Issuance of BIG attributes

The issuance of the BIG credential is experimental. We advise against relying on it in production.

The BIG-register is a public register of healthcare professionals, such as physicians, dentists and nurses. Every healthcare professional in the Netherlands is registered there with a personal BIG-number. BIG is a Dutch abbreviation for: Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg.

When you are a (registered) healthcare professional in the Netherlands the Privacy by Design foundation can look up your BIG-registration on the basis of your name, date of birth and gender; subsequently it can issue to you the following attributes:

  • BIG-number
  • date of BIG-registration
  • medical profession
  • medical specialism

These personal attributes are obtained from the BIG-register. The correctness of the attributes is the register’s responsibility. The foundation does not check them.

As first step of this issuance process you disclose your name, date of birth and gender from the iDIN credential to the foundation. With your consent, the foundation uses these data to search in the BIG-register. If this yields an unambiguous result, you will receive your BIG attributes in a new BIG credential in your IRMA app. The foundation subsequently removes your name and date of birth, and also these BIG attributes, from its systems. The foundation does not keep a log of issuance: it does not record which attributes it issues to whom at what time.

The validity period of this BIG credential is one year.

The foundation can test the issuance mechanism of BIG credentials only to some extent, simply because of the limited number of available BIG-registrations that the developers of the foundation can try out. Hence it may very well happen that unforeseen issues arise. In such a case your feedback is much appreciated, preferably with a clear explanation of what happened, via the “info” address at contact.

In the current set-up the following rules are used.

  • If a BIG registration has expired, no attributes are issued.
  • If multiple people, with both the same name and the same date of birth, occur in the BIG register, no attributes are issued: after all, the foundation cannot distinguish these individuals.
  • If someone occurs with multiple medical professions in the BIG register, a separate credential is created for each of these professions. You can then choose yourself on each occasion which one you wish to disclose.

Back to attribute issuance.