Requirements for court bailiffs

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you a court bailiff? Your duties are described in the Bailiffs Act (Gerechtsdeurwaarderswet) and you must fulfil several requirements.

What does a court bailiff do?

Court bailiffs make sure that (contractual) agreements are fulfilled. As a court bailiff you may perform duties such as:

  • seizure of wages
  • seizure of property / assets
  • subpoena or summon someone
  • perform evictions

These are described as legal duties in the Bailiffs Act (in Dutch). You are only allowed to perform these duties if you are registered with the Royal Professional Organization of Judicial Officers (Koninklijke Beroepsorganisatie van Gerechtsdeurwaarders, KBvG). All court bailiffs in the Netherlands are members of the KBvG and can be found through their website.

Becoming a court bailiff

If you want to become a court bailiff, among others you must have:

  • the Dutch nationality, the nationality of an EEA country or the Swiss nationality. Note that your command of the Dutch language must be sufficient to perform your duties
  • completed an acknowledged apprentice bailiff education programme (in Dutch)
  • at least 2 years working experience as a deputy bailiff. This includes your 1 year internship period
  • a certificate of conduct (or equivalent from your home country if you have a different nationality)

Appointment as a court bailiff

You must be appointed as a court bailiff. To be appointed you should file a request with the Ministry of Justice and Security (in Dutch). You will have to supply among others proof of your education, business plan, and certificate of conduct (VOG). The application procedure takes 4 months.

Taking the oath

Have you been appointed as a court bailiff? Then you must take the oath before the court in the district where you are located (in Dutch), within 2 months. Deputy court bailiffs that are appointed for the first time must take the oath as soon as possible after their appointment.

Code of conduct

Court bailiffs must comply with rules for conduct and professional rules for judicial officers. These standards for quality are determined by the KBvG and are established in a regulation (in Dutch). These rules concern for instance:

  • integrity
  • providing information
  • archiving
  • handling of complaints
  • human resources policy

An independent auditor will check compliance with the quality standards every 2 years.

Continuous training

All (apprentice/deputy) bailiffs must follow refresher training to keep their knowledge up to date (permanent education, PE, in Dutch). For every training a number of points is rewarded. Make sure you receive the specified number of points every 2 years.


As a bailiff, you are obliged to keep records of your activities, your business assets and your private assets. The Financial Supervision Office (Bureau Financieel Toezicht, BFT, in Dutch) oversees your financial administration for compliance.


The Privacy Code of Conduct (Privacygedragscode, in Dutch) indicates the manner in which you are allowed to collect information. It also stipulates how this privacy-sensitive information may be used.

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