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VOG for healthcare

With the introduction of the
Healthcare Quality, Complaints and Disputes Act
on January 1st of 2016, requesting the certificate
of conduct (VOG) in healthcare became mandatory
for certain jobs. On this page, we will explain when a
healthcare institution is obliged to have a recent VOG from a healthcare provider and we answer many more questions.

What is a VOG?

A VOG is one of the tools an organisation can use to test you’re their employees’ integrity. It is a statement showing that a candidate’s (judicial) past does not constitute an objection to fulfilling a specific task or position in society. When assessing a VOG application, Justis looks at whether a candidate has any criminal offences to their name that pose a risk to the job or purpose for which they are applying for the VOG.

When is a VOG mandatory in healthcare?

There are some types of healthcare institutions that are obliged to request a recent VOG from their staff. This obligation applies to:

• institutions providing care under the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz);
• institutions providing mental health care covered by health insurance where clients stay overnight.

This concerns new employees hired from 1 January 2016 onwards. The obligation therefore applies to all types of employment, including temporary workers, seconded workers and workers that provide care as soloists. Only volunteers and informal caregivers are not required to have a recent VOG.

Why is a VOG required for certain healthcare positions?

With the introduction of the Healthcare Quality, Complaints and Disputes Act, every healthcare provider has a duty to verify (vergewisplicht). This means that as a healthcare institution, you have to check whether a healthcare provider’s employment history does not affect the provision of good care. For institutions that are subject to the Wlz and/or mental health care, the duty of verify in any case consists of requesting a recent VOG. Other healthcare institutions are free to give substance to the duty of verify themselves.

Validity period VOG in healthcare

It is important to add that a new employee’s VOG must be recent, meaning no older than three months before the date of employment. This is because the certificate acts as a snapshot and tells us something about the past period. A longer validity period would involve certain risks.

VOG check

VOG screening profile in healthcare

There is a list of fixed screening profiles on which Justis screens candidates depending on their profession. For the healthcare sector, profile 45. Human and animal health and welfare applies.

Employees that belong to this screening profile take care of individuals and in this relationship there may be (temporary) dependency. Risks such as abuse of (temporary) dependency, moral and violent offences, theft, improper or incorrect use of medicines, medical devices, systems in which confidential and sensitive data are stored, and more, are taken into account in the VOG screening profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

• How long is a VOG valid in healthcare?

A VOG acts as a snapshot, because the certificate says something about the past period. In general, it is not valid for a specific period, but it depends on the ministry responsible for regulations or the employer.

In the healthcare sector, it is legally decided that a VOG of new employees may not be older than 3 months.

• Is requesting a VOG from your employees mandatory in healthcare?

A few of types of healthcare institutions are obligated to request a recent VOG from their new employees. This applies to:

  • institutions providing care under the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz);
  • institutions providing mental health care covered by health insurance where clients stay overnight.
• When is it not necessary to request a VOG in healthcare?

The obligation to have a recent VOG for new employees applies to:

  • institutions providing care under the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz);
  • institutions providing mental health care covered by health insurance where clients stay overnight.

Other healthcare institutions are not obliged to request a VOG from their applicants. However, they may choose to do so because of the duty of verify. According to the duty of verify, (all) healthcare institutions are obliged to investigate whether a new employee is fit to provide care. Different ways to comply with the duty of verify are:

  • request a VOG from new employees;
  • inquire with previous employers about former work performance;
  • check the BIG register;
  • inquire with the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate;

Please note that a VOG alone is not enough evidence to meet the verification requirement. It must always be combined with another way.