Universiteit Leiden

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Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO)

Are you a senior lecturer and do you play an active role in the university’s educational development and innovation? If so, you are eligible for the Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO). This qualification shows that you possess strong didactic and educational skills and that you contribute to the development of education beyond your own course or discipline.

General criteria

SKO candidates must meet the following criteria at the start of the process:

1.    They must be in possession of the UTQ.
2.    They must have a PhD and/or be able to demonstrate, by means of a (clinical) qualification and more than four years of experience, that they possess specialist knowledge and skills from professional practice with demonstrable value for academic education.*
3.    They must have taught at a university level for at least five years after obtaining the UTQ.
4.    They must be able to demonstrate that they have taught various courses in different academic years and have applied a variety of educational methods.
5.    Their teaching CV must show that they have recently developed initiatives and made contributions that have had an educational impact within one or more programmes that go beyone their own course or discipline.

* Professional fields usually have formal qualifications. If this is not the case for your field, a statement from a few referees will suffice. In addition, you can indicate why you think you qualify for the SKO. Years of experience are years in which you spent a substantial part of your time (16 hours per week) in your professional practice.

Final learning objectives

To obtain the SKO, you must put together a portfolio of your final learning objectives, reflect on your teaching experience and show how you implement the university’s Vision on Teaching and Learning in your own teaching practice. The final learning objectives relate to four themes:

  1. Conduct within the academic teaching environment
  2. Creating and developing a didactic programme with a view to the context of a curriculum
  3. Preparing and providing teaching
  4. Impact on education within one or more degree programmes that extends beyond your own teaching programme


The SKO process involves the following steps:

  1. You register with the secretary of the assessment committee.
  2. You submit your CV to the secretary as well as a reflection on the final learning criteria 1 and 4 before the deadline. 
  3. The university assessment committee then determines whether you can start compiling the SKO portfolio. This depends on whether you meet the criteria and/or if the initial reflection offers sufficient assurance that you will be able to obtain the SKO.
  4. The assessment committee will inform you of the result and the motivation for its decision.
  5. If you receive a positive decision, you may begin writing the portfolio. You’re strongly advised to join a group of SKO candidates for several inspiration sessions under the guidance of an LLInC educational consultant. You should then submit your SKO portfolio to the secretary before the deadline.
  6. The assessment committee will assess your portfolio and invite you for an interview.
  7. The assessment committee advises the Executive Board (CvB) regarding the award of the SKO.
  8. You will receive the SKO certificate from the Vice-Rector of the Executive Board.

Time frame

2024 round

27 November 2023
Information session
15 February 2024
Registration deadline. The SKO assessment committee decides whether to admit you and informs you of its decision.
15 September 2024
Deadline for portfolio submission.
October 2024
Interviews with the assessment committee. The committee issues a recommendation to the Executive Board.
January 2025
Certificates awarded.

SKO inspiration sessions and individual guidance

If you have the opportunity to do the SKO, we strongly advise attending the LLInC’s inspiration sessions together with the other SKO candidates. You can also ask for individual guidance. You will be invited to these sessions if you are admitted to the SKO. The participants will be consulted on possible dates for the sessions.

Please note: The SKO is not the outcome of a training programme, unlike at other Dutch universities. The inspiration sessions and individual guidance provide support in writing the portfolio, but the SKO assessment committee forms its own opinion about the applications and portfolios.

SKO assessment committee members


If you have questions about the SKO, please contact the SKO assessment committee at sko@llinc.leidenuniv.nl.

Leiden University wants to promote Lifelong Learning for its staff and lecturers. We want to facilitate and encourage personal growth. One of the action lines in our Strategic Plan is to promote high-quality, innovative, flexible and future-oriented academic education. The Senior Teaching Qualification helps realise this goal.

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