Regulated professions in the Netherlands

A regulated profession is one where access to or practice of a profession is restricted to those who meet the professional qualifications required by law. In the European Union's Regulated Professions Database you can find the list of the regulated professions in the Netherlands, with a reference to the related organisation.

Recognition foreign diplomas and professions

There are European agreements with regard to mutual recognition of diplomas, in order to provide access to regulated professions in other Member States. Nuffic's National Contact Point can inform you about the status of your national diploma in the Netherlands and possible access to a Dutch regulated profession. Nuffic is the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education. You can also have your foreign credentials evaluated by IDW (International Credential Evaluation).

European Professional Card

The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications between countries of the European Union. It is the electronic proof that you have passed administrative checks and that your professional qualifications have been recognised by the host country (or that you have met the conditions for the temporary provision of services). It is easier to manage than traditional procedures for recognition, and the applicant can keep track of their application online. It should be available in 2016 for nurses responsible for general care, pharmacists, physiotherapists, real estate agents and mountain guides.

Regulated professions in the Netherlands

A regulated profession is one where access to or practice of a profession is restricted by national law to those holding specific qualifications. At, you can find a list of the regulated professions in the Netherlands, with a reference to the related organisation. You have to pay a charge.

European Regulated professions database

Check the EU Regulated professions database to find out which professions are regulated in which Member States. The database also contains information about the professions and statistic data on cross-border activities regarding regulated professions with an interactive map.

Professions subject to professional competence requirements

In addition to the regulated professions, there are professions that are subject to professional competence requirements. Some of these professions are:

Professional qualifications for personnel in the childcare sector

You may only employ qualified childcare personnel (Childcare Provisions and Playgroup Quality Requirements Act, (Wet kinderopvang en kwaliteitseisen peuterspeelzalen). Professional qualifications differ depending on the type of work. To some, training requirements apply (e.g. educational assistants), to others minimum work and training levels apply.

The required professional qualifications are included in the 'job descriptions book', which is part of the Childcare Collective Labour Agreement (Dutch). If you have a diploma that is not on the list, you can have the FCB Foundation (Dutch) assess whether it meets the requirements.

Qualification requirements for childminding agencies

There are no training requirements in place for the owner of a childminding agency. Childminders and supporting staff must have sufficient educational knowledge and skills. Since 1 January 2012, new qualification requirements for supporting staff apply. The required training level will also be included in the job descriptions book.

Please note: A childminding agency owner cannot work as a childminder in their own agency. Nor can they make use of the services of their agency as a parent. They may, however, work as part of the supporting staff within their own agency.

Professional qualifications for security guards in the hotel and catering sector

Security guards in the hotel and catering sector – who protect people and property on the door of, or inside hotels and catering establishments – are covered by the Private Security Organisations and Detective Agencies Act (Wet particuliere beveiligingsorganisaties en recherchebureaus, Wpbr). This Act specifies requirements for security guards in this sector: they must hold the SVH Hotel and Catering Security Guard Diploma (diploma Horecaportier) (Dutch), be screened by the police and have the legally prescribed 'blue proof of identity'.

Entrepreneurs in this sector who employ security guards themselves, must have a licence to run a (hotel and catering) company security service. If you hire security guards from a third party, they must have this licence.

Professional qualifications for private security guards and private investigators

Security organisations may only employ security guards who have passed the Security Guard (Beveiliger) diploma. Private investigators must have the Private Investigator (Particulier onderzoeker) diploma. The SVPB Foundation administers the examinations for these qualifications.

For information about training courses, contact the Centre of Expertise on Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (ECABO). Please also check (Dutch) for additional information.

If you have earned your vocational qualifications in another EU Member State, you can submit a request (Dutch) to have them recognised (Justis, Ministry of Security and Justice). After recognition, you are exempt from further Dutch training requirements.

Professional qualifications for bus and lorry drivers

You must possess a basic professional competence qualification if you want to work as a bus or lorry driver in the EU. You must also attend at least 35 hours of refresher training every 5 years. The refresher training is provided by the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen, CBR) (Dutch).

Minimum age bus drivers

Bus drivers must be at least 18 years of age. When they are 18 or 19 years old, they are allowed drive on a regular service where the route does not exceed 50 kilometers. However, strict conditions apply. Bus drivers of 20 years and over may work longer routes within the Netherlands.

Professional qualifications for the crew of seagoing vessels

The crew of a seagoing (fishing) vessel must meet the national and international requirements, such as the STCW convention (Standards on Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), which has been implemented in the Seafarers' Act (Wet Zeevarenden) and the underlying regulations. The crew must possess certain personal documents, such as a seaman's book and a certificate of competency stating the job to be carried out. For more information, contact the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT).

Professional qualifications for architects and town planners

In the Netherlands the professional title of architect, urban designer, landscape architect and interior architect is protected by the Architects Title Act of 1987. Only those who are registered in the Architects Register are entitled to use one of these titles. The Architects’ Registration Office (Stichting Bureau Architectenregister, SBA) in The Hague is the authority established by the Act to maintain the Register.

Diploma requirements

In order to register, you must be in possession of one of the diplomas mentioned in the Architects’ Title Act. Most diplomas from the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are automatically recognised. Other foreign diplomas should be submitted to the Architects’ Registration Office (SBA) with a request for official recognition. You can apply for registration online on the SBA’s website.

Extra training and refresher courses for structural architects

The Architects Title Act stipulates that structural architects must complete 16 hours of extra or refresher training every year. You must keep a record of these activities and be able to make the record available to customers or potential customers. SBA can provide you with more details.

Professional competence requirements for financial service providers

The diploma obligation (Act on Financial Supervision, Wft) applies to employees who provide clients with advice on financial products. This advice could cover products such as mortgages and life insurance, for example. It involves advice when the employee recommends a certain product explicitly. The recommended product does not actually have to be accepted, per se.

In addition to the consultants, all other employees who deal with clients must also meet professional competence requirements. They must be up-to-date with current developments in their field. You may freely decide how to interpret this.

Rules of professional conduct for bailiffs

Bailiffs are obliged to comply with the rules of professional conduct. These are recorded in the by-law concerning Rules of Professional Conduct (Verordening beroeps- en gedragsregels). Bailiffs are not allowed, for example, to provide confidential information to others, nor are they allowed to incur unnecessary costs.

As an appointed apprentice bailiff or bailiff, one must follow ongoing education to be able to conduct the profession properly. The Royal Professional Association of Judicial Officers (Koninklijke Beroepsorganisatie van Gerechtsdeurwaarders, KBvG) may impose certain mandatory educational requirements. The rules on life-long learning are specified in the Regulations on Promoting Competence (Verordening bevordering vakbekwaamheid) by the KBvG.

Professional qualifications in the healthcare sector

If you work in individual health care in the Netherlands, you must comply with the Individual Health Care Professions Act (Wet op de Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg, BIG). It contains rules on training requirements, registration, areas of expertise and the use of a title. For certain professions, you must be registered with the 'BIG register'. The Act also lays down conditions for certain medical interventions such as injections or anaesthetics, that may only be performed by qualified specialists (voorbehouden handelingen).

Additional registrations for medical specialists

As well as your entry in the BIG register, for certain specialist areas of medicine you will also need to register with the Royal Dutch Medical Association (Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst, KNMG).

Additional registrations for nursing specialists

If you want to use the title 'nursing specialist' (verpleegkundig specialist), you must be registered in the register of nursing specialists kept by the Nursing Specialties Registration Commission (Registratiecommissie Specialismen Verpleegkunde, RSV).

Professional qualifications for optometrists

If you would like to work as an optometrist or use the title ‘optometrist’, you will require a higher professional education (HBO) diploma in optometry. This requirement is laid down in the Professional Training and Expertise (Optometrists) Decree (Besluit opleidingseisen en deskundigheidsgebied optometrist). The diploma normally takes four years to complete, but certified opticians can follow a fast-track programme. Please contact the Dutch Optometrists Association for more information.

Training requirements driving instructors

If you want to become a driving instructor, you must follow a driving course and take an exam at the Innovam Branch Qualification Institute (Innovam Branchekwalificatie-instituut, IBKI). If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate under the 1993 Driving Instruction Motor Vehicle Act, (Wet rijonderricht motorvoertuigen 1993, WRM), a so-called a WRM certificate. After obtaining the WRM certificate (competence pass) you must follow an extra training. These requirements do not apply if you teach students who already have a driving licence.

Powers of driving instructors

On the basis of the name and date of birth of a driving instructor, the IBKI can offer information about the date of issue and validity of WRM certificates.