Work experience before you obtain your master’s diploma

The Professional Traineeship Regulation makes a distinction between ‘practical experience’ (internship) and ‘professional experience’. Only work that satisfies the definition of professional experience can be viewed as such. In the following sections, the word 'internship' is defined as practical experience gained during your studies. 

Internship / practical experience

“An intern is a pupil or student who gains work experience at an architecture office during his/her studies. Learning goals are of primary importance during an internship.” See the definition and reference to the collective labour agreement (CAO) on the website of the Stichting Fonds Architectenbureaus. The intern carries no direct responsibility and is supervised. An internship usually earns the student a certain number of credits. Practical experience during an internship therefore does not count as professional experience.

Professional experience

Professional experience is defined as: working on projects and professional goals, independently, in which the person concerned carries responsibility and is expected to achieve results. In some cases, you may include work carried out before the start of the official professional traineeship as professional experience. For example, if you worked after obtaining your bachelor's diploma. This work needs to comply with the following conditions:

  • you carry out responsible and professional (paid) work after obtaining your bachelor’s diploma, for at least one year;
  • you are supervised by a mentor from your own discipline who has been entered in the Dutch Register of Architects for at least three years and who evaluates your way of working and output;
  • you can demonstrate the experience gained (work as well as relevant courses, training sessions and workshops) by keeping a logbook in which you also reflect on what you learn;
  • you indicate how the experience gained, or to be gained, relates to the required standards specified in the Personal Progress Plan.

Working after obtaining your master’s diploma

After obtaining your master’s diploma you look for work. You may decide to work for some time before starting your official professional traineeship. This work experience may be part of your professional traineeship, you don't have to request for any exemptions.

In this case, you must also provide insight into your work experience so that it can be assessed, and you must clarify how your knowledge, understanding and skills relate to the required standards. The conditions listed above also apply to work carried out after obtaining your master’s diploma. 


Exemptions are only given for the entire professional traineeship period. If (and only if) you are in possession of a non-European diploma in combination with a certified professional traineeship you could be eligible for exemption. In all other cases either the acquired experience may count as professional experience, or you can register directly (Dutch Master diploma before January 1st, 2015), or you can have your European registration transferred. In 2020 the fixed fee for this procedure will be €1.200 (no VAT needed).

Request for exemption

If you submit a request for exemption you should provide insight into your professional experience so that it can be assessed, and provide insight into how your knowledge, understanding and skills relate to the required standards. Only then may the Professional Traineeship Committee decide your experience sufficient for exemption. You must provide the Professional Traineeship Committee with a logbook and PPP. If the Committee judges from these documents your experience to be sufficient you will be invited for an exemption meeting. After this meeting the Committee will pass their final judgment. 

In order to make sure exemption is applicable to your situation, please contact the Bureau Architectenregister before applying.

Bureau Architectenregister
Nassauplein 24
2585 EC Den Haag

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