Foreign diploma

Do you have an international qualification and do you want to work in the Dutch healthcare sector? This is only possible when your training is at least equivalent to a Dutch diploma. There are several procedures. Which procedure applies to you depends on the country in which you obtained your diploma, your nationality and your profession.

First, watch the video about recognition of a foreign diploma. This will give you an idea of what to expect.

Last updated on the 19th of October 2021

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Registering a foreign diploma. Why is that necessary?

If you want to work in the Netherlands with a foreign diploma you have to meet the quality requirements of the Dutch healthcare system.

For some professions registration in the BIG register is required.

Often the diploma must be recognised first.

So now what? It depends on the situation, such as the country where you obtained the diploma.

Use the advice wizard, then you know exactly what steps you have to take.

If you want to work with patients you must speak good Dutch. So wait with your application until your Dutch is up to standard.

The advice wizard tells you the conditions you have to meet.

(A clock indicates the time.)

Take your time over taking good care.

(The Dutch coat of arms, next to: CIBG. Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. On-screen text: Take your time over taking good care.)

The procedures

  1. Automatic recognition with direct enrolment in the BIG register
    This procedure applies to a number of diplomas obtained in an EU Member State or Switzerland. Through this procedure, you will also be entered directly into the BIG register.
  2. Recognition of professional qualifications
    This procedure generally applies to applicants with a non-automatically recognised diploma obtained in an EU Member State or Switzerland.
  3. Procedure Certificate of competence
    This procedure generally applies to applicants with a diploma obtained outside the EU or Switzerland.

The Advice Wizard helps you along

Follow the Advice Wizard and see what procedure applies to you in your situation. Please note! The advice guide gives a global advice. Sometimes it happens that a different procedure has to be followed.

Proof of language proficiency

As a healthcare professional working in the Netherlands, it is important that you have sufficient command of the Dutch language. That way there will be no miscommunication between you and your patients or clients. Therefore, you need a proof of language proficiency. What type of proof you need depends on where you obtained your diploma. Read more about the proof of language proficiency.

Because sufficient command of the Dutch language is necessary, most communication from de BIG register will be in Dutch.

Commission for Foreign Healthcare Graduates

The Commission for Foreign Healthcare Graduates (CBGV) is an independent committee that advises the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). On request, the CBGV makes recommendations about the content of courses of education and training followed.

In the case of applicant doctors, dentists and nurses, the CBGV bases its recommendation on the assessment. In the case of other professions, the CBGV bases its advice on the applicant’s file.

The BIG register occasionally requests an advice about the legitimacy of a diploma or an appraisal of the educational level of a course. The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) carries out appraisals of higher professional education and university courses.

Other courses, such as those in secondary vocational education (mbo), are appraised by the Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (SBB).

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