Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

Reregistration of medical specialists in the Netherlands

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 30 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1191
  1. J A Swinkels (

    Editorial by Buckley

    Since 1991 all specialists in the Netherlands have had to get reregistered every five years in order to retain their place on the medical register. Although the criteria for reregistration were initially solely quantitative, being based on a minimum number of hours spent in specialist practice, qualitative criteria have now been introduced. A new law which is expected to come into force in January 2000 requires doctors to complete 40 hours a year of accredited continuing medical education or to be assessed in the workplace every five years. In practice, however, most specialist societies are requiring their members to fulfil both of these requirements in order to reregister.


    This article is based on my experience as chairman of the committee of quality of care and member of the council on quality, science, and education of the Dutch Association of Medical Specialists (Orde van Medisch Specialisten) and on key references relating to quality management.1 2 Further information was obtained through a net search (

    From registration to reregistration

    The training of medical specialists is organised by three different bodies: the central board for the recognition and registration of medical specialists, the specialist registration committee, and the committee of appeal. The central board formulates the training requirements Members are recruited from the scientific societies and the medical faculties, and representatives from the government participate in the meetings. The specialist registration committee keeps the register of doctors and ensures that the training …

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