Authenticating your qualifications
In order to be recognized abroad, qualifications obtained in Belgium must be authenticated. This means that the signature which appears on diplomas, qualifications and certificates must be verified.
Generally, the authentication procedure takes place in three successive steps:
1. Authentication by the competent Community:
In some cases, it is the municipal authority in the municipality where the educational establishment is located which is responsible for authentication.
- Authentication in the French Community (in French)
- Authentication in the Flemish Community
- Site of the German-speaking Community (in German)
2. Authentication by the FPS Foreign Affairs
The procedure varies according to the country in which you wish to demonstrate your qualifications. The FPS Foreign Affairs offers a search engine which will tell you what steps to take depending on the type of document and the country chosen.
3. Authentication by the embassy of the destination country
Find an embassy using the site www.diplomatie.be.
- Authentication does not constitute a guarantee as to the contents of a qualification. It merely guarantees the authenticity of the signature on the document.
- Qualifications issued by private schools cannot be authenticated by the Communities.
Recognition of qualifications in Europe
The Bologna reform took effect in Belgium in September 2004. This European declaration aiming to harmonise higher studies should facilitate the recognition of qualifications issued by one European state in another.
See under "European harmonisation".
1. NARIC Centres and ENIC network
The NARIC Centres (National Academic Recognition and Information Centres) form a European network of national centres whose purpose is to provide information about the recognition of qualifications in Europe. The centres also work together with the ENIC network (European Network of National Information Centres) established by the European commission and UNESCO.
Europass is a free service for demonstrating the skills and qualifications of European citizens. Europass provides standardised documents describing qualifications, language skills and experience abroad (e.g. Erasmus programmes). Every European country has a national Europass centre (in French, Dutch or German).
The document issued by Europass does not constitute the official recognition of a qualification. It is a tool making it possible to demonstrate one's skills in a way which is comprehensible in other Member States.