Recognition

The Recognition Action Team gathers and shares information about the legal status of  the profession of Music Therapy in European countries. Countries which have already achieved regulation can offer inspiration and experience about their process to support and encourage music therapy associations which are working towards it. This information is also useful for politicians and others involved in quality control of professions, for example. We hope that the European map of countries where legal recognition has been achieved will become more and more colorful in the coming years. 

Recognition Action Team contact email: emtc.recognition@gmail.com

Definitions

Legal recognition

The law recognises this activity (for example, music therapy appears in statistical coding, is listed as an alternative medical profession etc.).

Regulation

The law clearly defines what has to be fulfilled to be able to pursue music therapy activity (for example, having a master degree, completing a certification process, maintaining supervision and continuing professional development hours).

Legal Certification / Registration

A certification / registration that may be legally enforced (e.g. paying a fine for doing music therapy work without being registered).

Association Certification / Registration

A certification / registration imposed by a Music Therapy or Arts Therapy Association without legal consequences.

Overview of Recognition and Regulation Status in EMTC Member Countries

A 2021 survey of EMTC member countries ascertained the status of each country with regard to four questions:

  1. Does the law recognise music therapy?
  2. Does the law clearly define the requirements that must be fulfilled in order to practise music therapy?
  3. Is there a certification or registration process that is enforced in law?
  4. Is there a certification or registration process that is NOT enforced in law but imposed by a music therapy or arts therapy association?

By clicking a country on the map below, you can see the answers to each of these four questions. The countries in green have achieved legal recognition and, in some cases, regulation. Clicking on these countries will show the answers to the four main questions and a link to a page giving more detailed information about the recognition status and the history of how the process developed.

NB. Turkey is a different colour, as it has only a very specific, limited type of legal recognition.

Click on a country to view its recognition status

Click on a country to view its recognition status
Norway Iceland Sweden Finland Ireland United Kingdom France Spain Portugal Belgium Luxembourg Switzerland Italy Netherlands Denmark Germany Estonia Latvia Lithuania Israel Poland Czech Republic Austria Hungary Croatia Serbia Romania Bulgaria Greece Turkey Slovenia Cyprus

Norway

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: NO

Iceland

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: NO

Sweden

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Finland

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Ireland

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

United Kingdom

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-united-kingdom

France

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: yes

Spain

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Portugal

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Belgium

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Luxembourg

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Switzerland

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-switzerland

Italy

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-italy

Netherlands

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Denmark

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: NO

Germany

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Estonia

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-estonia

Latvia

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-latvia

Lithuania

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: PARTLY (only in health care)

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-lithuania

Israel

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Poland

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Czech Republic

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Austria

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: n/a

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-austria

Hungary

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Croatia

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Serbia

1. Legal recognition: YES

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

More information:
emtc-eu.com/recognition-serbia

Romania

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Bulgaria

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: YES

Greece

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: NO

Turkey

Only doctors and dentists may legally use music therapy interventions.

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: YES

3. Legally enforced certification: YES

4. Association imposed certification: NO

Slovenia

1. Legal recognition: NO

2. Legal regulation: NO

3. Legally enforced certification: NO

4. Association imposed certification: ??

Cyprus

Watch this space!

Whilst the map shows information about each individual country, the table below provides an overview of all member countries. You can sort the table by clicking on the arrows at the top of each column.

CountryLegal RecognitionLegal RegulationLegal certification / registrationAssociation certification / registration
AustriaYesYesYesn/a
BelgiumNoNoNoYes
BulgariaNoNoNoYes
CroatiaNoNoNoYes
CyprusWatch this space!Watch this space!Watch this space!Watch this space!
Czech RepublicNoNoNoYes
DenmarkYesNoNoNo
EstoniaYesNoYesn/a
FinlandYesNoNoYes
FranceNoNoNoYes
GermanyNoNoNoYes
GreeceNoNoNoNo
HungaryYesNoNoYes
IcelandNoNoNoNo
IrelandNoNoNoYes
IsraelNoNoNoYes
ItalyYesYesNo
LatviaYesYesYesn/a
LithuaniaYesPartly (only in healthcare)YesNo
LuxembourgNoNoNoYes
NetherlandsNoNoNoYes
NorwayNoNoNoNo
PolandNoNoNoYes
PortugalNoNoNoYes
RomaniaNoNoNoYes
SerbiaYesNoNoYes
SloveniaNoNoNoNo
SpainNoNoNoYes
SwedenNoNoNoYes
SwitzerlandYesYesYesn/a
TurkeyNoYes (only for doctors & dentists)Yes (only for doctors & dentists)No
United KingdomYesYesYesn/a

In November 2021, EMTC Country Representatives from the UK, Latvia and Austria shared their countries’ recognition stories in a presentation to the World Federation of Music Therapy. Katie Roth, the Latvian Country Representative, created the table below to show how it doesn’t matter if a country or association is big or small, rich or poor, old or young. As we compare the three countries of Latvia, the UK and Austria we can see big differences in population, size of association, GDP and the timelines of the development of music therapy, but they have all achieved recognition and regulation.

As you explore the information on this page via the interactive map or table, and discover the factors that facilitated the achievement of recognition in various countries, we hope you find inspiration and encouragement for the development of professional recognition in your own country.

Recognition Action Team Members