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Declaration of Conduct

A Certificate of Good Behaviour (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) is a statement that shows that your behaviour does not constitute an objection to holding a particular position. A VOG may be necessary in various cases, for example to obtain a new job. For example, you may be asked by your intended employer to submit a VOG. For some jobs, a VOG is even compulsory, for example for the position of teacher and taxi driver. The VOG specialist at our office is Pepijn Slewe. He can advise you in advance, but can also conduct the objection procedure for you.


Apply for a Birds Birthday

You can apply for a Certificate of Good Behaviour (VOG) by submitting an application form to the municipality in which you are registered. Since 1 January 2012, you have been able to apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct via the Internet at some organisations. The municipality will take over the information from your application form and automatically supplement it with information from the Municipal Personal Records Database (Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie) and forward everything to the COVOG of the Justis Department.



The Central Organ Certificate of Good Conduct (COVOG) is the body that decides on behalf of the Minister of Security & Justice whether or not a VOG is issued.


Judicial Documentation System

To assess an application for a VOG, the COVOG consults all your judicial data registered in the Judicial Documentation System (JDS). This judicial data shows whether, for example, you have been convicted by a judge, have reached a settlement or have entered into a transaction with the judicial authorities. In addition, the COVOG can use data from the police files in the investigation and obtain information from the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Probation Service.


Judicial data

If research shows that you do not appear in the JDS, the COVOG will decide to issue a VOG within four weeks of receiving your application. However, if it turns out that you have been in contact with the Ministry of Justice, the COVOG will assess whether this is relevant for the purpose for which the declaration was requested.


Data not included in the assessment:

(a) acquittals;

(b) decisions of inadmissibility by the Public Prosecutor's Office;

(c) decision not to prosecute because the person concerned has been wrongly identified as a suspect;

(d) technical dismissals (dismissal code 02);

(e) ground for dismissal which relates to the circumstance that someone was wrongly designated as a suspect (dismissal code 01);

(f) ground for dismissal which relates to the circumstance that the suspect is a police officer and investigation shows that he acted within the legal framework and used lawful force (dismissal code 09).


Review period

When investigating whether your judicial data are relevant for the purpose for which the VOG was requested, a review period of four years is generally observed. This means that the assessment of the application will be based on the judicial data that have been entered in the JDS during the four years preceding the assessment. In some cases this will be deviated from. If, for example, a VOG relates to a position with high integrity requirements, a review period of ten years applies and a review period of five years applies to driver passes. If, moreover, the judicial data contain sex crimes, the review period is not limited in duration.


Starting points review period

The review period shall be calculated from the date of assessment of the application. The main rule is that it is looked at:

(a) the ruling of the court of first instance.

This principle also applies to a judicial decision that is not yet irrevocable, for example because an appeal and/or cassation has been lodged.


If there is no judicial decision, but the case has been settled by the Public Prosecutor's Office, the starting point applies:

(b) the date on which the Public Prosecutor's Office made a criminal decision,

(c) the date of the transaction as set out in the JDS; or

(d) the date on which the Public Prosecutor's Office has taken a decision not to prosecute (dismissal).


If there is no situation as mentioned under a, b, c or d, then the criminal case is still open and serves as a starting point:

(e) the date of the commission.


With regard to outstanding criminal cases relating to offences of indecency and fraud, in deviation from the main rule in the case referred to under e, the date of the offence is not taken as the starting point, but the date on which the judicial record was submitted to the Public Prosecution Service.


Screening profiles

If it turns out that you have been in contact with the judicial authorities, the COVOG will assess on the basis of screening profiles whether the offences (may) constitute an obstacle to the issue of a VOG. There are screening profiles for specific professional groups, such as special investigation officers, teachers and taxi drivers. In addition, the COVOG has developed a general screening profile.


Intention to refuse VOG

If the COVOG is of the opinion that you should be refused a VOG, you will always first receive an intention to refuse. This intention contains the reasons for the intended refusal of a VOG. As a rule, you can respond to this intention in writing within 2 weeks.



If your VOG is definitively refused, you will receive a rejection order. This will state the grounds on which the refusal is based. You can object to a negative decision within 6 weeks. You will be given the opportunity to be heard during the objection procedure. This hearing takes place in The Hague but can also take place by telephone.



If your objection is rejected, you can appeal to the court within 6 weeks. However, court fees are due for this. The court fees are € 156,- for natural persons and € 310,- for legal persons.


Council of State

Against a decision of the court, you can appeal to the Council of State within 6 weeks. Again, court fees of € 232 for natural persons and € 466 for non-natural persons are due.


More information

The central government has published extensive information on the Certificate of Good Conduct. Click here to visit the website.


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