Independent certification for in-house emergency response teams

Certification via NIBHV

Anyone who wants to work as an in-house emergency response officer (ERO) must first successfully complete an in-house emergency response officer course. But not all courses are the same. Anyone who wants to become a good and competent emergency response officer should choose a training company that offers good quality courses. But how do you know whether your training company is really up to scratch? And how can you, as an employer, be sure that the certifcates and diplomas that your EROs have obtained are actually worth something? On this page you can read how independent certification ensures that the quality of training companies, instructors and emergency response officers is up to standard.

Independent certification is an important way to guarantee the quality of emergency response officer courses. The Dutch Institute for In-house Emergency Response (NIBHV) is the Dutch leading certification institution. Training companies can have their safety courses certified by NIBHV, as a sign of quality. These include the basic course for in-house emergency response teams, as well as courses for in-house emergency response team leaders.

A complete overview of the courses that NIBHV certifies is available on our website.

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NIBHV: independent quality system

NIBHV does not hold courses itself. As an independent institute, we set strict quality requirements for the content of courses and the associated tests.

To be certified by us, training companies and their instructors must meet these strict requirements. Do they meet the requirements? Then we will also regularly carry out random checks to see whether training companies and instructors still meet these quality requirements. And the extent to which they actually comply with the requirements set out in the certification regulations. This is how NIBHV ensures that course participants get an assessment that is as objective as possible.


Quality up to standard

This quality system keeps the quality of safety courses up to standard.

  • As an employer, you can be sure that your emergency response officers really are competent after following a course that NIBHV has certified.
  • And as an ERO, you know for sure that your in-house emergency response certificate has real value and that you can intervene correctly if something happens in the workplace.
  • The NIBHV certifcates and diplomas are recognised nationwide and has a support base among companies, the government, emergency responders, training companies and instructors.


Certification regulations: strict requirements

The requirements we set are laid down in the NIBHV Certification Regulations. These regulations are the basis for the quality system for independent certification as described above.

We set out in detail which standards and requirements training companies, instructors and course participants must meet in the certification regulations. The regulations are based on the most recent laws and regulations and current insights on safety.

Our certification regulations set out three types of requirements:

  • Requirements for the substance of the course. The course competency profile states what competencies (knowledge and skills) the course participant will be assessed on during the exam. A competence profile consists of exit qualifications (educational objectives), competencies (specific knowledge, insights or skills) and tests (for instance, e-learning, a knowledge test or a practical test).
  • Training company requirements. Among other things, the training company must provide a good, safe examination venue and the right examination materials. The training company must also ensure that all the ‘logistics’ surrounding the exams run smoothly. And that the right exam documents are in the right place at the right time.
  • Instructor requirements. The NIBHV certification regulations set out the requirements for taking the theory test and assessing the practical test; NIBHV determines how and on which points the instructor must assess whether course participants are competent. Instructors who adjudicate the tests have to be NIBHV certified. Our regulations also include guidelines for a professional conduct by the instructor.



There are no legal standards as such that ensure the quality of in-house emergency response officer courses; the Working Conditions Act only provides frameworks for this. As the leading knowledge institute for emergency response matters, the Dutch Institute for In-House Emergency Response (NIBHV), together with stakeholders, has established its own quality standards for emergency response officer courses based on these legal frameworks.

These standards have been developed in cooperation with:

The Labour Foundation and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands
(SER): company emergency response guidelines
The Dutch Resuscitation Council (NRR): resuscitation guidelines
The Orange Cross and the Red Cross: First-Aid Guidelines
Dutch Institute for Safety (NIPV): fire research
The Burns Foundation: research into burns
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the Inspectorate SZW: Occupational health and safety and in-house emergency response laws and regulations


Audits and checks

Based on periodic audits and checks, we ensure that all in- house emergency response courses are conducted in accordance with the requirements laid down in our regulations. That way, employers and their EROs can be sure that the training company they choose really delivers quality.
The Working Conditions Act obliges training companies and instructors to ensure that safety of course participants during the course and examination is taken care of. Safety is therefore a key area of focus in the inspections carried out by NIBHV. Read more about the requirements for in- house emergency response for employers under the Working Conditions Act.


Certification: the NIBHV certifcates and diplomas

At the end of the in- house emergency response course, participants take a theory test and a practical test. The certification regulations describe exactly how and on what points the instructor must assess whether the course participant is competent. If the course participant passes both the theory and practical tests, then he or she is given an official NIBHV certificate. These in-house emergency response officer certifcates and diplomas are a guarantee for the employer that the employee is capable of performing the emergency response tasks he or she has been trained for.

Handy digital tools

Training companies and instructors can use several digital tools to record exam results in NIBHV Competent. Course participants can check out their results online in their personal NIBHV portal. It also contains all the (digital) emergency response diplomas and certificates that the course participant has obtained.

Annual in-house emergency response refresher courses

To keep the workplace safe, every ERO must obtain a refresher certificate each year. In-house emergency response officers can keep their knowledge and skills up to standard by going on refresher courses and practising regularly.