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.    The STQ candidate must be in possession of the UTQ.
2.    The candidate has a PhD and/or can demonstrate, by means of a (clinical) qualification and more than 4 years of experience, that he/she possesses specialist knowledge and skills from professional practice with demonstrable value for academic education. 
Qualification: every professional field does 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 STQ.
Years of experience are years in which you spent a substantial part of your time (think 16 hours per week) performing your professional practice.

3.    The candidate has taught at university level for at least 5 years after obtaining the UTQ.
4.    The candidate can demonstrate that he/she has taught various courses in different academic years and has applied a variety of educational methods.
5.    The candidate’s teaching CV shows that he/she recently has developed initiatives and made contributions that have an educational impact within one or more programmes transcending their own course or discipline.

Final learning objectives

To obtain the SKO, you must put together a portfolio of your final learning objectives. These relate to four themes:

  1. Conduct within the academic teaching environment
  2. Creating and elaborating 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 one’s 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 objectives 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

Round 2023

Deadline for registration. The SKO assessment committee decides of your admission and informs you of the result.
Deadline for submitting the portfolio.
Interviews with the assessment committee. The committee formulates a recommendation for the Executive Board.
Award of the certificates.

SKO inspiration sessions and individual guidance

Do you have the opportunity  to receive your SKO? We strongly advise you to visit the inspiration sessions from the LLInC, together with other STQ-candidates. You can also ask for individual guidance. When you are admitted, you will receive an invitation. The dates of the sessions will be determined in accordance with the participants.

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

SKO assessment committee members


If you have questions about the SKO, please contact the secretary of the SKO assessment committee via sko@bb.leidenuniv.nl.

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