Dutch language skills and English reading skills

Most patients in healthcare speak Dutch. That is why healthcare providers must be able to speak, understand, write and read Dutch. In addition, being able to read English is important for keeping up with professional literature. For this reasons, you must provide a Dutch language certificate and an English language certificate when submitting your application for recognition of your foreign diploma. The language level that must be achieved differs per professional level .

All letters and other communications you receive in this recognition procedure are in Dutch.

Valid proof of Dutch language proficiency

  • Certificate of a Dutch language test for speaking, writing, listening and reading;
  • Final report on Dutch-language primary education (primary school) and secondary education diploma (high school);
  • Annex to your diploma (diploma supplement) showing that you have completed your professional education in Dutch.

Language levels Dutch language skills

A language level that must be achieved has been determined for each professional level. If you provide a language certificate as proof of language proficiency, it must have been obtained for the language level that corresponds to your professional group.

Overview of language level Dutch language skills

Occupational level

Language level

MBO professions
(such as nurses and pharmacy assistants)


HBO professions
(such as physiotherapists, physicians assistants and midwives)


University/university professions
(such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychotherapists and healthcare psychologists)


Requirements for the language certificates

If you provide a language certificate as proof of your Dutch language proficiency, the certificates must meet the requirements below:

  • The certificate must have been obtained with an exam or test for reading, writing, speaking and listening;
  • The language certificate at language level B1 and B2 must have been obtained with a State Examination of Dutch as a Second Language (NT2);
  • The certificate must have been obtained at the level required for the profession (see language levels paragraph);
  • The certificate must be passed with a passing grade;
  • The certificate may not have been obtained more than two years ago.

A certificate of participation will not be accepted; the certificate must prove that you have passed a test or exam.

Where can you go to learn Dutch language levels B1 and B2?

For this language level you must take the State Examination Dutch as a Second Language (NT2). NT2 is a national language exam for non-Dutch speaking adults who are learning Dutch as a second language at level B1 and B2. In the Netherlands there are several providers where you can follow a Dutch training or course at the right level to prepare you for taking the state exam.

For a preparatory course for the State Exam, please contact:

The state exam Nt2: what, where and how

You can take the State Exam NT2 in six cities: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rijswijk, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Zwolle. On the website Home | State Exams Nt2 you will find information about the content of the State Exam Nt2 and about registration. You will also find the exam schedule here: Exam schedule | Sign in | State exams Nt2 . You will also find instructional videos and information about how you can practice for the Nt2 State Exam here.

Where can you learn Dutch at language level B2+?

Not all language centers offer a language course and/or language test at B2+ level. Language certificates from the institutions below are accepted.

Examples of providers of language level B2+

Name of institution

Name of key

Babel Language Institute

Dutch language certificate B2+


Dutch language test


Dutch language test B2+

SUEZ Language tests

Dutch language test

Language school 'And now Dutch'

Language test B2+


Dutch language test

BGB Academy      

Dutch B2+ exam

Dutch in Dialogue

Dutch B2+ for doctors

Care Force Language Academy

Language test B2+ for doctors from the EEA

Elycio Talen Dutch language test B1, B2 or B2+ for healthcare professionals

Want to learn Dutch and take an exam from abroad?

Do you live abroad and is your Dutch good? Then you can take a ' Dutch as a foreign language ' ( CNaVT ) test. This must be a test of the Dutch Language Union. Certificates from other foreign language institutes are not accepted.

The CNaVT test is taken once a year in May. After the results have been assessed, you will receive a paper certificate from the CNaVT. A watermark, three signatures and the CNaVT logo are visible on the certificate.

English reading skills

Information about this can be found on the 'English language skills ' page.

NB. The requirement for English reading skills does not apply to nurses in individual healthcare (VIG). If you apply for recognition for this profession, you do not need to provide proof of English language skills.