The Delegate of the Consiglio Nazionale dell’Ordine degli Psicologi for the application of the Directive 89/48/CEE and for the academic and professionalrecognizement procedures in general is Dott. Fulvio Giardina.




See also the specific laws and regulations in Italy


The access to the profession of psycologist and psycotherapist

In Italy most professional qualifications, that is to say the titles legally required for the practice of the main regulated professions (psychologists, engineers, lawyers, physicians etc.) are subordinated to the possession of a Laurea Degree followed by the successful passing of special state professional examinations, called esami di abilitazione professionale.

The adjudicating commissions consist of university professors and experienced professionals, the latter being chosen from short lists drawn up by the professional organization (Ordine Professionale degli Psicologi). The above professional organization is supervised by the Ministry of Justice, and professional list (Albo degli Psicologi) is submitted to the control of Ordine, whose authority define all specific enrollment conditions.
(See Presidential Act 56/89: “Article 2 Qualifications for the practise of psychology 1. A qualifying State examination in psychology must be passed and the enrollment on the appropriate professional Register is necessary to practise psychology. 3. Graduates in psychology may be admitted to the State examination if in possession of adequate proof of training, in compliance with the formalities determined by a decree of the Ministry of Education”)

The italian Laurea is a non-professional, academic qualification which attributes to its holder the title of Dottore (M) / Dottoressa (F), abbreviated to Dott./Dott.ssa in front of the surname.
List of Psychology – Laurea in Psicologia – courses in Italian Universities / 5 years:

The curriculum organization of Psychology includes a subdivision into 2 main parts: a 1st biennium (2-year period) characterized by basic disciplines, more general in contents, which is then followed by a triennium (3-year period) which is articulated in indirizzi, i.e. groups of more specific disciplines, purposedly selected for specialization. Students must pass an exam for every discipline included in their study plan, and to be awarded the Diploma di Laurea (Laurea Degree) each student has to carry out a research work or project (under the supervision of a university teacher); the written report is called tesi di laurea (Laurea dissertation), it has to be submitted to the specific Laurea Examination Board.

Foreign qualifications, both academic and professional, may be recognized in Italy; applicants may be interested in the recognition of their qualifications for the achievement in the host country of either of two main purposes:

  • pursue further studies (recognition to academic ends)
  • practise a profession (recognition to professional ends).

As a consequence, two recognition typologies are currently in force, shortly defined as academic and professional recognition.
Academic recognition consists in the legal process by which a foreign academic qualification is compared with an Italian one in search for close correspondence of level, study duration, lenght of subject courses, contents of curricula as well as of individual disciplinary subject, etc.; the closer is the correspondence, the more favourable is the recognition of the qualification concerned. The authorities responsible for academic recognition are individual universities.
Professional recognition consists in the official approval of individual foreign professional qualifications so as to authorize their holders to practise in Italy the same professions they were entitled to in their home country; such process is based on the check of the applicant’ professional competence.

The Legal Validity of Italian Study Qualifications and Titles – Academic recognition

In Italy study qualifications and titles awarded by Italian universities or institutions of higher education have legal validity (Legal Ref.: RD 1592/33, art. 167). The article 170 of the above-quoted Decree dictates that academic titles conferred outside of Italy do not have legal validity within the Italian territory. This means that their holders are not entitled either to pursue further academic studies in Italy or to practise qualifying professions for which a specific Italian title is prescribed (psychologist – Legal ref.: L. 56/89); if Italians, they may not even make use of their foreign titles in the original languages, followed by the names of the awarding institutions and countries (in conformity with L. 262/1858, Art. 3, Italian citizens using foreign qualifications that have not been formally recognized in Italy are penally prosecutable). Anyhow, the same Decree grant holders of foreign academic qualifications the possibility of obtaining the corresponding Italian degrees from an Italian university.

Italian academic authories are charged with the task of evaluating those foreign academic qualifications for which a statement of equivalence has been requested so as to decide whether they correspond to the Italian ones or not. Each case is examined individually (indeed, the universities work autonomously in this respect), taking into account not only the qualification in question, but the entire academic career of the applicant. The academic authorities may:

  • issue a statement of equivalence, declaring that the foreign qualification has, in every respect, the same validity as the corresponding title awarded by the universities of the Italian Republic
  • alternatively, grant recognition of comparable disciplinary courses taken abroad, and allow the applicant to sit for the final degree/diploma examination, with total or partial exemtion from the individual semestral or annual exams legally prescibed for the Italian qualification with which the evaluation has been requested and made.

Equivalence of foreign Research Doctorates

Those (Italian and EU citizens) who have obtained research doctorates or similar academic titles at foreign universities may apply for recognition in Italy. Details on recognition procedures and on the dossiers to be attached to each application are available from the followimg office: MURST (Ministero Università), Ufficio V – Dottorati Ricerca, Viale Kennedy 20 – 00144 Roma.