If you have a foreign certificate or diploma and want to work in the Netherlands, you need to check whether your profession is regulated (protected) by law. If it is, you must apply for recognition of your professional qualifications before you are allowed to practise this profession in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, certain professions are regulated (protected) by law. This means you must meet specific requirements in order to be allowed to practise one of these professions. First you have to prove that you have the required professional qualifications. You may also have to be proficient in Dutch and have sufficient work experience. Every country has its own rules about regulated professions. The fact that you are qualified to practise your profession in one country does not automatically mean that you meet the requirements in the Netherlands.
Is my profession regulated?
To find out whether your profession is regulated in the Netherlands, go to the Regulated professions database of the European Commission. At ‘Profession regulated in the following country’ select ‘Netherlands’. Then enter the name of your profession, or look it up in the list.
My profession is not in the Regulated Professions Database
If your profession is not listed in the database, it is not regulated by Dutch law. So you do not need professional recognition to practise this profession in the Netherlands. But your employer could still ask you for diploma recognition. This shows what Dutch qualification your foreign diploma or certificate is equivalent to.
Working in a regulated profession in the Netherlands
If the database shows that your profession is regulated by Dutch law, you need to apply for professional recognition from a professional association. Every country – including the Netherlands – has professional associations that check whether people who want to practise a regulated profession are qualified to do so.
In the search window of the Regulated Professions Database, at ‘Profession regulated in the following country’ select ‘Netherlands’ and click ‘search’. Select your profession in the list and click on the job title to open the file about your profession. Under the ‘competent authorities’ tab you can find the contact details of the professional association that regulates entry into your profession. Ask the association how you can apply for professional recognition, what requirements you need to meet, and which documents you need to supply.
Qualification not awarded in the EU, EEA, UK or Switzerland
If your diploma or certificate was not awarded in a member state of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, you need to apply for diploma evaluation, a certificate or professional competence and professional recognition. Contact the professional association given under ‘competent authorities’.
European Professional Card
You can apply for a European Professional Card (EPC) if you want to work as a:
- mountain guide
- real estate agent
As holder of an EPC your professional qualifications for a regulated profession are automatically recognised by another EU country. You have to pay a fee for the EPC application.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.