Dutch language proficiency

Care providers with a foreign diploma must be able to communicate with patients and colleagues in the same way as care providers with a Dutch diploma. Because the majority of the patients are Dutch-speaking, the working language within the care sector is Dutch and care providers with a foreign diploma must have a sufficient command of the Dutch language. Testing Dutch language proficiency is an important part of the general knowledge and skills test.

Due to the importance of satisfactory Dutch language proficiency, all letters and other communication which you receive during this recognition procedure will be in Dutch. The Dutch language proficiency section of the general knowledge and skills test focuses primarily on language and communication skills which are required in the Dutch healthcare sector. The required level differs per profession.

Language levels

A language level has been set for each professional level:

  • For Senior Secondary Vocational Education (MBO) professions (such as nurses): language level B1
  • For Higher Professional Education (HBO) professions (such as physiotherapists, physician assistants and midwives): language level B2
  • For university level (WO) professions (such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychotherapists and health psychologists): language level B2/C1

Who can you contact in order to learn Dutch?

There are various providers in the Netherlands where you can attend a course or training in Dutch at the right level. You could, for example, contact a university language centre or Babel Language Institute. You can find information about all the university language centres in the Netherlands on www.nut-talen.eu/leden/.

English reading proficiency

This is also part of the general knowledge and skills test. The following levels apply to English reading proficiency

  • For Senior Secondary Vocational Education (MBO) professions (such as nurses): language level B1
  • For Higher Professional Education (HBO) professions (such as physiotherapists, physician assistants and midwives): language level B2
  • For university level (WO) professions (such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychotherapists and health psychologists): language level B2/C1 (comparable with IELTS 6.5 and TOEFL 600)

You can also attend English language courses at the above-mentioned language institutes.