Last updated on 8 September 2021
A formal qualification attained in a country other than Italy may be recognised by means of the procedure to grant equivalence with Italian formal qualifications for all legal purposes.
The request for equivalence of foreign qualifications corresponding to formal qualifications awarded in Italy at the end of lower and upper secondary education must be submitted to the Regional Education Office in your region of residence.
The equivalence of a qualification is always and in any case valid. However, to make the foreign qualification valid exclusively in the context of a specific competition procedure, in the event there is no order requiring equivalence with legal effect, it is possible to request equivalence for professional purposes; this will make a given foreign school leaving certificate ‘equivalent for competition purposes’ to an Italian lower or upper secondary education certificate only and exclusively for the purpose of participating in the competition to which the request applies.
Participation in open competitions that require a lower or upper secondary education certificate
To take part in competitive selection procedures announced by public administrations for the purpose of employment in the civil service, an application may be submitted in accordance with the equivalence procedure under Article 38 of Legislative Decree 165/2001.
This procedure involves evaluating the foreign qualification held by the applicant to establish its equivalence to the Italian qualification required by a specific notice of competition, i.e. to a lower secondary education certificate or an upper secondary education certificate.
The equivalence procedure is only activated for the open competition in which the applicant wishes to participate, and therefore it is mandatory to attach the notice of competition in question to the application; hence, a single application cannot be accepted for multiple competition procedures.
Equivalence pursuant to Article 38 of Legislative Decree 165/2001 may NOT be granted in the case of competition procedures intended for the recruitment of ‘regulated professions’ such as teachers.
It should be pointed out, moreover, that the Ministry of Education does not have competence concerning the procedure for the equivalence of academic qualifications for competition purposes; the Ministry of Universities and Research has competence in this area.
Who can apply for equivalence pursuant to Article 38 of Legislative Decree 165/2001?
All Italian and EU citizens who hold a qualification obtained in a European Union country other than Italy may request equivalence for their foreign qualification for the purposes of a competition; this also applies to non-EU citizens who meet the following requirements:
- holders of an EU residence permit for long-term residents;
- refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection;
- non-EU family members of European Union citizens, those holding a right of residence or right of permanent residence.
How to submit the application (Article 38)
The entity responsible for the equivalence procedure set out in Article 38 is the Public Administration Department – Office for Organisation and Public Employment – Recruitment and Mobility Service. This Department is responsible for making the relevant determination after hearing the opinion of the Ministry of Education – Department for Education and Training – DG for Education Regulations and the Evaluation and Internationalisation of the National Education System – Office VIII.
The application includes submission of the completed form provided along with the provision of the necessary documents. It must be sent exclusively via certified email (PEC) by the deadline in the competition notice to which the request applies, to both the Public Administration Department (certified email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) and the Ministry of Education (certified email: email@example.com ).
Participation in recruitment procedures announced by entities of a private legal nature (Article 12, Law 29/2006 and Article 48, Presidential Decree 394/1999)
The evaluation of foreign qualifications for the purpose of their correspondence with Italian qualifications, pursuant to Article 12 of Law No 29 of 25 January 2006 and Article 48 of Presidential Decree 394/1999, is carried out by the Ministry of Education – Department for Education and Training – DG for Education Regulations and the Evaluation and Internationalisation of the National Education System – Office VIII for procedures that do not come under selection procedures for employment in the public sector, i.e. cases in which having a formal qualification is required for taking part in a course/competition announced by entities of a private legal nature.
All Italian, EU and non-EU citizens may submit an application, by completing the form provided and providing the necessary documents. It must be sent exclusively via certified email, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The applicant will be granted the equivalence (statement of correspondence) of the foreign qualification to the Italian qualification relating to lower and upper secondary education certificates, which will be valid only and exclusively for the course or competition stated on the application form.