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 SKO candidate must be in possession of the BKO.
  2. Following his/her PhD conferral, the candidate has taught at university level for at least 5 years.
  3. The candidate can demonstrate that he/she has taught various courses in different academic years and has applied a variety of educational methods.
  4. 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 degree 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. If you like, you can join a group of SKO candidates for several inspiration sessions under the guidance of an ICLON 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 exam 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 2022

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 oppertunity to receive your SKO? You can visit three inspiration sessions from the ICLON. You can also ask for individual guidance. Read more (Dutch only) >>

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: Monique Oomes.

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