Legislation

The purpose of the Healthcare Professionals Act (Wet BIG) is to promote and monitor quality in health care. The Act also protects patients from careless or incompetent treatment by a healthcare professional. The BIG register is one of the tools for implementing the Healthcare Professionals Act.

The BIG Act (in Dutch: ‘Wet op de beroepen in de individuele gezondheidszorg’; Individual Healthcare Professions Act) is generally known by its Dutch acronym ‘BIG’. It classifies healthcare professions in 3 groups, that refer to the sections 3, 34 and 36a of the Act. Only the section 3 professions are listed in the BIG register and fall under disciplinary rule.

Article 3 professions

Article 3 professions:

  • have a legally protected professional title;
  • are listed in the BIG-register;
  • are subject to disciplinary rules.

Overview article 3 professions:

  • dentist
  • doctor
  • health psychologist
  • midwife
  • nurse
  • pharmacist
  • physical therapist
  • psychotherapist.

Article 34 professions

Article 34 professions:

  • have a legally protected academic title;
  • cannot register in the BIG-register;
  • are not subject to disciplinary rules.

Overview of article 34 professions:

  • dental hygienist
  • dental technician
  • diagnostic radiographer
  • dietician
  • ergotherapist
  • medical physicist
  • nursing assistant/nurse in individual healthcare (VIG)
  • optometrist
  • orthoptist
  • pharmaceutical assistant
  • podiatrist
  • remedial therapist
  • skin therapist
  • speech therapist
  • therapeutic radiographer.

See also the page Other professions.

Article 36a professions

Article 36a professions:

  • have a legally protected academic title;
  • cannot register in the BIG-register;
  • are subject to disciplinary rules (restricted conditions);
  • may perform reserved procedures;
  • have temporary functional autonomy.

Overview article 36a professions:

  • clinical technologist
  • physician assistant
  • specialist nurse; does have a statutory register and is subject to disciplinary rules.

Article 14 specialisms

These are the legally recognized specialisms, such as specialist nurse and clinical psychologist.

Read more about Specialization.