Certificate of competence
This procedure applies in general to healthcare professionals with a qualification obtained in a non-EU member state or Switzerland. All applicants must take the general knowledge and skills test [AKV-toets]. In addition, doctors, dentists and nurses have to take an additional professional test [BI-toets]. Use the advice wizard to check whether this procedure applies for your application. For certain professions it is only possible to apply for BIG registration after obtaining a certificate of competence.
Read the step-by-step plan on this page carefully before you start the application. You will probably first have to make some other preparations before you can start the application.
Certificate of competence
The steps that make up the procedure are shown below.
The procedure in 10 steps
In some steps you can access more detailed information. We recommend that you read that information as well. From the moment you submit the application the procedure lasts an average of one to three years. The time it takes to process the preparations differs per person and situation.
It is important that you properly prepare your application to ensure that your application is processed quickly. The Dutch language proficiency test is, for example, an important part of this procedure. Consequently, you should carefully read the section entitled Preparing the application. There you will find, among other things, information about the required Dutch language proficiency. In addition to this we organise general information meetings about this procedure a number of times per year.
- Complete the general application form and, if applicable, the profession-specific annex.
If you want to have your specialism recognised at the same time, please indicate this on the form.
Print the form and sign section 5.
Add the requested documents. See section 6 of the application form.
Important! Complete the application form in full and add all the documents, otherwise we will not be able to process your application.
You should send the form, any annex(es) and the documents to:
Erkenning buitenlandse diploma’s
PO Box 16114
2500 XP The Hague
You will receive a confirmation of receipt within 2 weeks. You will be notified if any documents are missing.
If your application is complete, an assessment will be carried out of your qualification(s) and overview(s) of subjects.
Assessment of the professions of doctor, nurse and dentist
A check will be carried out to determine the authenticity of these qualifications and overviews of subjects. This will be done by Nuffic. You should first submit an ordinary copy of your qualification with your application. If your application is correct and complete, we will send you a request to send your original qualification and overview of subjects to Nuffic. It is also possible to drop them off in person. Nuffic will let us know about the result of the check. Your documents will be returned by Nuffic.
Important! You should only send your documents to Nuffic if we ask you to do so. Nuffic will charge you if you submit the documents earlier, without waiting for our request.
Assessment of the other professions
An educational assessment will be carried out of applications for all other professions. This assessment will be carried out by Nuffic or by the Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market [Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven] (SBB).
Important! You do not have to arrange for this assessment to be carried out by Nuffic or SBB; we will do that for you.
All applicants must take the general knowledge and skills test [AKV-toets]. Dutch language proficiency is the most important part of the general knowledge and skills test. Passing the general knowledge and skills test is a condition for the assessment procedure to continue. To prepare for this you can attend an information meeting about the general knowledge and skills test. You will have to pay for the test. Read more about the general knowledge and skills test.
The Commission for Foreign Healthcare Graduates [Commissie Buitenlands Gediplomeerden Volksgezondheid] (CBGV) is an independent commission that assesses your application and the results of the general knowledge and skills test and any professional test. It is possible that your application is not approved, or is not approved immediately, for example because you a need to take an additional course, or do an additional work placement. If your application is not approved, or not approved immediately, there is a possibility that the commission will invite you to a meeting. You can read more about the assessment by the commission on the Assessment and decision page.
After we have received the commission's advice, we will first send you a message explaining which decision we intend to take. This is referred to as the intended decision. This decision may be positive or negative. If you do not agree with the intended decision, you will have 2 weeks to respond.
If you do not respond, you will receive the definitive decision after these 2 weeks. If you wish, you can object to this definitive decision. You can read more about the decision on the 'Assessment and decision' page.
The positive decision you have received by post is your certificate of competence. You should therefore keep this document in a safe place.
Recognition of specialism
If you have indicated in the application that you also want to have your foreign specialist qualification recognised, we will also send the positive decision to the specialists' registration commission that is responsible for your specialism. This commission will then contact you. Read more about the recognition of a specialism.
If you have a certificate of competence and you are a pharmacist, doctor, physiotherapist, doctor of psychology, remedial educationalist, psychotherapist, physician assistant, dentist, midwife or nurse, you can apply for a BIG registration as from now. This is a separate application. If you want to use the professional title of one of these professions in the Netherlands and work in one of these professions, you can only do so if you are listed in the BIG register. Read more about applying for BIG registration.
For the other care professions you may, as from now, independently practise your profession in the Netherlands and use your professional title on the basis of your certificate of competence.