Anpassungslehrgang vs. Kenntnisprüfung

To work as a nurse in Germany, you will have to go through your nursing qualification’s recognition process. There are two outcomes possible: a positive report (full recognition), or a deficient report (partial recognition).


Positive Report means your Professional Qualification is considered equivalent to the German nursing qualification. With this recognition, you can receive the same professional rights as nurses with a German professional qualification. To obtain the German nurse license, “Urkunde”, you only need to provide the authority with your B2 Language Certificate, a Doctors Note, and a Police Clearance. Bear in mind that the waiting time for receiving this license is around four weeks, and you can only apply for it when you arrive in Germany.


Negative Report „Defizitbescheid“ is, in other words, a partial recognition and means there are Substantial Differences identified in your Equivalence assessment that remain despite your Professional Experience and other knowledge and skills. In this case, the Competent Authority specifies a Compensation Measure that needs to be completed to compensate for the substantial differences.


This measure can be an Adaptation Period „Anpassungslehrgang“ or a Knowledge Test „Kenntnisprüfung“. So, you are probably wondering now, what is the difference between these two measures, and which is better? Take a look at our infographic: 


We hope you can see more clearly now that each one of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and there is no clear answer to which one is better. We can say that most of the elderly care homes organize Kentnissprüfung and the hospitals tend to offer Anpassungslehrgang.


There is a misconception that Kentnissprüfung is harder than Anpassungslehrgang. Often, this is because the nurses who choose the Kentnissprüfung don’t speak and understand the German language on the required level (minimum B2). It means they fail the exam as a consequence of that.


But bear in mind that when you decide on Anpassungslehrgang, you will need the same German knowledge as in the case of Kentnissprüfung. If you can’t understand the language, you might have difficulties passing the tasks your employer gives you, and you might not pass the adaptation period. The only conclusion is that the German language is the key to successful passing both measures. 


If you don’t feel confident about your German language skills, we offer courses on different levels designed especially for nurses. Interested? Then drop us a message to:


Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash


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