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Responsible for the service Finnish National Agency for Education

Qualification of special needs teacher

  • Professional qualification
  • Nationwide
  • Public service

Special needs teacher provides special education in different forms of education.

Do the following

When applying for a decision from the Finnish National Agency for Education

  1. Fill in the electronic application from according to the instructions.
  2. Attach the required documents.
  3. Send the application to Finnish National Agency for Education.

Required documents

When submitting your application, enclose copies of the following documents:

  • Degree/qualification certificate
  • transcript of studies
  • Proof of nationality, e.g. an extract from the Population Information System in Finland or copy of the ID page of your passport
  • Document verifying name change (if applicable).
  • If you are an EU/EEA national and you apply for recognition of professional qualifications obtained in an EU/EEA member state, you can also enclose certificates of professional experience and certificates of life-long learning.

Required translations

Provide a translation of each document into Finnish, Swedish or English if the original document is in a language other than Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Icelandic, French, German, Norwegian or Spanish. The translator must be an authorised translator in Finland or an official translator in the source country, working in the language pair in question. Translations done by the body that has issued the original document are also accepted.

To whom and on what terms

If you have completed a qualification of a special needs teacher abroad and want to qualify as a special needs teacher in Finland, apply for a decision on eligibility from the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The decision-making process can be influenced by whether you have completed a degree in an EU or EEA country, or whether you are a national of an EU or EEA country or another country.

The recognition decision of the Finnish National Agency for Education will provide eligibility for the profession in terms of education. There are also language requirements for special education teachers.

You can contact the Finnish National Agency for Education for more information on decision-making criteria.

Processing time

The Finnish National Board of Education is obliged to make the decisions on the recognition of professional qualifications within four months of receipt of all documents. For other decisions, the law does not specify a maximum processing time. The processing of an application takes on average 2-3 months counting from the date on which all the necessary documents were provided.

Background information

Finnish National Agency for Education decides on the eligibility that a foreign qualification gives for positions in the early childhood education and care, teaching, fire and rescue services, and positions for which a Master of Laws degree completed in Finland is required.

The service is provided by

Finnish National Agency for Education

Responsible for the service

Finnish National Agency for Education
Text edited by: Finnish National Agency for Education
Updated: 4/12/2023