Diploma validation

Qualifications and diploma validation

If you have obtained your diploma in another country and want to work in the Netherlands, you probably need to know what a particular credential is worth in terms of the Dutch system. The Netherlands has two centers of expertise in the evaluation of international credentials: Nuffic (for higher education) in The Hague and Colo (for vocational education) in Zoetermeer.

Depending on your plans on how to make use of your qualifications in the Netherlands, you can use either of these centers. It is therefore highly recommended that you first call the Information Center for Credential Evaluation (IcDW) for general advice. The centers of expertise have set up this Information Center. When you are entitled to live and work in the Netherlands and you are officially registered as a jobseeker at a local office of UWV WERKbedrijf, the WERKbedrijf can support you in getting the necessary answers regarding your qualifications and diploma validation.


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. Nuffic's work also involves the evaluation of credentials and competencies. The aim of Nuffic's work 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 a national information center 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 information:

Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:30 hrs at the Information Centre for Credential Evaluation (IcDW)
P.O. Box 7338 2701 AH Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, telephone +31-79 3217930, fax +31-79 3217929
E-mail: info@idw.nl


Colo is the association of national bodies responsible for vocational training for the private sector. Colo represents 18 bodies, or, knowledge centers, 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 center of expertise on diplomas, certificates and other qualifications awarded in other countries. Colo assesses these qualifications by comparing them to the Dutch qualifications that can be acquired through vocational and adult education. This service has an official character. The Dutch Ministry of Education has appointed Colo as the national information center regarding the EU Directives for a General System, which regulates 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 that foster mobility and transparency in qualifications. These include Netref (European Network of National Reference Structures for Vocational Education).

Contact information:

E-mail: www.colo.nl or info@idw.nl