in a Spanish university. The objective here is not to validate a qualification that has already been attained but rather a group of subjects taken or passed in another country. In this case, the competent authority would be the Spanish university that the applicant has chosen for continuing their studies.

Validation competency levels for each level

Basque Government (non-university studies)

  • Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate
  • First year of the Higher Secondary Education Course
  • Higher Secondary Education Certificate
  • Vocational training courses
  • Artistic studies and special status

Ministry of Education

  • University qualifications


Accreditation and equivalence of qualifications from foreign universities

Anyone can request that their higher education qualifications awarded in another country be recognised.

Recognition and equivalence of grants official validation to these qulifications in Spain for the same official and academic effect for which the qualification is recognised from the date on which recognition is granted. In some cases, this recognition might be subject to the fulfilment of additional educational requirements.

The Spanish Ministry of Education is where applications should be made, the accrediting documents presented and the corresponding fees paid.

Those residing in the Basque Country may apply for the recognition and validation of their non-university studies carried out in another country. To do so they must present their census registration certificate from the corresponding city or town council.


To find out what the equivalent studies are equivalent tables by country can be consulted.

For employment reasons, recognition of studies completed in another country in years previous to the 4th year of Compuslory Secondary Education, equivalent to that of the Spainish ones can be applied for.


The application including all the necessary documentation and the payment of the fee should be presented through Zuzenean.

Further information

With regard to accreditation , in Bizkaia there is a specialised body which can be consulted free of charge for further information and guidance: