Nuffic's full name is Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education. Within Nuffic, the Department for International Credential Evaluation is responsible for comparing education and assessing diplomas. The aim of Nuffic's work involving the evaluation of credentials and competencies is to remove obstacles standing in the way of students and workers who wish to be internationally mobile and either enter or leave the Netherlands.
Nuffic also carries out projects in the field of credential evaluation, and-on the basis of international treaties-has been appointed by the education ministry to act as national information centre regarding matters of recognition. It does this in two international networks: the European Commission's NARIC network (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) and the network of the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES known as ENIC (European National Information Centres on Recognition and Mobility).
Contact hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:30 hrs.
Information Centre for Credential Evaluation (IcDW)
P.O. Box 7338 2701 AH Zoetermeer, the Netherlands
tel +31-79 3217930
fax +31-79 3217929
Colo is the association of national bodies responsible for vocational training for the private sector. Colo represents 21 such bodies, or 'knowledge centres', each of which is organized around one sector of business or industry. Colo also has its own department for international credential evaluation, which is a centre of expertise on the diplomas, certificates and other qualifications awarded in other countries which are comparable to the Dutch qualifications acquired through vocational and adult education. This service has an official character. The education ministry has also appointed Colo to serve as the national information centre regarding the EU Directives for a General System, which regulate access to certain professions within the member states of the EU and the EEA. Colo's credential evaluation department belongs to a number of international networks which foster mobility and transparency in qualifications. These include Netref (European Network of National Reference Structures for Vocational Qualifications).
In any case, you need to know what a particular credential is worth in terms of the Dutch system. The Netherlands has several centres of expertise in the evaluation of international credentials. One of them will provide the exact service you need. Relevant here are Nuffic in The Hague and Colo in Zoetermeer. Which one of them you should call to evaluate a diploma or assess your education depends on what you or the person in question intends to do in the Netherlands. For general information about credential evaluation, you should first call the Information Centre for Credential Evaluation, which has been set up by the centres of expertise.
If you wish to continue your studies in the Netherlands, you are advised first to go to the educational institution of your choice. This institution will take care of evaluating your diploma-that is, of seeing how the diploma you earned in another country compares with the diplomas of the Dutch system. The educational institution can call on one of the centres of expertise for help if it wishes. The centres have a clear-cut division of labour. Nuffic specializes in the evaluation of credentials associated with general-secondary and higher education. Colo evaluates credentials associated with secondary-vocational and adult education. If a diploma is evaluated at the request of one of the regularly subsidized educational institutions, there is no charge. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science pays for it. But if the request comes from a private organization or individual, a fee is charged for the credential evaluation.
If you have a job but are looking for another, you should apply to the Information Centre and you will have to pay for the evaluation. If you are unemployed, looking for a job and eligible to work legally in the Netherlands, however, you should apply to the Centre for Work and Income (CWI = Centrum voor Werk en Inkomen) nearest you. The CWI will ask for a credential evaluation on your behalf. They will help you to fill in the application form, tell you which documents you have to supply, and send everything to the Information Centre for you. The Information Centre will take care of the necessary translation and then ask one of the centres of expertise to evaluate your credential. The CWI will receive the evaluation, pass it on to you, and discuss with you what your possibilities are. It will also pay all the costs.
If you wish to practise a regulated profession in the Netherlands with a credential earned in another country, you will have to get in touch with the official body-often a government ministry-that grants admission to the profession in question. The professions of teacher, dentist, lawyer, fire commissioner and physiotherapist, for example, are all regulated in the Netherlands. Your nearest CWI can give you information about this, as can the Information Centre for Credential Evaluation.
If you want to use a Dutch academic title on the basis of your foreign diploma, you should apply to the Information Management Group (IB-Groep) in Groningen for official permission.
If you do not yet know what you want to do in the Netherlands on the basis of your foreign diploma, or if you want to see first what your diploma is considered to be worth, you can also apply to your nearest CWI. The CWI will request a diploma evaluation on your behalf and will pay all the costs, even for translation.