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 Minister voor Rechtsbescherming (Minister for Legal Protection) declares that the applicant did not commit any criminal offences that are relevant to the performance of their duties.
A VOG can be attained in 1 of 3 ways:
- From the municipality where the applicant is registered,
- Online through the employer,
- Or from Justis (Ministry of Justice and Security’s screening authority).
The right way to obtain a certificate of conduct depends on why it is required and whether the applicant is registered with the municipality. In all cases, Justis decides whether or not a VOG 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 with the municipality, the application can be made there. 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 form of identification 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 applications for a VOG are only possible if the current or future employer initiates the application procedure. The Justis website explains (in Dutch) how the employer should apply for a VOG via the internet.
Applicants not registered with the municipality (for example if the applicant is working temporarily in the Netherlands or is currently living outside the Netherlands) must apply directly to Justis. The completed application form should be downloaded from the Justis website and sent via email.
Certificate of Good Conduct for Legal Entities
Justis 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 VOG-RP is different from the application for the VOG 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.