The National Board of Health and Welfare is a government agency under the Ministry of Social Affairs with a wide range of activities relating to social services and health care. Most of our operations are directed at staff, managers and decision-makers in these areas.

Those who work in certain occupations in health care must have a certificate. The fact that a profession is regulated means that one can have the exclusive right to a profession, or that the professional title or specialist designation is protected.

Those who are trained in any of the regulated professions can apply for a certificate to work in health care.

Persons practicing regulated professions

  • has an independent professional function with qualified duties

  • has a particular responsibility for patient safety in care

  • can apply directly to the public, for example as a free professional

  • can have their credentials withdrawn if they misbehave seriously.

The Patient Safety Act (2010: 659) contains provisions on identification, exclusive right to occupation, protected professional title and protected specialist designation. It is a criminal offense to work in a profession for which you have no credentials.

Protected professional title means that the title may only be used by the person who has a credential. It is a criminal offense to use a title for which you do not have credentials.

For example, anyone who has a credential is required to

  • practice the profession according to science and proven experience

  • keeping patient records

  • report to the caregiver if a patient in connection with care, treatment or examination has suffered or is at risk of serious injury or illness.

Source: National Board of Health and Welfare