Education University Teaching Qualification

About the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) in Dutch: BKO

The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ, BKO in Dutch) provides proof of the teaching competence of university teaching staff. read more

About the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) in Dutch: BKO

About the University Teaching Qualification (BKO)

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has developed an accreditation for lecturers at Dutch universities. The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) provides proof of the teaching competence of university teaching staff. In 2008, all Dutch universities signed an agreement on the mutual recognition of the UTQ. The details of the nationally established UTQ requirements can vary slightly for individual institutions or faculties.

Radboud university medical center’s UTQ profile

Radboud university medical center has developed its own UTQ profile based on the national requirements. The profile takes explicit account of the basic educational principles of the Nijmegen curricula.

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If you wish to sign up, you first need to request an intake interview. send an email

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Akkelien Bergsma

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In brief

  • Lecturers at Radboud university medical center who are involved in initial university programs.

    read more

    Who is it for?

    In consultation with your head of department, you can decide whether you wish to obtain a UTQ. All members of the permanent academic staff at the Radboud university medical center with a teaching position of >0.2 FTE must obtain a UTQ.

    A UTQ is a prerequisite for appointment to the positions of Associate Professor and Junior Principal Lecturer and for appointment to certain central teaching roles, such as quarterly director or line coordinator.

  • The admissions process

    Radboud university medical center has a Starting Qualification as a general springboard qualification for teaching. It is mandatory for all teaching staff and is obtained by completing the *Introduction to Nijmegen Curricula course. On completion of that course, you can use this application form to apply for the Starting Qualification.

    Once you have the Starting Qualification, you can work towards two higher qualifications:

    • University Teaching Qualification
    • Extended Teaching Qualification

    You must have the University Teaching Qualification before you can obtain the Extended Qualification.

    *For more information about this course, go to Education and search for 'Introduction to Nijmegen curricula'.

UTQ competency profile

Read the UTQ competencies for each cluster here. read more

UTQ competency profile

Teaching practice

  • You can develop education, implement educational activities and supervise students within the main teaching methods used in university education.
  • You base your design, development and execution of teaching and your supervision on:
    • your thorough knowledge of the backgrounds, principles, learning outcomes, structure, content and assessment of the curriculum
    • the educational and pedagogical literature
    • research findings relating to learning
    • developments in teaching methods and new teaching and learning materials, including specific learning resources for your field
    • your up-to-date knowledge of the field in which you are teaching
  • The teaching materials (resources, assignments) that you design and develop:
    • help students to attain the expected learning objectives efficiently
    • give students sufficient information to decide how to use them in their studies
    • tie in with other teaching materials in the same phase of the study program
    • where possible, are situated in a context that is meaningful for students and for professional practice, and in which the patient perspective is also addressed
    • are varied in form, structure and use of mediums
    • are explained and justified in terms of teaching methodology
    • contain opportunities for (self-) assessment with feedback so that students can evaluate and modify their own learning process
  • The teaching and supervision that you carry out:
    • challenge students to study in a way that is constructive, self-directed, practice-oriented and collaborative
    • are appropriate to the needs and personal characteristics of the students
    • relate to student learning objectives insofar as they fit within the aims of the program
  • Where necessary, you are able to:
    • explain to students the structure, content, organization, assessment and regulations (OER) of the curriculum and refer students to further information
    • assess the quality of the subject matter information that students use in their studies and provide satisfactory feedback
  • Your interaction with students:
    • aligns with the dynamics of the group
    • contributes to their academic development and your own

Assessment and feedback

  • You base all instructional and evaluative assessment that you develop and administer, as well as the associated feedback, on:
    • the backgrounds, organization, regulations, principles, structure, content and assessment of the curriculum
    • your basic knowledge (as a minimum) of the instructional and evaluative functions of assessment
    • the advice that you have proactively obtained from colleagues and experts
    • advice from students, where possible and useful
    • your specialist knowledge, namely:
      • your up-to-date knowledge of teaching methodology in your own field
      • your up-to-date knowledge of your own field
      • your overview of the medical and biosciences
      • your knowledge of the field to which the assessment relates
  • The test questions, test assignments and assessment requirements that you develop:
    • have been discussed in advance with colleagues and test experts
    • match the principles of the curriculum
    • tie in with the remaining assessment in the quarter and in the curriculum
    • relate to the aims of the teaching unit, quarter, or curriculum
    • give students an understanding of their competence and of possibilities for improvement
    • give the lecturer/supervisor an understanding of the students’ development
    • give the examiner the information required for a reliable assessment
  • You assess student performance in a fair and transparent fashion, and you provide students with satisfactory personal feedback on your assessment.
  • Your feedback to students gives them an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their knowledge, skills, attitude and behavior and of possibilities for making effective changes.
  • In oral exams and practical assessments, you ensure interactions that give students an opportunity to demonstrate their competence in a way that enables you to make a valid and reliable assessment.
  • When testing student *portfolios, you take into account the dual function of portfolios by:
    • assessing the extent to which the student has attained the goals, explaining your assessment and providing feedback on it
    • examining the extent to which students have used their portfolio as a learning tool and providing feedback to students on your insights and, where possible, discussing it with them
  • You encourage students to:
    • test their progress individually or jointly
    • ask for, give and process feedback with one another
    • use the feedback on instructional and evaluative assessment to improve their learning process

