The Commission for Foreign Healthcare Graduates
If you hold a foreign healthcare diploma, you can only work in the Netherlands if your knowledge and skills are at least equivalent in terms of content and level as those of healthcare providers with a diploma obtained in the Netherlands. In order to establish this, your diploma must be recognised. There is a good chance that your application for recognition will be submitted to the Commission for Foreign Healthcare Graduates (Commissie Buitenslands Gediplomeerden Volksgezondheid, or CBGV). This independent committee of experts advises on behalf of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and was established in 1995 to safeguard the quality of Dutch healthcare and guarantee its current level.
In which situations does the CBGV advise
The CBGV advises on applications made by individuals who hold a foreign healthcare diploma and wish to work in the Netherlands in a profession that falls under Article 3, Article 34 or Article 36a of the Dutch Healthcare Professionals Act (Wet BIG). This involves the procedures for recognising EU professional qualifications for diplomas obtained within the EEA and Switzerland and for declaring professional competence in the case of diplomas obtained outside the EEA.
The CBGV also advises on applications from individuals wishing to pursue professional activities on the BES islands and Sint Maarten and on applications for re-registration in the BIG register that involve foreign work experience.
The Commission has a total of 173 members and substitute members. All members of the Commission practise professionally and/or work at training institutions. The members are nominated by professional organisations and training institutions and are personally appointed by the Minister for a period of 4 years. The chair of the CBGV is appointed for the same 4-year period, is independent and has ultimate responsibility for the Commission’s recommendations. The current chair is Mr Bauke Leijenaar MA.
Each profession has its own subcommittee of up to eight members. The committee members who assess your application are your Dutch colleagues and carry out the committee work alongside their professional practice. You can find the names of the members and the nominating bodies in the appointment decision [in Dutch]. The committee members receive a fee for preparing and attending meetings, which are held in Utrecht. The amount of this fee is determined by law.
The CBGV is supported and advised by the Admission & Supervision Department of the CIBG agency, an executive organisation within the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
How the Commission works
Each opinion issued is individual. Once all documents accompanying your application have been received, your file is transferred to the CBGV. Based on the application, accompanying documents and any necessary tests, the Commission assesses whether your education, qualifications and any work experience are at the appropriate level.
Healthcare training in the Netherlands is often different from training provided abroad. The Commission first assesses whether the training programme followed is equivalent to a Dutch training programme in terms of content and level. A diploma can be recognised provided that the main features of your training programme are the same or almost the same as the Dutch training programme. If this is not the case, the Commission will examine whether any differences can be compensated for by means of an additional qualification, training and/or work experience. It is therefore possible for a different opinion to be issued for two applicants who hold the same diploma.
If compensation is not possible by means of additional qualifications or work, this does not automatically result in a negative opinion. In these cases, the CBGV will explore with you the different options for achieving the Dutch level, for example by studying for a complementary qualification or applying for an internship. In most cases, you will be invited to a meeting where the final opinion, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, will be explained to you.
If you are applying for a certificate of professional competence (Verklaring van vakbekwaamheid), the Commission will also look at the results of the General Knowledge and Skills Test (AKV test) and the professional competence assessment (BI test), where applicable. In order to obtain a certificate of professional competence, you must pass the required tests. An important part of the AKV test is proficiency in the Dutch language.
The CBGV can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.