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Other official information and services:  belgium

Once the diploma has been obtained, the next step is either the application for approval or the application for licence to practice. In the area of healthcare, access to the profession is conditional on holding a licence.

Once it has been granted, it is still possible for some professions to obtain approval for a particular professional title or qualification, often after completing additional professional internship.

This is the case for the following professions:

  • general practitioners and specialists
  • general dentists and specialists
  • hospital pharmacists
  • nurses
  • midwives
  • mental health professions


For other professions, approval is obtained before a licence to practice.

This is the case for:

  • physiotherapists
  • the paramedical professions


As a result of the 6th State Reform in 2014, jurisdiction over approval was transferred to the communities. The federal government is only responsible for the approval of internship supervisors as mentioned above. This has therefore created a division, as access to the profession through the granting of ac-creditations is a federal responsibility, while approval is the responsibility of the communities.

Accreditations were previously issued by a decentralised procedure by the provincial medical commissions. Today, they are largely delivered automatically and centrally. Here is the process according to the different professions:

Physicians, dentists,
pharmacists, nurses and

For professions without recognition of the basic qualifications: licence to practice is issued on the basis of an exchange with the universities, colleges and secondary schools through a portal developed specifically for this purpose.


Each proclamation period, institutions provide lists of students with a basic diploma. The Access to the Profession unit uses these lists to send licence to practice automatically (email or mail) shortly after the end of their studies.




Physiotherapists, paramedics
and care assistants

The basic diploma for health care professionals is initially subject to approval by the Communities.



The Communities use the same database for approvals as the FPS does for granting licence to practice; licence to practice can be issued automatically as soon as approval has been granted


Clinical psychologists and
clinical orthopedagogue

The issuance of accreditations was launched in 2019, with some issued on the basis of transitional measures.




However, the majority of applications (transitional measures) are still made on an individual basis. The college portal can also be used for new graduates


In addition to issuing accreditations for Belgian diplomas, they are also issued for foreign diplomas, in many cases, after prior recognition. The recognition procedure differs depending on whether the diploma was obtained in an EU or non-EU country.

European diplomas

Recognition in accordance with European Directive 2005/36/EC and therefore by the Communities.

Licence to practice is then automatically issued as it is for Belgian diplomas, with recognition of the basic qualification



Non-European diplomas

Authorisation to practise a healthcare profession granted by the King, after the diploma has been declared equivalent by the Communities and after a recommendation of the competent federal council of the profession.

In addition to equivalence, approval is also required before a licence to practice can be granted for: physiotherapists, paramedics and nursing assistants



Due to the reform mentioned earlier, the order of the post-graduation steps may vary from one profession to another. Here are the diagrams illustrating the steps for accessing and practising the chosen profession for Nora, Déborah and Joël.


For speech therapists, we can see from the diagram that approval is the first formality to be completed upon graduation. A licence to practice is then granted and gives
the right to practise in Belgium. For the rest, the practitioner can decide to affiliate and apply for an NIHDI number



The length of study is different, but the other steps do not change compared with the diagram of speech therapists.




For nurses, however, accreditation is obtained first. The professional then has a choice: if they decide to obtain one of the possible qualifications or specialisations for the nursing profession, then approval will be given.


Accreditation and approval have been obtained. Déborah, Joël and Nora can now officially join the hundreds of thousands of people licensed to practise a healthcare profession in Belgium.

It's time for them to enter the workforce and begin the actual practice of their profession.


In the next section, we will use various figures to illustrate some characteristics of the three professions in which these three young people are going to work, namely speech therapists, midwives and nurses.