Professional recognition to practise a regulated profession abroad
If you have a Dutch certificate or diploma and want to work in another country, you need to check whether your profession is regulated by law. If it is, you must apply for recognition of your professional qualifications before you are allowed to practise this profession in that country.
Certain professions may be regulated (protected) by law. This means you must meet certain criteria 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 prove that you are proficient in the local language 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 the Netherlands does not automatically mean that you meet the requirements in other countries.
Is my profession regulated?
To find out whether your profession is regulated in another European Union (EU) country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, go to the European Commission’s regulated professions database. At ‘Country where you got your qualification’ select ‘Netherlands’. Then, select the country where you wish to practise. Finally, enter the name of your profession. If your profession is listed in the database, this means it is regulated by law in that country. If your profession is not listed in the database, it is not regulated in the country where you want to practise.
To find out whether your profession is regulated in a country outside Europe, contact an ENIC-NARIC-centre in the country where you want to practise. They can help you find out whether your profession is regulated there. If the country does not have an ENIC-NARIC centre, check with its Ministry of Education.
If your profession is not regulated in the country where you want to practise
If your profession is not regulated in the country where you wish to work, you do not need permission to practise your profession there. However, your employer may ask you for a description of your diploma. This shows how your Dutch education qualification compares with the standards set by the education system in that country.
Working in a regulated profession
If your profession is regulated in the country where you wish to work, you need to apply to a professional association there for professional recognition. Every country has professional associations that check whether people who want to practise a regulated profession are qualified to do so. Through ‘competent authorities’ in the Regulated Professions Database you can find the contact details of the professional association that regulates entry into your profession in the country where you want to work. Ask the association how you can apply for professional recognition, what requirements you need to meet, and which documents you need to supply.
If you are planning to work in an EU country, or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, you can apply for a European Professional Card (EPC) or an AC declaration. This can help you get professional recognition in order to practise your profession in your chosen country abroad.
European Professional Card (EPC)
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 will have to pay a fee for the EPC application.
An AC declaration shows that your profession is regulated in the Netherlands. You can also apply for an AC declaration if your profession is regulated in another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland but not in the Netherlands.
An AC declaration is not the same as a diploma description. It does not entitle you to practise a regulated profession outside the Netherlands, but it may help you to get professional recognition in the country where you want to work.
If you have a Dutch higher education qualification (bachelor’s or master’s degree from an HBO or university), you can apply for an AC declaration from Nuffic free of charge.
f you have a Dutch secondary vocational qualification (MBO certificate), you can apply for an AC declaration from the Centre for Cooperation between Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market (SBB) free of charge.
- If you are a teacher, you can apply free of charge to DUO for a declaration that you have a teaching qualification (in Dutch).
- If you are a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, midwife, physiotherapist, registered general psychologist or psychotherapist, you can apply for a Certificate of Current Professional Status (in Dutch) from the Dutch Healthcare Professionals (BIG) register.
- If you are a veterinary surgeon, contact the Register of Veterinary Medical Practitioners (in Dutch).
- If you are an architect, contact the Architects Registration Bureau.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.