Eligibility requirements in the public sector

The measures to update the eligibility requirements have been agreed as part of the action plan on reducing the municipalities’ tasks and obligations. The educational system will be developed to make the possibilities to meet the eligibility requirements more flexible. The sectoral ministries will be responsible for updating the eligibility requirements.


NB: This project has ended and the webpage will no longer be updated.

Relaxing the criteria for professional competence

In April 2017, the Government’s mid-term policy review session tasked the Ministry of Education and Culture with reporting on the occupations or positions for which the criteria for professional competence could be further relaxed. In accordance with the tasking, the Ministry invited administrative branches to give their opinions on the occupations for which the statutory qualification requirements could be either removed completely or made less stringent. The requests for action (OKM/46/592/2017) were submitted to the ministries in June 2017 and January 2019.

Ministries had already identified all regulated professions in their administrative branches in 2014 and 2015 as part of the national implementation of the updates to Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. According to the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (1384/2015), a regulated profession refers to a post or position which requires the person pursuing or practising it to fulfil certain qualification requirements as laid down in an act. However, the ministries’ reports indicated that the definition provided in the Act only covers some of the actual criteria for professional competence. In addition to the statutory requirements, entry into regulated professions may be subject to other qualification requirements based on the ministries’ guidelines or determined by municipalities. Moreover, many administrative branches are governed by regulations that are based on EU law and therefore cannot be relaxed by national measures.

Provisions on the regulated professions in Finland have been mostly laid down in the legislation governing the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s administrative branch. With the exception of the education sector, there is little regulation in the other sectors and,  according to the reports the ministries submitted in 2017 and 2019, regulation has already been streamlined to some extent in recent years. The current legislation has been considered appropriate for example for the purposes of ensuring client and patient safety, public security, equality and non-discrimination. For these reasons, it has not been deemed justified to further relax the rules on the regulated professions specified in the Act on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications.


  • The current situation of the eligibility requirements and the requirements of the Professional Qualifications Directive were surveyed in autumn 2015.
  • Reducing the municipalities' tasks.

Contact information

Katri Tervaspalo, opetusneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan osasto ( KTPO ), Division for Higher Education Policy 0295330084