Official or co-official languages

Dutch, Fries

Brief description of linguistic diversity




Current legislative mandates for LIT and certification

Interpreters and translators can be registered and sworn in when they have an interpreting or translating diploma at a first level (or higher) university degree or after having been certified. Certification is granted after testing or by portfolio-assessment done by a committee of experts. Sworn and registered interpreters/translators can obtain an special registration as a legal interpreter/translator when the required skills and knowledge have been assessed. In the Netherlands there is a training institute, the SIGV, that provides education and testing for LIT’s in 20 languages.

Responsible parties:


Current accrediting bodies

Bachelor institutes and the SNEVT provide certification schemes for registration in general. The SIGV provides a training and assessment scheme for LIT’s.

Does register exist?

Yes, there is a register for Sworn Interpreters and Translators, based on legislation. The criteria for registration are of a general, not legal, nature. Additional registration as LIT is possible after the required competences have been assessed.

Who develops certification exams?

The certification for registration has been developed by a committee consisting of experts from universities, a testing center, interpreters and translators. The testing done by the SIGV is developed by training experts and legal professionals and is expected to be accredited this summer  by an external agency. The assessment schema is also being based upon the system that universities use.

Who/How many rate performances?

Legal experts and/or training experts, number and selection subject to the nature of the exam.  Rating by at least two examiners.  The SIGV appoints an examination committee that supervises all examiners.


Yes there are several levels and types of collaboration:

- Management representatives of NGTV, VZV, SIGV en Hogeschool Zuyd/Vertaalacademie Maastricht sit on the SNEVT board;

- PSTEVIN  is a platform in which training institutes, professional organisations, agencies and other stakeholders exchange views and experiences;

- The SIGV collaborates with Lessius Hogeschool Antwerpen on training programs and assessment schemes and methods;

-SIGV works with faculty and examiners from the judicial branch.

-SIGV advisory committee is selected from the judicial branch.

-SIGV collaborates with the courts in Amsterdam; regular site visits by students attending foreign language (interpreted) court proceedings and guided by court staff.

- There is regular consultation with the SIGV alumni association.


Test Format:


T & I in one exam?


Screening exam? Describe.

SIGV screens candidates before they start the program. If their basic level is too low, candidates are advised not to participate (but not forbidden).  In these cases, participation is limited to the theoretical part of the course.

Test type/format

The SIGV has written assessments for language proficiency and testing legal knowledge. At the end of the interpreter training program, candidates must perform in a role-play in which a court situation is simulated. 


Domains tested

Criminal law procedures (in both systems)

Criminal law (i.e. terminology in both languages)

Interpreting/Translating skills

Language skills






Website? Dissemination of info about certification


Requirements to sit exam

Requirements are similar for all languages


Sample questions or practice exam available?



Additional qualifications for certification (experience, training, educational level, nationality)

Candidates are subject to an entry test.  If they do not pass, they may start the theoretical part of the course, but are not allowed to complete

the practical subjects.  Candidates who pass the entry test and enter the program must pass all the theoretical exams before being allowed to take the final (practical) exams.

Cost to candidate/#of locations/ frequency

The total cost for the interpreting program (including entry-tests and exams) is € 3.400, and for the translating program € 2 300. The courses are given in one location in the center of the country and lasts about eight months (3-hours per week plus self study) and starts once every year. The program for each laguage starts when a minimum number of candidates (approx 6) is reached.

Feedback on exam performance


Score grievance procedure available


Maximum nº of sittings


Permanent or renewable certification Registration must be renewed every five years. Proof of some working experience and sufficient CPE must be provided for renewal.





Revocation of certification possible?


If so, for what reasons?

Complaints which are investigated by a special committee, and issues of integrity.

Performance monitored? If so, how?

Only indirectly. If an interpreter or translator does not perform adequately, a party can initiate a complaint procedure which may result in registration being revoked.