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  7. Recognition/validation of non-university vocational education qualifications and studies, from other countries

Recognition/validation of non-university vocational education qualifications and studies, from other countries


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Table of contents

General information



This procedure is for applying to have non-university qualifications and studies from other countries, recognised or validated with Spanish vocational education equivalents.


  • For foreign non-university qualifications or studies to be recognised, they must be declared as equivalent to qualifications in the current Spanish education system.

  • The validation of foreign studies with the equivalent non-university vocational education modules in Spain for the purpose of continuing studies at a Spanish Centre of education.

Foreign qualifications or studies in vocational education that can be recognised or validated

Recognition or validation may be requested by persons who have completed studies in a foreign education system.

To be recognised or validated, qualifications or studies must meet the following requirements:

  • Studies completed or qualifications obtained must be officially valid in the education system of the country in question.

  • If the studies have been completed in a foreign centre of education located in Spain, that centre must be fully authorised to provide these studies by the relevant education authority in Spain.BOE

  • The qualification must correspond to studies duly approved in the education system of the country issuing it. A foreign qualification obtained through a process of recognition, validation or conversion in a third country will not be accepted for approval in Spain.

  • There must be sufficient equivalence with the corresponding Spanish studies or qualification, on the academic level and with regard to the duration and content of the required studies.

  • The foreign studies must have been passed and fully completed in the education system of the other country. Individual subjects will not be validated.

  • Applicants cannot have previously obtained the same qualification or studies in the Spanish education system for which they are seeking recognition or validation.

  • The studies being submitted by the applicant must not have been included in an approved recognition or validation procedure relating to another Spanish qualification. The same foreign studies cannot lead to the recognition of two Spanish qualifications corresponding to different courses of study.

Spanish vocational education qualifications which can be validated with foreign non-university studies

  • Basic vocational qualification

  • Technician qualification

  • Senior Technician qualification

More informationNueva ventana

Bodies in charge of processing and issuing decisions

The recognition or validation of vocational education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Education, except if the applicant lives in the autonomous communities of Galicia, Catalonia or the Basque Country, in which case the applicant must contact the relevant body in that autonomous community. Rules on recognising and validating qualifications.Nueva ventana



Deadline for submitting applications

Open permanently

This is done via the ‘Access to the online service’ button at the top of this page.

Required documentation for the recognition or validation process

The application is made through the button "Access to online processing service" at the top of the page.

Mandatory documents to be submitted with the application (the documents must be official and, where appropriate, duly legalised and accompanied by official translations into Spanish). Files can be accepted in .pdf, .zip, .rar, .jpg, .img or .tiff format.

  • Proof of payment of the fee, except where the request concerns a basic vocational qualification.

  • Identity card (TIN / Passport / NIE / other document). The TIN or NIE does not have to be provided if the data subject consents to the verification of identity data through the Data Verification System established by Royal Decree 522/2006 of 28 April, in which case this consent must be expressly indicated.

  • As appropriate, an original letter from the person concerned authorising the representative to act in their name, together with the document attesting to their identity (TIN / Passport / NIE / other document). It is not necessary to provide an ID document (TIN / Passport / NIE / other document) if the applicant gives their consent to have the identity data verified through the Data Verification System established by Royal Decree 522/2006 of 28 April, in which case this consent must be expressly indicated.

  • Name of the Spanish vocational education qualification regulated by this Ministry in force at the date of the application, for which recognition/validation of the studies is requested. More information from the qualifications catalogue (Todofp Nueva ventana) on the Ministry of Education and Vocational Education website.

  • Official qualification or, where appropriate, official attestation of having passed the corresponding final exams, prior to legalisation and translation if necessary.

  • Official document from the official education authorities of the country in which the studies were completed which: states that the awarded qualification/diploma is an academic qualification or diploma in the education system of that country, indicates the corresponding level of studies in that education system, indicates the level of general studies required to be admitted to those completed vocational studies, and subsequent studies to which they give access.

  • Official certificate attesting to the foreign studies, indicating the official duration of the study programme followed, the subjects taken and the academic years in which they were completed. If the number of hours for the subjects is expressed in terms of weekly or monthly hours, credits, etc., the equivalences must be included so that the total hours completed can be clarified, before legalisation and translation if necessary.

Additional recommended documentation

  • Certification attesting to pre-professional practical experience. This does not require legalisation.

  • Certification attesting to additional training directly related to the training being recognised or validated. This does not require legalisation.

  • Work experience certificates for work related to the studies being recognised or validated, with details of the duration of employment and a description of the tasks performed. This does not require legalisation.

Important: additionally, the education authority may require any documents that it considers necessary for accrediting equivalence between the studies completed abroad and the Spanish qualification or studies concerned in the validation. This includes completed programmes, and foreign language training (when it is required as a professional competence for the qualification being validated).

Legalisation of documents issued abroad

All documents relating to these procedures must be official and issued by the competent authorities, in accordance with the legal system of the country concerned.

Legalisation is the procedure for validating the signatures of authorities signing a document to attest their authenticity, so that they can be filed in a third country. In the case of education qualifications or academic certificates, the legalisation generally consists of recognising the signature of the educational authority issuing the original document (not the signature endorsing its translation).

