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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training


9.Teachers and education staff

9.7Initial education for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training

Last update: 21 June 2022



Individuals wishing to be appointed as a teacher in vocational education and training  (mbo) for initial students and/or adults must fulfil one of the following conditions:

  • they must possess a grade-one or grade-two teaching qualification;
  • lateral-entry candidates must possess either a university or an hbo degree, or have a statement of suitability issued after an aptitude testor possess a certificate of education (PDG). See also ‘Teaching in adult and vocational education without qualified teacher status’.

The entry requirements for training leading to a grade-two teaching qualification are a certificate of pre-university education (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo) or upper secondary vocational education at level 4 (mbo). Candidates over 21 who do not hold any of these qualifications may take a special entrance examination.

Postgraduate teacher training

University and higher professional education (hbo) graduates can also attend a one-year, fast-track teacher training course (kopopleiding). This is a condensed hbo bachelor’s degree program that equips the student to become a grade-two teacher of the subject area in which they already hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Candidates are exempt from three of the four years of the regular teacher-training program. University graduates who have just completed a subject-based master’s degree are also eligible for a university-based, one-year teacher-training course, leading to a grade-one teaching qualification.


Teaching in adult and vocational education without qualified teacher status

It is possible to get a teaching job in adult and vocational education without having a qualified teacher status. A school may employ a lateral-entry candidate who possesses:

  • an hbo or university degree;
  • a vet degree at EQF level 4 and at least three years of practical experience in the occupational field relating to the course to be taught.
In addition, the candidate must be able to demonstrate that their intellectual and professional skills are at  hbo level. The competent authority of the educational institution is responsible for assessing the required level. This only holds for the following areas: construction, living and the interior; production, installation and energy; mobility and transport; and catering, bakery and recreation. In other instances, candidates are required to possess an hbo or university degree.
Lateral-entry candidates can opt for a regular teacher qualification. As an alternative, lateral-entry candidates can take an aptitude test. In case the candidate is considered competent (on the basis of the test and/or working experience/cv), the candidate is given a statement of suitability and may be appointed on a temporary basis, on condition that they obtain their certificate of education within two years. This time period may be extended once by two years. After obtaining their certificate of education, lateral-entry candidates can be given a permanent teaching post. The certificate of education is laid down in section 7a.4 of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW).

Teacher-training courses in the Netherlands can be both full-time and part-time or may combine working and learning. All courses include a compulsory teaching practice placement. In the final part of their course, students may be appointed as a trainee teacher (LIO) for five months. Although not yet fully qualified, a LIO is allowed to teach without the supervision of a qualified teacher.

Temporary teachers from trade and industry

People working in trade and industry who do not want to give up their jobs but are interested in teaching on a temporary basis may be seconded to a school by their employer. For example, a car mechanic could give classes in vehicle maintenance in school time and then return to his job at a garage.

As guest teachers, seconded employees do not need to have a teaching qualification, or a statement of suitability and a certificate of education, provided they do not teach more than six hours per week per year on average. They must be supervised by a fully qualified member of staff. Although not a legal requirement, employers commonly oversee the professionalization of their employees when it comes to their secondment as a teacher.  

Seconded employees can also work as an instructor in adult and vocational education. In this case, they are classified as part of the educational support staff. Competency requirements have recently been drawn up for these staff (in addition to those that already exist for teachers) and laid down in law