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May 29th 2017

The NWO Institutes Organisation (NWO-I) follows the FOM job interview code. 

1. Basic principles
1.1 - The FOM job interview code, based on the NVP job interview code, adheres to the following basic principles:

  • an honest chance of employment (same chance with same suitability; FOM determines its choice on the basis of suitability for the position);
  • the candidate is completely and carefully informed about the procedure, the responsibilities attached to the position applied for and how this position fits within the FOM organisation;
  • the candidate is only asked about that information necessary to assess the suitability for the position;
  • the candidate provides FOM with the information that FOM needs to form a true and reliable picture of the candidate's suitability for the vacant position;
  • the information obtained from the candidate is treated with the utmost care and confidence; the privacy of the candidate in other aspects is also respected;
  • the candidate and FOM are both aware that information available from open sources, such as the Internet and information obtained from third parties is not always reliable;
  • a complaints procedure applies in the event that the candidate submits a written complaint about careless, unreasonable or incorrect treatment (see Article 7).

1.2 - The candidate must be clearly informed about the procedure to be followed. This means that if FOM deviates from the procedure agreed upon then the candidate must be duly informed of this. Equally, the candidate can also request a deviation from the procedure.

1.3 - The code applies to a procedure initiated to fill a vacancy within FOM and for which the recruitment of candidates takes place by a) public announcement such as advertisements in newspapers/ journals and on Internet, b) via UWV Werkbedrijf, publication boards and internal recruitment and c) via temping agencies and recruitment and selection agencies.

1.4 - The code is in line with existing European (incl. Dutch) legislation.

2. When a vacancy arises
2.1 - If FOM decides that there is or will be a vacancy that needs to be filled then it draws up a job description stating the job requirements and the responsibilities involved stating the relevant details. This should at least include: job requirements, position in the organisation, nature of the employment contract (e.g., temporary or secondment), work times and working hours (for example, shift work or part-time) and job location.

2.2 - Job requirements can concern professional competences (education, knowledge and experience), competences, behaviour and personal characteristics.
Requirements with respect to personal characteristics (for example, nationality, gender or personal beliefs) are only made if these are necessary for a good filling of the position and in for so far these are not in conflict with statutory regulations.1)

3. Recruitment
3.1 - Besides the relevant job description, a job advertisement states how to apply for the vacancy (for example where the job application should be sent to or where an application form should be requested from), the information to be provided by the candidate (such as education, diplomas, employment history and experience), any special selection procedures/tools (such as psychological tests and/or assessment), a possible medical examination prior to appointment and the deadline for submitting applications. If the submission of a Certificate of Good Character forms part of the job application procedure then this will also be stated in the job advertisement.
In the case of an open application FOM will provide the aforementioned information at the candidate's request.

3.2 – FOM, and the intermediary agencies it uses that obtain data from vacancy sites/Internet, should inform those concerned of the use of the data (in databases or for recruitment and selection purposes).

3.3 - If an appointment guideline is needed for the vacancy concerned then the reason for this will be given. If the FOM care clause is applicable then this will be stated.2)

3.4 - If a preference policy for certain groups is implemented then this will be stated along with the reason for this 1)

3.5 - FOM will not request any passport photos from candidates before it has invited them for a visit unless there are very good reasons to do otherwise.

4. Selection phase
4.1 - FOM will inform the candidate as soon as possible (within several weeks) after the closing date for applications whether:

  • the candidate will be rejected;
  • the candidate will be invited for an interview;
  • the candidate's application will be kept on file (stating the period in which further notification will be given);
  • the candidate's details will be kept on file for a different vacancy.

If the candidate is invited for an interview or if the candidate's application is kept on file then with this notification FOM will provide information about the interview procedure and how long this is expected to take.

4.2 - During the interview, questions are only posed about aspects that are relevant for the vacancy and/or the filling of the position, such as professional expertise (education, knowledge and experience) and career expectations and perspectives.

4.3 - FOM can request the candidate to identify themselves with a valid proof of identification.

