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.
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 Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO) is a mandatory quality mark for lecturers, ud's, uhd's and professors with an appointment from 0.5 fte for a year or more (see also university information: Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO) - Leiden University).
The FSW BKO trajectory consists of two parts: a learning trajectory provided by LLInC, consisting of five modules, and the compilation of a BKO portfolio. Successful completion of both parts is mandatory for the BKO certificate. Possibly, the candidate must also obtain a Basic English Qualification (BKE). Read more about this below.
This webpage provides all information on the conditions and procedure of the FSW BKO trajectory. The first step in obtaining a BKO is always an intake interview with the BKO secretary.
- The Terms and conditions for the UTQ portfolio provide guidelines for compiling a BKO portfolio.
- The Implementation Regulation describes administrative agreements concerning the BKO.
FSW BKO trajectory
The FSW BKO trajectory is offered by LLInC and consists of five BKO modules, each offered at least once a year:
1. Designing education
2. Implementing education
3. Testing and assessment
4. Supervising theses
5. Inclusive education
Registration for the BKO modules is done directly through the Serviceplein. Upon successful completion of a module, a partial certificate is awarded. The five partial certificates obtained are added by the candidate to the BKO portfolio.
When the conditions for the portfolio (Terms and conditions BKO) are met, the candidate sends the complete BKO portfolio (incl. attachments, see Sample BKO portfolio in pdf) to the secretary of the BKO Examination Board, 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
During the meeting, the BKO Assessment Committee assesses whether the learning outcomes for the BKO have been met based on the BKO portfolio submitted by the candidate. If the assessment committee does not yet assess the BKO portfolio as sufficient, it will indicate on which points supplementation is needed and will hold the portfolio so the candidate can adjust the portfolio. The assessment is communicated to the candidate within 10 working days after the meeting date.
If the assessment is positive, the assessment committee advises the dean to certify the candidate.
N.B. for candidates with a deadline to obtain the BKO before 1 September 2024, they may also use the old documentation, see here:
Basic Qualification English (BKE)
The BKE is a compulsory part of the BKO for lecturers who teach English. The BKE test can be taken at the Academic Language Centre and the costs are borne by the institute to which the lecturer is assigned.
For an appointment, please contact Brigitt Relli.
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.
Meeting dates for 2024 are:
25 oktober 2023 18 december 2023 29 januari 2024
- 18 maart 2024
- 21 mei 2024
Practical information and contact
The Implementation Regulations contain information on the costs to be settled. 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.