Regulated study programmes

Student en praktijkopleider in de zorg

Since the Treaty of Rome (1957), every citizen of a Member State of the European Union (EU) is free to practice a profession, provide services or set up a business in any other Member State. It can be a problem that a qualification recognized in one country is not always automatically recognized in the other country. The EU-directive 2005/36/EC is aimed at making certain professions more accessible in other EU and EEA countries.

Situation in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands we do not have many regulated professions. Therefore we have regulated study programmes. A person who has completed a regulated study programme on mbo-qualification level 3 or 4 should be treated the same as someone who has qualified for a regulated profession.

Only those students who have obtained a diploma of preparatory secondary vocational education (voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, vmbo) of the four-year lasting theoretical, mixed or advanced vocational pathway have a right to enter study programmes on mbo-qualification levels 3 and 4.


A Dutch citizen obtains an Optician's Diploma on mbo-qualification level 4 within senior secondary vocational education and training (mbo) in the Netherlands. He wants to work abroad in another EU Member State in the same profession. The profession of Optician is not regulated in the Netherlands. The profession is regulated in the host country. Because of the fact that the study programme for Optician is regulated in the Netherlands, as is explained above, this person should be treated the same by the competent authority in the host Member State as someone who has qualified for the regulated profession of Optician.

Important websites

  • contains the text of the EU-directive 2005/36/EC
  • gives information on the Assistance Centre for professional recognition in the Netherlands

  • Regulated Professions Database of the European Commission
  • gives information on regulated professions and competent authorities in all EU Member States

  • contains (Europass) Certificate Supplements in Dutch, English and German that can be downloaded for free

  • SBB's Department for Credential Evaluation provides information on the directive 2005/36/EC for professions that fall under appendix II and III of the directive

  • the website of Nuffic and SBB, the two centres of expertise on international credential evaluation
  • which contains all the information you need if you want to have your diplomas evaluated

  • Solvit is initiated by the European Commission. EU citizens or businesses who face extra obstacles in another country because a public authority isn't doing what is required under EU law can contact Solvit via the above mentioned website.

More information

SBB, Department for Credential Evaluation
P.O. Box 7259
2701 AG  Zoetermeer
The Netherlands