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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

International credential evaluation in general

What is an international credential evaluation?
A credential evaluation is a written statement, which indicates the value of a foreign diploma or study programme in the Netherlands. It contains a comparison of one foreign diploma or study programme with the Dutch educational system, usually the 'highest' diploma that has been obtained. No rights, claims or qualifications can be derived from a credential evaluation.

A credential evaluation is not
- A Dutch diploma
- a literal translation of a foreign diploma

Neither does a credential evaluation provide permission to work in a profession, or the right to direct admission to an educational programme. An employer, educational institute or other third party decides this themselves.

Do you have lists available with evaluations of all diploma's per country?
A credential evaluation is a personal document and always issued for a specific diploma. There are no lists available with general comparisons of foreign diplomas with the Dutch educational system.

Is a credential evaluation obligatory?
No, but it can help you while searching for a (another) job or an education at the appropriate level.

I want to study abroad. Can I apply for a credential evaluation before I obtain the diploma?
This is not possible. A credential evaluation is only possible based on an obtained diploma and list(s) of subjects / list(s) of results. The IcDW cannot beforehand provide advice via telephone or e-mail.

For what purpose can you use a credential evaluation?
A credential evaluation indicates with which Dutch educational level a foreign diploma can be compared. This can help while searching for an appropriate job or an education.

As an employer or educational institute, a credential evaluation indicates for you with which educational level a foreign diploma can be compared. This allows you to better assess whether an applicant is eligible for a job, or at which level the student can enroll.

I did not complete my educational programme, is an evaluation possible?
In many cases, this is possible. You have to have completed at least 1 year (850 hours) of the programme. In this case, you will receive an Opleidingswaardering. This is a written statement, that indicates with which level the not-completed educational programme can be compared in the Netherlands.

Can my diploma be evaluated?
You can find more information at the page Which diplomas can be evaluated?

What happens when my diploma cannot be evaluated?
Some diplomas or educational programmes cannot be evaluated, such as short programmes or programmes completed at private educational institutes. In some cases, enough information is available about an educational programme, but an evaluation is still not possible. In these cases, you will receive either a Bericht geen waardering or your application will be closed. You are always informed why your diploma cannot be evaluated.

Can working experience be evaluated?
No, at a credential evaluation, only the level of the educational programme is assessed. Working experience is not evaluated at a credential evaluation.

What is the recognition of a diploma?
Recognition of a foreign diploma is only necessary when a profession is regulated ('protected') in the Netherlands, such as physician, teacher and pharmacist's assistant. This means that you can only work in this profession after permission by the competent authority, the organisation that controls access to the profession. For instance, they check whether you meet the educational requirements for the profession.

At www.professionalrecognition.nl you can check if a profession is protected in the Netherlands. Here, you'll also find information about the competent authority for each profession.

A credential evaluation does not grant permission to work in the profession.

Many professions, however, are not regulated in the Netherlands. This means that you can apply for a job immediately.

What is the value of my Dutch diploma abroad?
The value of a Dutch diploma is established in the country of destination, in comparison with the educational system of that particular country. It is not possible to assess this beforehand, while you're still in the Netherlands.
You can better explain the value of your Dutch education with a discription of your education. This allows employers and educational institutes can assess the level of your Dutch diploma more accurately. This flyer (only in Dutch) mentions where you can apply for a description of your education.

Application and procedure

How can I apply for a credential evaluation?
You can find all information on the page Application and procedure.

What does a credential evaluation look like?
A credential evaluation contains information about the education concerned. Based on this information, a comparison with the Dutch educational system is determined.
In the lower right corner of the credential evaluation document, a number of authenticity characteristics is mentioned.

What are the costs for a credential evaluation?
The costs for a regular application are € 148,83, the costs for an urgent application are € 212,96. You can find more information here.
if you apply because of 'inburgering', you don't have to pay for the application.

What is the handling time of an application?
For regular applications, the handling time is four working weeks. For an urgent application, the handling time is two working weeks. These terms start once the IcDW has received your payment and all necessary documents.
If you apply for 'inburgering': it takes four working weeks before you receive your credential evaluation. The four working weeks start once the IcDW has received all documents that are necessary for your application.

When do you not have to pay for a credential evaluation?
• If you participate in a inburgeringstraject
• If you want to enrol in a regular educational programme, the educational institution can apply for a credential or educational programme evaluation on your behalf at SBB or EP-Nuffic.

Which documents are required for a credential evaluation?
For a complete overview of the required documents for a credential evaluation, please check page 5 of the Application form explanation.
If you apply for 'inburgering': at page 8 of the application form, you'll read which documents are required for your credential evaluation.

Can you translate the documents yourself?
No, the translation has to be made by a translator that has been sworn at a Dutch court of justice or in the country of origin. You can find sworn translators in the Netherlands in the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators via Bureau BTV.

Are you not able to provide all necessary documents?
Then the application will not be assessed, or a Bericht Geen Waardering is issued.

What happens when the application is closed?
In that case, the file will not be substantively assessed by the country expert. This means that no Diplomawaardering or Bericht Geen Waardering will be issued. The paid costs, minus an administration fee of € 53,- will be refunded.

When a Bericht Geen Waardering is issued, the application has been assessed substantively by the country expert and the paid costs will not be refunded.

What can you do if you don't agree with the evaluation?
You can file a complaint at the Information Centre for Credential Evaluation (IcDW). You can complain about a credential evaluation on paper, within 6 weeks after the evaluation has been issued. You can request for a complaint form at the IcDW.

Other questions

What is a regulated ('protected') profession?
Some professions are protected in the Netherlands, such as physician, teacher and pharmacist's assistant. This means that you can only work in this profession after permission by the competent authority, the organisation that controls access to the profession. For instance, they check whether you meet the educational requirements for the profession.

At www.professionalrecognition.nl you can check if a profession is protected in the Netherlands. Here, you'll also find information about the competent authority for each profession.

A credential evaluation does not grant permission to work in the profession.

Can I apply for a Dutch academic titel at the IcDW?
No. You can apply for a Dutch academic title at the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO).