RIVM  is an independent agency of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). Our tasks and responsibilities, and how we ensure our independence have been laid down in the RIVM act of 21 October 1996.

Main commissioners

  • The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport;
  • The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management;
  • The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate;
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment;
  • The Ministry of Defense;
  • The Ministry of Justice and Safety;
  • Various International Organisations (EU European Union (European Union), UN United Nations  (United Nations ) United Nations   , WHO);
  • Various national inspectorates.

Main tasks

RIVM’s main tasks have their base in the needs and questions of the commissioners mentioned above and can be grouped into the following categories:

1. Policy support

RIVM delivers answers to research questions. These answers support the development of appropriate policy and interventions;

2. National Coordination

In the Netherlands, responsibility for various public health tasks is organised at the regional and local level. RIVM plays an important role in overseeing and coordinating these activities;

3. Prevention and intervention programmes

 RIVM is responsible for carrying out several programmes which promote public health, such as the national population screening programmes (breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer screening) and the National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands;

4. Information for professionals and the general public

RIVM informs professionals and the general public on health and environmental issues through training, guidelines, newsletters, brochures, websites and social media;

5. Research programmes

RIVM conducts policy-relevant research in the fields of health, environment and safety. Besides commissioned research, we have our Strategic Programme RIVM, which is partly being used for funding research activities to keep up with the latest scientific developments in our fields of expertise;

6. Crisis management and response

RIVM has a joint responsibility in a number of national crises, such as an outbreak of infectious disease, a food safety incident or an environmental accident.