More information about recognition procedures

There are 3 different procedures for recognizing a foreign diploma. Each procedure has several steps. The order of the steps, the requirements and the evidence requested, differ per procedure. Which procedure applies to your situation, depends on the country in which your diploma was obtained and your profession. Always follow the advice wizard first to see which procedure applies to you. Find more information about the different procedures via the links below. Because a number of things apply to all procedures, we advise you to first consult the information further down this page.

Information meetings and consultation hours

You may run into some questions while preparing the application. For example, about how to submit an application, any tests or about the mandatory documents that you must submit. Information meetings are therefore organized for all three procedures.

For the procedures 'Recognition of Professional Qualifications' (Erkenning van Beroepskwalificaties) and 'Certificate of Competence' (Verklaring van Vakbekwaamheid), it is also possible to ask questions to an employee of 'Recognition Foreign Diplomas' during an appointment of half an hour. Read more about participating in the consultation hour Recognition of Professional Qualifications and the consultation hour Certificate of Competence.

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. In the 'Certificate of competence' procedure you must provide proof of Dutch language proficiency (reading, speaking, writing and listening) with your application. You must also provide proof of English reading skills.

Does the 'Recognition of professional qualifications' procedure applie to you? Then you must provide proof of language proficiency, when you apply for a BIG-registration after your diploma has been recognized.

With the 'Automatic recognition' procedure, you must immediately submit proof of language proficiency if you also want to be immediately registered in the BIG register.

Read more about language proficiency, where you can learn Dutch and the required level.


If you want to work in one of the BIG professions, registration in the BIG-register is necessary. If your diploma is recognized via the 'Recognition of professional qualifications' and 'Certificate of competence' procedures, you must apply for BIG-registration after completing the recognition procedure. With the 'Automatic recognition' procedure, it is possible to arrange recognition and registration in one request.

More information about (applying for) BIG registration can be found in each procedure on top of this page.

This page was last updated on December 22, 2023

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

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