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University Teaching Qualification (BKO)

Good teaching is a skill in itself. In order to guarantee the quality of education in the Netherlands, the University Teaching Qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO) is now compulsory for all lecturers, university lecturers (UD), senior university lecturers (UHD) and professors. What does this qualification mean for you?

The BKO is a mark of quality used by all Dutch universities. It functions as a reliable frame of reference with respect to your didactic skills. The BKO track consists of a series of modules, allowing lecturers to assess and develop all facets of teaching. At the end of the track, you are awarded a BKO certificate. Once you have completed the BKO certification, you are qualified for all Dutch universities. 

Do I need a BKO?

If you have an appointment for 0.5 FTE or more as lecturer, university lecturer (UD), senior university lecturer (UHD) or professor for one year or longer, you are required to be in possession of a BKO. If you were recently appointed and are not yet in possession of a BKO, you have two years to complete the BKO track. Without BKO you cannot be appointed on a permanent contract or promoted to a higher position. 

Can I teach without a BKO?

If you do not need a BKO and are still required to teach, you are expected to improve your didactic skills. You may begin for instance by following the Starter’s Course in Basic Didactic Skills offered by LLInC. Some faculties have also developed their own courses. For more information, please contact your institute manager. 

What does the BKO track look like? 

The BKO track begins with an interview with your Faculty’s BKO contact person. He or she conducts an intake interview with you on behalf of the Faculty’s assessment committee. Based on your teaching experience, the assessment committee decides which learning outcomes you already meet and which you need to develop further. You have two years to create your portfolio and complete the BKO track. The University can support you in a number of ways. Once your porftolio is complete, it is re-assessed by the committee. If you meet all learning outcomes, you will be awarded a BKO certificate, signed by the Dean of your Faculty and the Vice Rector. 

BKO portfolio

To obtain a BKO certificate, you have to create a portfolio of evidence that you meet the BKO learning outcomes. This portfolio should give the assessment committee a clear idea of your qualities. Your portfolio should in any case include the following: 

  • Student evaluations
  • Your supervisor’s assessment 
  • Reflection on your own development as a teacher
  • Advice from your colleague mentor (if you follow a training programme)

In addition, every Faculty sets additional portfolio requirements. For more information, please contact your BKO contact person. Your portfolio should also demonstrate that you meet the BKO learning outcomes.

What if I teach in English?

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. 

Where can I complete the BKO track?

You can complete the BKO at Leiden University. If you have obtained a BKO certification from another Dutch University, it is also valid. 

Support from Leiden University 

Your BKO contact person can put you into contact with a personal mentor. Leiden Learning & Innovation Centre (LLInC) also offers a number of course modules to support teacher professionalisation. Finally, the University organises regular teaching sessions.


The FSW BKO (also: UTQ) trajectory consists of two parts: a training trajectory provided by LLInC, consisting of 5 courses, and the compilation of a BKO portfolio. Successful completion of both parts is mandatory for the BKO certificate. See this webpage for more information about the conditions and procedure of the FSW BKO trajectory.


The intake with the secretary is the first step for all BKO candidates, afterwards, candidates can start enrolling for BKO training programmes.

When the training programme is completed and the portfolio has been compiled, the candidate sends the complete BKO file (including attachments, see Sample UTQ portfolio and Terms and conditions for the UTQ portfolio) in pdf to the secretary of the UTQ Assessment Committee no later than 10 working days before a meeting.

Note: The same deadline applies to the submission of any exemption requests, or applications for partial certificates

The BKO Assessment Committee will assess during their meeting whether the competences for the final attainment level are met, on the basis of the BKO portfolio submitted by the candidate. If the BKO Assessment Committee does not judge the BKO portfolio to be sufficient, they will indicate which points require further supplementation and they will retain the dossier so that the candidate can adjust it. The assessment is communicated to the candidate within 10 working days after the meeting date.

In the event of a positive assessment, the BKO Assessment Committee advises the dean to certify the candidate. The certificate is signed by the Vice-Rector and the dean of the faculty.

Meetings 2023-2024

Next meeting: 25 October 2023.

Other meetings 23-24 n.a.

BKO/UTQ training programme

The BKO training programme is offered by LLInC and consists of the following 5 training programmes (or "UTQ modules").

These training programmes are offered at least once a year.

  1. How to design a course
  2. Teaching in practice
  3. Testing and assessment
  4. Supervising thesis students
  5. Inclusive education


Enrolment in the BKO training programme takes place through LLiNC. Upon successful completion of a module, a partial certificate is awarded. The five partial certificates obtained are added to the BKO portfolio.

The Implementation Regulation contains information on the fees to be settled.

Compilation of the BKO portfolio/UTQ dossier

The basis of the compilation of the UTQ dossier are:

Basic Qualification English (BKE)

The BKE is a compulsory part of the BKO for lecturers who teach in English, unless regulations for exemption apply. The BKE test can be taken at the University's Academic Language Centre. The costs of the BKE test will be covered by the lecturer's institute.

A BKE appointment can be made by contacting
 Brigitt Relli through email.

Exemptions and partial certificates

You may wish to apply for exemption from following (some of) the LLInC training programme on the basis of previous teaching experience and/or previously taken courses or training programmes on didactics. For this purpose you can submit the exemption form to the secretary.

If you are employed by FSW as a PhD candidate and are interested in obtaining a UTQ partial certificate, we refer you to the UTQ partial certificate website.


Laura Schneider is the secretary of the BKO Assessment Committee at FSW. You can contact her with questions about procedure and support, or to schedule an intake or appointment. You can do so easily using Outlook.

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