How many doctors can enter the medical specialist programmes? That limit is set annually by the Minister of VWS.

The Minister is advised by the NFU, NVZ and Federation of Medical Specialists about the distribution of the programme places over the various specialisms. The Stichting Bestuurlijk Overleg Lichte Structuur (BOLS) was set up for this purpose. The BOLS foundation makes agreements with the Ministry of VWS about the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of the programmes. Its starting point is that enough professionals must be trained to meet the demand for care. 

BOLS distributes the nationally available places per specialism over the Training and Education Regions (OORs). The OORs allocate these places subsequently to the institutions in their region.

Since 1 January 2013, the advanced medical programmes, psychiatry, advanced dentistry programmes and programmes for clinical-technological specialists are being financed by an Academic Care Availability Contribution. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) receives the distribution plan from the Ministry of VWS. It sends allocations to the healthcare institutions according to the distribution plan so they can receive the Academic Care Availability Contribution.