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Partial BKO certificate

As a PhD candidate, you were primarily hired to do research, although you will probably also have to do some teaching. The partial University Teaching Qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO) certificate provides recognition that a PhD candidate has gained knowledge and experience as a teacher. To obtain the partial certificate, you are required to teach a small-scale course (for example a series of tutorials), take the LLInC module Teaching in Practice (or a comparable module within your Faculty) and submit a portfolio. You have to demonstrate that you meet the BKO learning outcome “Preparing and giving lectures”.

The first step is to contact your Faculty’s UTQ (BKO) contact person. He or she will conduct an intake interview with you on behalf of the Faculty’s assessment committee, and will explain the steps you need to take to obtain your partial BKO certificate. In order to obtain your partial certificate you have to teach a short course, namely at least one series of tutorials. 

In addition, you are required take the LLInC module Teaching in Practice. This course takes three half-days with additional preparation time. You must also have a mentor who advises and guides you throughout the track. Make sure you make clear agreements about this with your mentor. An experienced lecturer will attend one of your lectures and observe you as you teach; he or she will give you feedback on your teaching and write a report. You can discuss the choice of a specific mentor or observer with your BKO contact person. As a rule, your mentor should not be your PhD supervisor. 

You also have to create a portfolio  that shows how you meet the various components of the BKO learning outcome “Preparing and giving lectures”

Based on your portfolio, the Faculty’s BKO assessment committee will assess whether you meet the learning outcome. For its assessment the committee makes use of a rubric. If you meet all the requirements, you will be awarded a partial BKO certificate, signed by the Dean of your Faculty and the Vice-Rector. The fact that you have obtained a partial BKO certificate will also be recorded in your personnel file. 

To obtain a partial BKO certificate, you have to create a portfolio of evidence that you meet the BKO learning outcome “Preparing and giving lectures”. Your portfolio should give the assessment committee a clear idea of your qualities, and should in any case include the following:

  • Student evaluations of the course you taught
  • Reflection report on your own development as a teacher
  • Report from the lesson observation
  • If applicable: the English Language Proficiency Qualification (Basiskwalificatie Taalvaardigheid Engels, BKE) of the Academic Language Centre

Leiden University actively encourages PhD candidates to teach, and those who do are expected to obtain the partial BKO certificate. Obtaining the partial certificate is a step towards obtaining a full BKO certificate. Also, didactic skills will come in useful when applying for your next job. Some faculties offer PhD candidates the opportunity to develop further and obtain a full BKO certificate.

If you teach in English you are also required to complete an English Language Proficiency Qualification (Basiskwalificatie Taalvaardigheid Engels, BKE). The required level of English proficiency is C-1. The track consists of a test. If applicable, you will be awarded a separate BKE certificate, which you can include in your BKO portfolio.

Leiden PhD candidates are expected to follow 2 x 140 hours of training in the course of their PhD appointment. 140 hours are devoted to general academic activities, and 140 hours to training research skills. You make agreements with your supervisor about the details of your plan and record these agreements in a Training and Supervision Plan. The course required to obtain the partial BKO certificate fits within the 140 hours devoted to general academic skills. The course takes 20 hours to complete. Besides the courses you can also include some teaching hours (for a max. of 20 hours) as transferable skills. Your Graduate School can provide a certificate for uploading in Converis.

Some faculties offer their PhD candidates the opportunity to obtain a full BKO certificate. With the partial certificate, PhD candidates can demonstrate that they have already completed some of the work. Please contact your Faculty’s UTQ (BKO) contact person to find out how to turn your partial certificate into a full BKO certificate.

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