Your Dutch diploma abroad

Can you study or work in another country with your Dutch qualification? There are various things you need to check.

Using your Dutch diploma for studying abroad is different from working abroad. Both situations are described below.

Studying abroad with a Dutch diploma

If you are planning to study abroad, it may be helpful to give your foreign education institution a description of your Dutch diploma. You can submit a request for such a description with us.

Apply for a diploma description

(form is in Dutch)

What is a diploma description?

A diploma description:

  • states the name of the diploma recipient as well as the most important information about the study programme and the diploma awarded;
  • describes the structure of the Dutch education system;
  • indicates which diploma in the host country the diploma obtained can best be compared to.

A diploma description improves your chances of finding work or gaining access to studies. However, no rights may be derived from the description. The responsible authorities in the destination country may give a different assessment of your diploma.

Diploma descriptions are available in English or in Spanish. Below you can download an example of each.

Diploma description‌ (104.6 kB)

Explicación del diploma‌ (106.2 kB)

Who can apply for a diploma description?

Are you a graduate of a mainstream higher education study programme in the Netherlands, or have you been awarded a VMBO-T diploma, a senior general secondary education (HAVO) diploma or a pre-university education (VWO) diploma? If so, we can provide you with a diploma description.

Costs and processing time

  • Regular application: €96.80 (including VAT) per diploma.
    Processing time: four weeks
  • Fast-track application: €114.95 (including VAT) per diploma.
    Processing time: one week (max).

If we are unable to produce a diploma description, we will return the fee you paid, apart from an administration charge of €20.

Working abroad with a Dutch diploma

If you want to work in a different country with your Dutch qualification, you need to check whether your type of work is regulated in that country.

If there are regulations for your type of work, there are certain criteria you need to meet to be able to practice this profession. These requirements have been laid out in legislature by country.

For each profession there is a 'competent authority' that checks whether you meet the requirements.

How do I know whether my type of work is regulated?

For countries in the European Union and for Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, you can check the database of the European Commission. This will show you whether the job you want to do is regulated in your destination country.

For countries outside the European Union you can contact the NARIC office of that country. They can tell you how to proceed.

My job is regulated, what do I do?

Contact the competent authority and ask how to get permission to practise the profession in that country.

You can find contact details for the relevant authority by clicking on the name of the profession in the European database.

Are you staying in the EU? Then check whether you can apply for a European Professional Card or an AC declaration.

My job is not regulated, what now?

You are free to start work in that profession. If you would like to provide your future employer with information on your Dutch diploma, you can submit a request for a diploma description (in Dutch).

For more information on diploma descriptions, check above under 'Studying abroad with a Dutch diploma'.

Are you having difficulties with the recognition of your profession within the EU?

Contact SOLVIT, the complaints office of the European Commission.


The UK may leave the European Union in 2019. This could affect professionals who want to work in the UK with a Dutch qualification. Please read the advise of the Dutch government by selecting theme Diensten in the Brexit Impact Scan (in Dutch).

You can find more information on the website of the Dutch government.

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