Doctor's certificate

When do you need a doctor's certificate?

You need a doctor's certificate if you cannot attend an exam due to illness and in connection with certain applications for exemption. A doctor's certificate is a written statement by your doctor. The certificate is a medical assessment of your state of health, illness or other medical conditions based on one or several consultations with a doctor.

Guidelines for doctor's certificates

The content requirements for a doctor’s certificate vary depending on the type of exemption you are applying for. The board of studies will determine whether the documentation constitutes sufficient basis for granting an exemption.

Generally speaking, a doctor's certificate can be used as documentation if it includes the following four components:

1. Time 

  • The period that the doctor's certificate covers should be clearly stated.

  • It should also be stated whether you had a consultation with your doctor during the period covered by the doctor's certificate. This is not an issue if the doctor's certificate was issued on the day of the consultation, but if a doctor's certificate concerns past conditions, failure to include the date of the consultation means that the board of studies will not attribute as much importance to the information provided.

2. Medical Assessment

  • What is the illness/diagnosis? Specifying a diagnosis is not a requirement, but an unspecified reference to "illness" or similar may be attributed significantly less importance when the board of studies makes its decision, compared with specifying the exact illness.

  • The medical assessment should always state how the illness affects your ability to complete your study programme. The board of studies may find it difficult to assess the consequences of a given illness/diagnosis, and it therefore follows from the above-mentioned guidelines that the doctor must provide the information necessary for the board of studies to make a decision.

3. Source of information

  • It is essential that each piece of information in the doctor's certificate is clearly attributable either to yourself, to patient records or to the doctor's examination.

4. Prognosis

  • How long does the doctor expect you to be affected by the medical condition? What are the prospects for recovery? Is there anything you can do to improve the condition?
  • Specifying the prognosis is also important in the case of chronic illnesses, as the board of studies can then take older doctor's certificates into account.

Duty of confidentiality

Note that the board of studies and the administration are subject to a duty of confidentiality, and there is therefore no risk associated with being open and honest about any medical condition. It is in everyone's interest that your application be treated fairly and justly on the basis of your circumstances, but this is only possible if the necessary information is provided.

Legal capacity – who can issue a doctor's certificate?

It is important to the processing of your case that the doctor's certificate is comprehensive and issued by a medical doctor who’s legal capacity/impartiality cannot be questioned. As a general rule, the Nat-Tech Studies Administration will not accept doctor's certificates issued by immediate family members/relatives.

This means that you cannot, for example, submit a doctor's certificate issued by a closely related family member/relative, even if this person is your general practitioner or similar. You should instead contact a doctor who is not an immediate family member/relative in order to receive a doctor's certificate from an impartial doctor.