Registrations BIG and NIP

In the Netherlands there are two different types of registration that can be obtained by psychologists.

  1. BIG-registrations who are dealt with by the government and administer the degrees and credentials of people who wish to work in the individual healthcare.
  2. NIP-registrations of our association that also help you to be recognised as a qualified psychologist in a specialised area of psychology.



  • Healthcare psychologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist



  • General Psychologist in First level Healthcare (Eerstelijnspsychologie NIP)
  • General Child and Youth Psychologist(Kinder- en Jeugdpsycholoog NIP)
  • Specialist Child and Youth Psychologist (Kinder- en Jeugdpsycholoog Specialist NIP)
  • Body Oriented Psychologist (Lichaamsgericht Werkend Psycholoog NIP)
  • Occupational and Health Psychologist (Psycholoog Arbeid en Gezondheid NIP)
  • Mediator Psychologist (Psycholoog Mediator NIP)


BIG means ‘Professions in the Healthcare of the Individual’ (Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg.) The BIG-register is a governmental body that lists officially acknowledged providers of healthcare. Only BIG-registered professionals are legally authorised to use this protected title that stands for identifiable expertise and capability.

In order to get included in the BIG-register healthcare professionals need to have completed a course or training that is approved by the Dutch government. Apart from dentists, doctors and nurses, four disciplines in psychology are protected by the BIG-register:


Healthcare psychologist (Gezondheidszorgpsycholoog/ gz-psycholoog)

A Healthcare psychologist works with clients to examine mental health issues and disorders that affect the life of the client. Healthcare psychologists also explore the underlying mental aspects that come with physical illnesses, disabilities and handicaps. Main tasks are diagnosing and treatment.



In the Netherlands Psychotherapists working in mental healthcare work as self-employed professionals. They give intensive psychological care based on psychotherpeutical methods.

The profession Healthcare psychologist has two specializations:


Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists are specialised in psycho-diagnostics and psychological intervention methods in cases of severe and complex psychopathological problems that hamper one’s. Psychotherapy is the most common treatment employed by clinical psychologists. The clinical psychologist has the knowledge and skills to execute and coordinate scientific research. They are also trained in management and education.


Clinical Neuropsychologist

The Clinical Neuropsychologist is specialised in the relationship between the brain and behavior. They apply this knowledge in their day to day practice by setting diagnosis and dealing with mental and physical problems. The Clinical Neuropsychologist treats patients with acquired brain disorders or specific groups of psychiatric patients. For instance children with development disorders and learning difficulties. Clinical Neuropsychologists are highly skilled and trained in coordinating and executing scientific research. They also have a thorough command of management and educational skills.

All psychologists registered with the BIG register have a unique BIG-number which can be checkedĀ  by the public.

To see if you can register in the BIG-register directly with your foreign diploma, see this page of the website of BIG-register.
For more information about the BIG-register in general see:



The NIP administers various registration arrangements for psychologists. These registrations set standards to protect patients against incompetent and unqualified professionals. Also, the registrations secure and advance the quality of psychological care. The NIP administers the following seven registrations:

  1. General Psychologist in First Level Healthcare

    The General Psychologist in First Level Healthcare works in close cooperation with General Practitioners who refer patients with the most common psychological problems. The General Psychologist in First Level Healthcare makes diagnoses and offers treatment. The treatment concentrates on the elimination and control of the psychological issues and problems. Clients with more complex complaints are referred to second level healthcare or a specialised institution. The registration General Psychologist in First Level Healthcare follows after obtaining the registration with the BIG-register

  2. General Child- and Youth Psychologist

    A General Child- and Youth Psychologist assesses and treats psychological problems in children up to the age of eighteen. Working with children and young people demands meticulous and specific expertise.
    A child- and youth psychologist is a person with a doctorate in psychology, and is specialised in working with children.

  3. Specialist Child- and Youth Psychologist

    This registration constitutes a trademark for specific knowledge of working with children at a specialist level. At this moment it is no longer possible to register as a Specialist Child- and Youth Psychologist. NIP is working on the rules and regulations for this registration.

  4. Body-oriented psychologist

    The connection between body and psyche is acknowledged in all disciplines of psychology but for body-oriented psychologists it is the centre of attention. This method focuses on psychological problems and the underlying somatic experiences that may cause them.

  5. Occupational and Health psychologist

    Occupational psychologists have studied the psychology of labour and organizations or are trained as clinical psychologists.
    They work on the crossing of psychology and organizational management to get the best from the workforce and improve well-being in work settings.

  6. Mediator psychologist

    The mediatior psychologist is specialised in the process of conflict control, intervention strategies and non-verbal communication. With these skills these psychologists are able to mediate between conflicting parties. The aim is to resolve a conflict without having to turn legal officials.

If you have any queries about registrations