AKV test or Dutch Language Exam for Medical Professionals? (update July ’23)
If you are a foreign dentist who is interested in starting a new career in the Netherlands, chances are that you’ve heard of these exams before. In Dutch, these exams are called: De AKV-toets and de Taaltoets Nederlands. But here is where it gets confusing: most people call both exams de ‘AKV-toets’, despite the two being different. I can hear you thinking… what differences? In this article we will explain everything you need to know about these exams, so that you will know exactly which one is relevant to your specific situation.
But first, a little bit of background information. Since 2017, foreign dentists need to do an obligatory language exam before they can be registered in the so-called BIG register. This is the Dutch register for Professions in Individual Health Care. In order to get your BIG registration, you need to show proof of language proficiency. There are two different routes, or exams, that will be valid as ‘proof of language proficiency’. The route depends on the origin of your diploma and we will discuss both of these routes below.
Dentists who obtained their diploma outside the EEA
Are you a foreign dentist and did you obtain your diploma outside the EEA? Then you have to do the AKV test. Your diploma will not automatically be recognized by the BIG-register.
Dentists who obtained their diploma inside the EEA
Are you a foreign dentist and did you obtain your diploma inside the EEA? Then you can do the Dutch Language Exam for Medical Professionals. Your diploma will be recognized by the BIG register.
So, what is the actual difference between these two exams? Let’s take a deeper look.
AKV test (AKV toets)
The AKV test is the exam for foreign dentists who obtained their diploma outside the EEA. In addition to the AKV test, these dentists also have to do a professional competence assessment. In Dutch, this is referred to as the Beroepsinhoudelijke Toets. In this article we will solely focus on the AKV exam.
On the 17th of July, the BIG announced that the AKV exam will be replaced with language certificates for English and Dutch. From the first of July till the first of January 2024, there will be a transition period in which both the ‘old’ AKV exam as well as the ‘new’ AKV language certificate will be valid. Starting the first of January, only the ‘new’ AKV language certificate will be valid.
The ’old’ AKV exam that’s valid till the first of January 2024. This AKV exam consists of four different exams:
Exam A: summary & presentation
Exam B: roleplay & report
Exam C: English reading skills exam
Exam D: knowledge of the Dutch healthcare system (this exam is not obligatory anymore)
As you can see, it’s not only your knowledge of the Dutch language that will be tested. You also need to have sufficient knowledge of the English language as well as the Dutch healthcare system. Since July 2023, exam D is not necessary anymore.
The new AKV test will consist of two language certificates: one for Dutch and one for English. In this article we will solely focuss on the Dutch language certificate.
The Dutch language exam will need to have four components: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This exam needs to be on a B2+/C1 level. Are you curious where you can do this exam as non-EU dentist? Read on for more information!
Where can you do the AKV test?
Language Institute Babel, located in Utrecht, is the only language school in the Netherlands that is allowed to assess the OLD AKV test that’s valid till January 2024.
However, with the new changes regarding the AKV test, BGB Dentistry is now also allowed to assess this test for students. We have developed our own AKV test, specifically aimed at dentists. There will be four exams: reading, listening, writing and speaking. The exam will be in the context of Dentistry Dutch at a B2+/C1 level. We’ve also developed an exam training for this test.
We’re opening our exams for AKV students around summer/autumn of 2023. If you’re interested in this exam training or the AKV test for the Dutch language certificate, contact Daniella for more information.
The Dutch Language Exam for Medical Professionals (Taaltoets Nederlands)
The Dutch Language Exam, specifically for medical professionals, is for foreign dentists that have obtained their diploma inside the EEA. After you pass this language exam, you will receive a certificate that is acknowledged by the BIG as proof of language proficiency. This also means that you don’t need to do a professional competence assessment, unlike foreign dentists from outside the EEA.
Starting July 2023, BGB will change the content of the Dutch Language Exam. Before July 2023, the structure of the exam was as follows:
Exam A: summary and presentation
Exam B: roleplay and report
As you can see, Exam A and Exam B from the Dutch Language Exam are equal to Exam A and Exam B from the old AKV test, the difference being that the old AKV test has two extra exams.
With the new changes, the exam for EU dentists and non-EU dentists will be the same:
The exam consist of 4 components: reading, listening, writing and speaking. The exam will be in the context of Dentistry Dutch at a B2+/C1 level. We’ve also developed an exam training for this test.
For EU dentists who are already in the Netherlands, we will offer both the old exam as the new exam for a transition period. For non-EU dentists, we’re only allowed to offer the new AKV exam.
Where can you do the Dutch Language Exam?
Language institute Babel used to be the only institution that can assess the AKV test. With the changes starting July 2023, BGB is now also allowed to assess the Dutch language exam for AKV students as well as the Dutch language exam for EU-dentists. There are different language academies that are recognized by the BIG to assess the Dutch Language Exam and the BGB Academy is one of these academies.
Our academy in the Netherlands is also open to any foreign dentists in the Netherlands that need to do the Dutch Language Exam. For those dentists, we have a different website available with more specific information (in Dutch). You can take a look at it here.
We hope that you know exactly which route is applicable to your situation after reading our article. But should you have any questions, send us a message and we will be happy to answer!