Obtaining a licence if you are educated outside EU and EEA

If you would like to practice as a psychotherapist in Sweden, you will need a Swedish licence. The title psychotherapist is protected by law. In other words, you may refer to yourself as a psychotherapist only if you have a licence. To obtain a licence you need to learn Swedish.

New system for authorisation as psychotherapist

The National Board of Health and Welfare has a new system for authorisation of psychotherapist that enteres into force on July 1st 2021. If you apply for an assessment of your education abroad, your application will be processed within the new system. The new system does not offer a proficiency test. This means that your education needs to be more similar to the Swedish psychotherapist education than before.

The new system for authorisation contains four steps:

  1. Apply for an assessment of your education abroad.
  2. Learn Swedish.
  3. Take a course in Swedish laws and regulations.
  4. Do internship to become a psychotherapist.

We will publish more information about the different steps shortly.

Proficiency tests for psychologists

We are processing applications received before July 1st 2021 pursuant to the old system. If you received a decision to take the proficiency test and you wish to do so, you will have the opportunity to take the test for a limited period. When it’s possible to sign up for the test we will publish the information on our website.

Do you wish to transfer to the new system?

If you received a decision to take the proficiency test but wants to get authorisation according to the new system, you will need to apply again. You do not have to send the same documents again. 

How to apply 

 

Apply for a licence through Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare

To get a licence via the National Board of Health and Welfare, you need to go through 5 different steps. Take one step at a time. You start by applying to have your education assessed and in the last step you apply for the licence.

Good to know

  • You do not need to be able to speak Swedish to have your education assessed, step 1. But to pass steps 2–5, you need to be able to speak Swedish. You send a certificate of your language skills at the latest when you apply for licence, step 5.
  • While waiting for our decision you can practice a health care profession that does not require a licence, for example – assistant nurse, dental nurse, pharmaceutical technician.

How long does it take?

The length of time it takes to complete the various steps that lead to a Swedish licence will vary according to your particular situation. Usually it takes 2–4 years.

 

To step 1

You will need to know Swedish

You do not need to be able to speak Swedish to have your education assessed, step 1. But to pass steps 2–5, you need to be able to speak Swedish. You send a certificate of your language skills at the latest when you apply for licence, step 5.

To demonstrate your language skills, you must have an approved grade or certificate in one of the following:

Equivalent proficiency in Norwegian or Danish

Equivalent proficiency in Norwegian or Danish will also satisfy the requirements for Swedish. You will need to provide certification that your language skills meet the entry requirements at a Norwegian or Danish college or university.

What is a licence?

A licence is proof that a practitioner has the skills and qualifications that a profession requires. A total of 22 different healthcare professions demand licences in Sweden. To put it another way, those particular professions are regulated by law. A licence is permanent but may be revoked due to malpractice, gross incompetence or conviction for a serious criminal offence.

If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, residence permit or address

You may obtain a licence even if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, residence permit or address. In order to practice or go to school in Sweden, however, you will have to obtain a residence or work permit from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket). It is important that you notify us when you have received a Swedish social security number so that we can update the information in the register for Healthcare professionals.

Is your education not equivalent to the Swedish?

If you do not have a post-secondary degree or if your education is not equivalent to the system in Sweden, you can go to school to obtain a Swedish degree and then apply for a licence to practice your profession.

Go to universityadmissions.se and studera.nu to learn about application procedures and admission requirements. The college or university that admits you may determine that you can use your previous education to expedite completion of its programme.

Read more about obtaining a licence in Socialstyrelsens föreskrifter och allmänna råd om legitimation för yrke inom hälso- och sjukvården för utbildning från tredjeland (pdf 3,1 MB).

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