Recognition: Austria

Music Therapy has been recognised in law since 2008.

You need professional authorisation from the Ministry of Health and have professional liability insurance. There are also professional duties to fulfill towards the state, such as continuing education, obligation to keep reports and minutes for at least 10 years.

Specific Law by the Ministry of Health.

A music therapist who obtained his/her diploma abroad should meet exactly the same criteria as those of the Austrian State and should speak German.

  1. Professional authorisation (“Berufsberechtigung”);
  2. Obtain professional liability insurance;
  3. Proof of German language skills (level B2);
  4. Two ways to work as an MT in Austria: “co-responsible” = BA, in an institution (under the “control” of a team); “autonomous/independent” (“eigenverantwortlich”) = MA (former “Diplom”), allowed to work in a private practice;
  5. Professional duties towards the state;
  6. Membership in one of the associations is not mandatory;
  7. Keep to the ethics and professional guidelines, written by the Federal Ministry of Health.

The process took 20 years:

  1. The training facilities (Vienna and Krems) decided to collaborate; 2)
  2. The idea to join with other arts therapies was ruled out since these fields are not trained at universities;
  3. Lobbying (political level, health);
  4. “We need a law for 8 million Austrians to be protected against unprofessional therapeutic work”;
  5. LUCK – in 2008, the EU Soccer Cup took place in Austria and the law was waved through quickly because of this event.
  1. The training facilities of Vienna and Krems decided to collaborate, in spite of differences;
  2. Lobbying;
  3. Clear: an important discrepancy between the fact the country had a famous and historical university training in the field of MT, but people who trained there were not entitled to work once they had their diploma;
  4. Shift in the argument at some point: not anymore “we need a law for some 100 MTs”, but: “we need a law for 8 million Austrians in order for them to be protected against unprofessional therapeutic work”;
  5. LUCK.
  1. It takes a lot of motivation, energy and patience;
  2. Persevere, don’t get discouraged, seek allies in official bodies.

Contact the Country Representative for Austria