No legalisation is required for documents issued in the Member States of the European Union or signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Likewise, documents issued by Switzerland under a bilateral agreement with the European Union are also exempt from legalisation.

Information on Brexit.

In other cases, documents issued abroad being submitted for validation in these procedures must be duly legalised in accordance with the following:

  • Documents issued in countries which have signed the Hague ConventionNueva ventana of 5 October 1961. The single legalisation or ‘apostille’ issued by the relevant authorities of the country is sufficient.

  • Documents issued in other countries: These must be legalised through diplomatic channels. For this purpose, the generally established procedure is as follows:

    • The Ministry of Education of the country of origin for degrees and study certificates.

    • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where these documents were issued.

    • The diplomatic or consular representation of Spain in that country.

Translation of documents

Article 15(1) of Law 39/2015 of 1 October on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations states that the language of procedures handled by the General State Administration shall be Spanish. Accordingly, official translations into Spanish must be provided for any documents issued abroad being submitted for consideration in the validation procedures of foreign non-university studies.

Official translations may be done by:

  • Sworn translators, duly authorised and registered in Spain.Nueva ventana

  • Any diplomatic or consular representation of Spain abroad.

  • The diplomatic or consular representation in Spain of the country in which the applicant is a resident or, as appropriate, of the country in which the document was issued.

  • An official translator living abroad whose signature has been duly legalised.

Submitting the application

  • If you have an e-certificate:

    • You can register on the e-portal and your application will be processed and all notifications relating to your file will be handled through the portal. The declaration of honourPDF must be completed in which the applicant certifies that the submitted information is true, and that they have the original documentation required for the application procedure.

  • If you do not have an e-certificate, you can register on the e-portal with your ID card, NIE, passport or other form of identification, and you can download your application with all your data to submit it in one of the following two ways:

    • In any of the support offices for registering with the General State Administration, the autonomous communities, local authorities, post offices and diplomatic representations or consular offices of Spain abroad. You will have to provide the original documents and the registration unit will digitise them.

    • By post to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Education, Secretariat-General for Vocational Education, Subdirectorate for the Planning and Innovation of Vocational Education, C/ Los Madrazo, 15-17 C.P. 28014 Madrid. You must provide verified copies (by notary, consular offices, etc.). Original documents must never be submitted.

All applications received by the abovementioned means without an e-certificate will be added to the e-portal so as to permit electronic notifications on the status of the file, in accordance with Royal Decree 203/2021 of 30 March 2007 approving the Regulation on the operation and functioning of the public sector by electronic means.BOE The aim is to improve administrative efficiency, increase transparency and participation, ensure user-friendly digital services and improve legal certainty for citizens.

Applications and submissions may be submitted to any of the administrations mentioned in Article 16(4) of Law 39/2015 of 1 October on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations. Consulting the registration officesNueva ventana

Additional information about the application

Article 15(2) of Royal Decree 104/1988 of 29 January provides that education centres may grant conditional admission to those students whose validation or recognition procedures have commenced and are pending decisions on the dates on which the corresponding admission periods end.

To allow such registration or official examinations to go ahead, applications can be accompanied by a conditional registration note signed by the applicant or their legal representative, and stamped by the Registry unit where the application has been submitted. The issue of this note is done at the personal responsibility of the applicant and does not affect the final decision on the file. In the event that the decision to validate does not issue, the conditional registration and the results of examinations done for that purpose shall cease to have effect.

Final decision



Decisions on the recognition or validation files are made by Order of the Minister of this Ministry, signed by delegation by the holder of the office of General-Secretariat for Vocational Education.

According to Article 11 of Royal Decree 104/1988 of 29 January on the recognition and validation of foreign qualifications and studies in non-university education, ‘the decision on the recognition or validation files shall be taken within a maximum of three months, starting from the date on which the file is duly completed’.

The content of the recognition or validation orders is contained in individual credentials issued by the Subdirectorate-General for the Organisation and Innovation of Vocational Education, which will be issued electronically to the parties concerned. This will have the same effects as the documentation required of students in the Spanish education system to prove that they have successfully completed the studies in question or, where appropriate, that they have the corresponding Spanish qualification.

The failure to resolve the recognition or validation files within the time limit has the effect of a refusal, in accordance with Additional Provision 29 of Law 14/2000 of 29 December on fiscal, administrative and social order measures.BOE

This tacit refusal has the sole effect of permitting the filing of the corresponding appeals, through administrative or contentious administrative channels. The Administration’s obligation to issue an express decision, which is not linked to the administrative silence, is maintained.

Information subsequent to the final decision

The decision in the procedure closes the administrative channel and may be challenged either by an administrative appeal before the same administrative body that issued it, or an appeal before the administrative courts.

Notification of the decision to the applicant includes information on the legal remedies available, the body to which they should be addressed and the time limit for doing so.

Additional information



Queries on the procedure can be made by any of the means listed on the Administrative Information page Nueva ventana

SIA Information

  • Title of the procedure: Homologación/convalidación de títulos y estudios extranjeros no universitarios de Formación Profesional
  • Code: 2214991

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