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Validation of higher education teaching programmes

KTH's goal is for all teachers to have higher education pedagogy training. To support the follow-up of this goal, the Department of Education offers manual validation of older course achievements from KTH's higher education pedagogy unit and of higher education pedagogy courses from other higher education institutions. This document describes the procedures for validation.

The validation follows the recommendation of the Swedish Association of Higher Education Institutions (SUHF) on mutual recognition of qualifying higher education pedagogical education and refers to SUHF's common goals for such education. These goals also constitute our working definition of the field of higher education pedagogy. A detailed basis can be found in the report from SUHF's expert group, which was led by Sigbritt Karlsson (2017).

Please note that the validation only refers to formal higher education pedagogical training and does not involve any assessment of prior learning or equivalent competence. The validation is also not linked to the academic career system at KTH. Instead, in connection with employment and promotion, the applicant's documented pedagogical skills are assessed with the help of external experts and internal committees (see information about teacher employment at KTH).

Procedures for validation

To validate programmes, courses and course-like activities, they must be clearly within the field of higher education pedagogy, be completed and approved, and be supported by written certificates that also show the scope.

The Department of Education is responsible for validation. Validation of courses is offered to those who are employed at KTH. It is the teacher themsleves who asks to have courses validated by sending relevant documentation to .

The documents need to show:

  • Scope of the programme
  • That the training is completed and approved
  • That the programme is in the field of higher education pedagogy.

The following information is also needed:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Swedish personal number or other identification to verify who you are
  • School and department of employment
  • Postal address where certificates should be sent

The processing time is up to 3 weeks during term time after receipt of complete documents. No validations are normally carried out during holidays. Validation takes place only on the basis of the written documents received. Requests for additional documentation may occur.


The validation is reported through a simple certificate to the teacher stating the course(s) and their corresponding scope, and in an internal annual report to KTH's schools and to KTH's management. KTH's joint operational support (GVS) makes an annual compilation of the faculty's total pedagogical education. The basis consists of the course achievements registered in Ladok together with the list of validated courses.

Principles of validation

An equivalent assessment is sought, which is why the following principles have been developed for validation. Documentation for all validated courses is saved and documented to ensure an equivalent assessment over time.


The following principles are used to determine the scope of the course:

  • If the scope of the course is stated in ECTS credits, the course is considered to correspond to these credits.
  • Old credits (before 1 July 2007) are converted to ECTS with a factor of 1.5.
  • If another credit system is used, the applicant should provide information on this system so that a translation into ECTS can be made.
  • If the scope of the course is given in days or weeks, the scope is determined by 40h corresponding to 1.5 ECTS.
  • If only scheduled time is stated for a course, an assessment is made based on other documentation about the course as to how much the own work corresponds to. The scope is assessed based on scheduled time and estimated time for personal work. 40 hours of work corresponds to 1.5 ECTS.

Higher education teaching programme at KTH

KTH's higher education courses completed before 2004 are validated after submission of complete documents relating to the completed and approved course.

Since 2004, achievements in KTH's higher education courses are registered in Ladok, so these are not validated. This applies to course codes starting with "9L", from 2004 to 30 June 2007, and "LH", from 1 July 2007.

Higher education pedagogical training in other universities

Higher education courses from other colleges and universities, both Swedish and international, can be validated. The course performance must be completed and approved, and be supported by written certificates in Swedish (also Norwegian and Danish) or English, which also clearly state the scope of the course. If necessary, it is investigated in more detail whether the courses can be considered to be within the field of higher education pedagogy. SUHF's objectives are used for guidance. Education and courses with another principal than higher education institutions are normally not validated.

Teacher training

The national inquiry (Lörstad et al. 2005) was opposed to counting teacher training for schools as higher education pedagogical training. However, KTH looks favourably on the fact that a proportion of teachers have teacher training, and chooses a more generous application. Such pedagogical training can, after assessment, be validated up to 7.5 credits. 

Relevant scientific work

Scientific work in the field of higher education pedagogy can be validated after assessment. The work must normally have undergone peer review and be openly published, for example as a conference contribution, journal article or thesis. As a minimum requirement, the scope and scientific level of the work must at least correspond to the project work carried out within the framework of the higher education pedagogy courses at KTH. Normally only works in Swedish (also Norwegian and Danish) or English are assessed. Regardless of the actual scope of the work, it can be validated to a maximum of 1.5 credits. A teacher can validate a maximum of one work.

Teachers who attached a course certificate to their appointment or promotion.

Teachers who have been hired or promoted are asked to send for validation any course certificates from other institutions' higher education teaching programmes. The validation process follows the above criteria. It may differ from the assessment carried out by the experts and the appointing committee at the time of recruitment, as they may also assess the applicant's "equivalent knowledge".

Participation in higher education teaching programmes

Teaching in higher education education programmes including course development, teaching and examination is not equated with having completed a higher education course and is therefore not subject to validation.

Other qualifying activities

There are many competence development activities that are both meritorious and relevant to the teacher's professional practice, but which are mainly outside the field of higher education pedagogy. These are not validated. This includes, for example, courses from KTH's human resources department, such as MAL (Tomorrow's Academic Leaders), ALP (Academic Leadership Programme) and ERFA (Experience Seminar), as well as PIL (the mentoring programme within Tenure Track). Training in, for example, leadership, rhetoric and presentation techniques is not normally considered to be higher education pedagogical.

Storage of personal data

Processing of personal data takes place in accordance with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By requesting validation, the applicant authorises the data to be saved and used internally at KTH until the teacher him/herself notifies that he/she does not wish to remain.

This procedure is anchored in KTH's Vice-Rector for Education, and replaces the previous procedure from 20190101.


Lörstad, B., Lindberg-Sand, Å., Gran, B., Gustafsson, N., Järnefelt, I., Lundkvist, H. & Sonesson, A. (2005) Pedagogisk utbildning för högskolans lärare. Slutrapport från Pilotprojektet vid Lunds universitet. Lund: Lunds universitet ( pdf  in Swedish only).

Karlsson, S., Fjellström, M., Lindberg-Sand, Å., Scheja, M., Pålsson, L., Alvfors, J., & Geren, L. (2017). Högskolepedagogisk utbildning och pedagogisk meritering som grund för det akademiska lärarskapet ( pdf  In Swedish only).

Sveriges universitets- och högskoleförbund. (2016). Rekommendationer om mål för behörighetsgivande högskolepedagogisk utbildning samt ömsesidigt erkännande ( pdf  In Swedish only).

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Page responsible:Madeleine Tucker Smith
Belongs to: KTH Intranet
Last changed: Dec 21, 2023