4.4 - The candidate provides FOM with the information that gives a true and reliable picture of his/her professional expertise (education, knowledge and experience) and withholds no information that he/she knows or ought to know is important for the filling of the position that he/she is applying for.

4.5 - Prior to and during the interview, FOM provides the candidate with all of the correct information that he or she needs to form as full a picture as possible about the vacancy and the organisation.

4.6 - FOM reimburses all reasonable travel costs incurred by the candidate that amount to € 5 or more.

5. Further investigations
5.1 - If FOM wishes to obtain information about the candidate from third parties and/or other sources then it asks the candidate's permission beforehand unless this is not required on the basis of statutory or generally binding regulations. The information sought must be directly related to the filling of the vacancy and may not make a disproportionate infringement on the candidate's private life. Information obtained form third parties and other sources shall, if relevant, be made known to the candidate stating the source and be discussed with the candidate.

5.2 - A psychological test (which is understood to include an assessment) can only take place under the responsibility of a certified psychologist with due consideration to the guidelines of the Netherlands Institute of Psychologists (NIP).
The results may only be given to FOM or an external recruitment and selection agency with the candidate's permission.

5.3 - A medical examination in relation to an appointment can only take place if special requirements regarding medical suitability must be made for the filling of the vacancy. The examination will be carried out by a physician under the responsibility of a occupational health service according to the statutory regulations. For an appointment examination, the Protocol Appointment Examinations from June 1995 as well as the Appointment Examinations Decree of November 2001 will serve as a guideline. 3)

FOM only lets the candidate they wish to appoint undergo a medical examination.
If a foreseeable secondment abroad is expected that will require a medical examination then the employer will inform the candidate of this during the selection process.

5.4 – For a number of positions within FOM a Certificate of Good Character has to be submitted as part of the job application procedure. In those cases this is a stated in the advertisement text. In the initial interview round the candidates will once again be informed about this requirement. The actual application for and submission of the Certificate of Good Character only applies to candidates who reach the final interview round. The costs incurred for the application (€ 30.05 in 2011) will be reimbursed by FOM. 

6. Final selection and decision
6.1 - If at any phase during the interview procedure FOM decides that a candidate is no longer eligible for the vacancy then he or she will be informed of this as soon as possible by e-mail. Reasons for the rejection will be given. Candidates who have applied verbally can be rejected verbally.

6.2 - Written information obtained from the candidate will be sent back or destroyed as soon as possible after the rejection4), unless agreed otherwise.

6.3 - If an employment agreement is entered into then all agreements and undertakings will be recorded in writing.

7. Handling of complaints by FOM

  • If the candidate is of the opinion that he or she was treated in a careless or incorrect manner during the interview procedure then he or she can submit a written complaint to this effect to the head of the Personnel Department NWO-I, PO Box 3021, 3502 GA Utrecht.
  • The head of the Personnel Department NWO-I submits the complaint to the Central Complaints Advisory Committee of FOM.
  • This committee investigates the complaint and informs the head of the Personnel Department NWO-I in writing.
  • The candidate is then informed by the head of the Personnel Department NWO-I in writing about FOM's findings with respect to the complaint.



1) This concerns law relating to equal opportunities for men and women and a person's general position in law (concerning religion, life philosophy, political affiliation, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or marital status), the Medical Testing Act, Equal Treatment (Disability and Chronic Illness) Act and the Equal Treatment in Employment (Age Discrimination) Act. The implementation of a preferential policy is only permitted within the legally defined boundaries. Further information about this can be found on the website of the Equal Opportunities Commission (
2) An appointment guideline may be deviated from in the case that the candidate has cared for a child aged between 0 and 12 years in his/her household and was not working full-time during this care-providing period (employed or remunerated in a different manner). For further information please refer to FOM's care clause.
3) The Protocol Appointment Examinations is signed by the central organisations of: employers, employees, patients/consumers, doctors and occupational health services. A copy of the Protocol can be requested from the Royal Dutch Medical Association, Lomanlaan 103, 3526 XD Utrecht, tel. +31 (0)30 282 39 11.

4) For further information about the protection of personal data please see