*These can be portfolios within the coaching groups, portfolio booklets during housemanships, as well as other forms of progress recorded over a longer period of time.

Individual professionalism

  • You maintain a balance in your various activities because:
    • you know what is expected of you in concrete terms
    • you carry out teaching tasks alongside your other tasks
    • you are aware in good time whether you are over- or underburdened and you discuss it with your colleagues
  • You ask for and process feedback from others, such as students, colleagues, managers, coaches and patients.
  • You reflect on your performance in the teaching roles that you fulfill. You do so systematically:
    • on the basis of situations from your own practical experience
    • partly on the basis of feedback from various sources
    • in relation to curriculum principles
  • You continuously develop your teacher competencies because you:
    • have organized your own curriculum
    • base them on descriptions of teaching competencies that are relevant to you
    • take advantage of opportunities for training, coaching and peer consultation, or
    • refrain from doing so and instead choose your own alternative methods, which you can justify

Team professionalism

  • In every educational activity that you are involved in, you know which other lecturers are working on it inside and outside your field; you coordinate with them and, where possible and necessary, work with them.
  • You tailor your work to your department’s educational vision and to the relevant educational possibilities, limitations and developments.
  • You request, receive and use feedback from your colleagues and you provide them with effective feedback, both solicited and unsolicited.
  • You pay conscious attention to the practical and social functioning of each team in which you conduct your teaching work and to the functioning of individual team members.

Subject content

  • You maintain your specialist knowledge so that you can provide good teaching and satisfactorily assess student performance. You do so by:
    • keeping abreast of recent research developments
    • assessing the relevance of these developments for the program
    • linking them to the scientific theory covered in the program, including outside your own field 
  • You are well aware of the context in which your field is evolving and you use that knowledge to ensure that students understand how your field fits within the context of the program.
  • You guarantee a reliable and safe environment for internships and practicals by making satisfactory use of your knowledge of:
    • new and existing methods and techniques
    • safety requirements for people and the environment
    • the rules of discretion surrounding patients and patient material
    • the correct handling of research data

How do you obtain the UTQ?

You go through a UTQ program with a peer group and you create an individual portfolio. read more

How do you obtain the UTQ?

If you are new to the Radboud university medical center, you can expect to take on average one and a half years to compile a portfolio. This partly depends on the extent to which you meet the assessment criteria at the start of the program and have evidence to prove this.

At the various steps in the program, online documents are available that can help you build your portfolio.

  1. Lecturer and head of department make an agreement
  2. Lecturer signs up for intake interview
  3. Intake interview
  4. UTQ program: lecturer starts the program with a peer group and compiles a portfolio
    • Start session
    • Five peer-consultancy sessions
  5. Lecturer submits portfolio to coordinator of professional development for lecturers
  6. Coordinator checks that the portfolio is complete
  7. Professional Development for Lecturers steering group assesses the portfolio on content
  8. Final assessment by Professional Development for Lecturers steering group
  9. Certificate is awarded


The UTQ program aligns with the principles of the new Bachelor’s curriculum in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences:

  • Lecturers are activated at the start session to reflect on the form that their UTQ program will take. Like students, they meet in a peer group, in which they work jointly on building their portfolio, through peer consultation and sharing experiences.
  • Lecturers work together in the program (peer consultation, peer review).
  • Lecturers are self-directed when it comes to choosing the components for their program, but there are fixed assessment times and they all maintain a portfolio.

The new UTQ program is fully oriented to the teaching practice of the lecturers; alignment with this practice is maximized through self-direction.