Dutch language proficiency

If you do not have a qualification from a Dutch vocational course relating to the profession for which you want to enrol in the BIG register, you will need to submit other proof of language proficiency. The required level and assessment differs per profession.

The proof of language proficiency

Which proof of language proficiency suits your situation:

I have not attended a Dutch vocational course

  • An authenticated qualification or certificate (with ink stamp and signature) of a Dutch Language Test at the right level. The qualification or certificate must not be older than 2 years;
  • Original or originally authenticated copies of Dutch primary school and secondary school qualifications.

I have a foreign qualification but the course was given in Dutch

This applies in the case of courses given in both Dutch and in a foreign language. You must then submit the following proof:

  • An original (or originally authenticated) syllabus of curriculum which shows that the vocational course was attended in Dutch. You will often receive this syllabus of curriculum when you qualify. If you do not have this syllabus of curriculum (any longer), you can ask the educational institution to provide it.

Education and level of Dutch language proficiency

For nurses, physiotherapists, physician assistants and midwives

Required language level

This relates to the language levels of the Communal European Training Framework.

  • For nurses: language level B1.
  • For physiotherapists, physician assistants and midwives: language level B2.

Who should you contact for the test?

Various providers offer the Dutch language test, for example a university language centre or the Babel Language Institute. You can find information about all the university language centres in the Netherlands on www.nut-talen.eu/leden/.  You can also take the state examinations in Dutch as a second language. These are known as the NT2 state examinations.

From abroad

If you live abroad and have a good command of Dutch, then you can take a 'toets Nederlands als vreemde taal (CNaVT)' (Dutch as a foreign language test). This has to be a test arranged by the Dutch Language Union. The certificate must state: The Board of Tests and Examinations or the Dutch Language Union.

For doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychotherapists, remedial educationalists and healthcare psychologists

This relates to the language level of the Communal European Training Framework.

Required language level and test requirements

  • The language level: B2+.

  • The test must be equal to the Dutch element of the General knowledge and Skills Test [AKV test] for academic medical professions. For example, the test must focus on language and communication skills which are required for healthcare in the Netherlands. You can read more about the relevant elements in the document entitled 'Algemene Informatie Taaltoets Nederlands' (General information on the Dutch Language Test) provided by the Babel Language Institute.

Who should you contact for the test?

A language proficiency test which fulfils the requirements is organised by, for example, the Babel Language Institute. The test can also be carried out by a different organisation in the Netherlands or elsewhere. However, the test must comply with the aforementioned requirements and the language level.