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Certificate of Good Conduct

In the Netherlands a Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag – VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct) is sometimes required before starting a new job. It is a document by which the Dutch State Secretary for Justice and Security declares that the applicant did not commit any criminal offences that are relevant to the performance of their duties.

A VOG can be one of three ways:

  • from the municipality with which the applicant is registered,
  • online through the employer,
  • or from the Dienst Justis (Integrity and Screening Agency at the Ministry of Justice).

The right way to obtain a certificate of conduct depends on why it is required and whether the applicant is registered in the BRP (Municipal Personal Records Database). In all cases, the Integrity and Screening Agency decides whether or not a certificate of conduct should be issued.

From the municipality

If a VOG is required for a job or work permit application, or for immigration purposes and the applicant is registered in the BRP, the application can be made at the municipality. If a VOG is required for a job, the current or future employer will usually provide the application form. The employer will already have completed and signed their section of the form. When handing in the form at the municipality, the applicant will be required to show a valid ID and pay an application fee. As per 2015 the certificate of conduct is free of charge for large groups of volunteers including sports associations.

Online

Online applications for a VOG are only possible if the current or future employer initiates the application procedure. The Integrity and Screening Agency website explains in Dutch how the employer should apply for a certificate of conduct via the internet.

From the Integrity and Screening Agency

Applicants not registered in the BPR (for example if the applicant is working temporarily in the Netherlands or is currently living abroad) must apply directly to the Integrity and Screening Agency. The completed application form should be downloaded from the Integrity and Screening Agency website and sent via email.

Certificate of Good Conduct for Legal Entities

The Integrity and Screening Agency can also issue a Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag voor Rechtspersonen – VOG-RP (certificate of good conduct for legal entities) for businesses, foundations and associations). The application procedure for a Certificate of Good Conduct for Legal Entities is different from the application for the Certificate of Good Conduct for natural persons.

This might be required for companies that want to enter into a contract or join an industry association. A separate application form is available for legal entities.