Qualifications for practitioners


This page covers:

  • Qualifications for practitioners in the FE, skills and training sector
  • Support for the qualifications
  • L3 Award in Education and Training (AET)
  • L4 Certificate in Education and Training (CET)

  • L5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET)
  • L3 Assessment*
  • L4 Quality Assurance* (internal and external)
* These units form part of the Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance qualifications known as TAQA.


Qualifications for practitioners in the further education (FE) and training sector

  • It is up to employers to decide the teaching qualifications they require their staff to hold (in England) and whether they need to hold QTLS. However, some UK nations and international countries do have formal requirements for their teachers to hold a particular teaching qualification at a certain level. If you work outside England, you might like to find out what the requirements are, perhaps by contacting your professional association or council.

  • If you assess and/or quality assure an accredited qualification, there might be requirements as to what qualifications and/or experience you should have. This is usually stated in the awarding organisation's (AO) qualification specification, which you should be able to access via their website, providing you know who your AO is. If you don't know, the centre you work for will be able to tell you. It is different for every subject.

  • The details on this page will briefly explain the qualifications listed in the above bullet points. However, it's up to you to find out what you will or won't need for your role. 

  • If you teach and/or assess the qualifications in the above bullet list, support materials are available here.


***** News *****

The qualifications have been extended for registration until July 2021.

Click the following links to find out more about the:

Education and Training and Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) qualifications.

There is important information which you can download from the links. 

This relates to learners who were registered prior to 10th March 2020, and who have had their assessments disrupted due to Covid 19.


Support for the qualifications

You can find out the differences between the AET and PTLLS, the CET and CTLLS, and the DET and DTLLS by clicking here.

Resources to help achieve the qualification units are available to purchase with immediate download upon checkout.

They are listed on this page after each qualification's details.

If you teach and/or assess the qualifications, support materials are available here.


Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET)

The Award is for anyone new to teaching and would like to take an introductory qualification to find out what it's like to teach. It's a short 'pre-service' award - i.e. you don't need to be teaching to take it. You will deliver a short 'micro-teach' session to your peers and complete some assignments. It can be achieved by taking certain topics, known as units:

  • Understanding roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training (level 3, 3 credits)  

  • Understanding and using inclusive approaches in education and training (level 3, 6 credits)  

  • Understanding assessment in education and training (level 3, 3 credits). 

If you wish to take the Award in Education and Training as an online course, this is now available through KMF Training. The course content has been created by me and you can find out more here.


Everyone working towards the Award must take the first unit of Understanding roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training which is classed as a mandatory unit. However, it is possible to achieve part of the Award by taking units from the Learning and Development qualification. These units are known as accepted equivalents, but they are only for those who are currently in a teaching and assessing role with learners of their own.

For example, you could substitute the unit Understanding and using inclusive approaches in education and training with one of the following units from the Learning and Development qualification:

  • Facilitate learning and development for individuals (level 3, 6 credits) OR 

  • Facilitate learning and development in groups (level 3, 6 credits).  

You could also substitute the unit Understanding assessment in education and training with the following unit from the Learning and Development qualification: 

  • Understanding the principles and practices of assessment (level 3, 3 credits).

If you wish to substitute any units, you will need to discuss this with the organisation you are taking the Award with, as they might only offer the three main units of the Award and not the Learning and Development units.

The two books pictured here are for the Award in Education and Training.


Support for the AET qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.

  • ETF qualification guidance can be accessed at this link.

  • The unit content can be accessed at this link (however, the guidance in this document has been superseded by the above ETF guidance).

  • A reading list for the qualification can be found at this link

  • See a video about this qualification and text books by clicking here.

  • Find out about the micro-teach session by clicking here.

  • Online modules which cover the content of the course can be found at this link.


If you are working towards the Award qualification, the following guidance may help you complete each of the mandatory units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


Award unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

3 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Understanding roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training.


Award unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

5 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Understanding and using inclusive teaching and learning approaches in education and training (includes the micro-teach session).


Award unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

4 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Understanding assessment in education and training.



Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (CET)

The Certificate is suitable for anyone who is currently in a teaching or training position (in-service). You don't need to have achieved the AET beforehand.

You must be able to teach for at least 30 hours, you will be observed for at least three hours during the course and complete some assignments.

The Certificate is 36 credits, 21 credits are from mandatory units and 15 credits are from optional units.


There are five mandatory units:

  • Understanding roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training (3 credits, level 3)

  • Planning to meet the needs of learners in education and training (3 credits, level 4)

  • Delivering education and training (6 credits, level 4)

  • Assessing learners in education and training (6 credits, level 4)

  • Using resources for education and training (3 credits, level 4)

Optional units are available which you can choose to suit your job role. See this link for details.

You will need to demonstrate the minimum core skills whilst working towards the Certificate.

The first mandatory unit of the Award is also the first mandatory unit of the Certificate.

The two books pictured here are for the Certificate in Education and Training.

Support for the qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.
  • ETF qualification guidance can be accessed at this link.
  • The unit content can be accessed at this link (however, the guidance in this document has been superseded by the above ETF guidance).
  • Optional units can be accessed at this link.
  • A reading list for the qualification can be found at this link.
  • See a video about the qualification and text books by clicking here.
  • Online modules which cover the content of the course can be found at this link.
  • Find out about teaching practice and observations by clicking here.
 

If you are working towards the Certificate qualification, the following guidance may help you to complete each of the mandatory units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


Certificate unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

3 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the unit Understanding roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training.


Certificate unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

6 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the unit Planning to meet the needs of learners in education and training.


Certificate unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

7 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Delivering education and training.


Certificate unit four - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

8 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Assessing learners in education and training.


Certificate unit five - Guidance for completing the unit (£2.50)

5 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Using resources for education and training.



Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET)

The Diploma is for current teachers (in-service). The content is similar to the Certificate in Education/PGCE and usually takes two years to complete (part-time). The PGCE version can be achieved at a higher level and is for anyone who has a degree. You do not need to have achieved the AET/CET beforehand.

You must be able to teach for at least 100 hours, be observed for at least eight hours during the course and complete some assignments. 

The Diploma is 120 credits, 75 credits are from mandatory units and 45 credits are from optional units.


There are four mandatory units:

  • Teaching, learning and assessment in education and training (20 credits level 4)

  • Developing teaching, learning and assessment in education and training (20 credits level 5)

  • Theories, principles and models in education and training (20 credits level 5)

  • Wider professional practice and development in education and training (15 credits level 5)

Optional units are available which you can choose to suit your job role. See this link for details. 

The four mandatory units of the Certificate at level 4 can be accepted in place of the Teaching, Learning and Assessment unit in the Diploma. Twenty hours of teaching practice and two observations can also be accepted.

You will need to demonstrate the minimum core skills whilst working towards the Diploma.


Level 5 Specialist Diploma in Education and Training

This qualification is for anyone who teaches English literacy, ESOL, Numeracy, or who teach learners with disabilities.

It is 120 credits, 75 are mandatory credits (at level 4 and 5), and 45 are optional credits at level 5.

You must be able to teach for at least 100 hours (50 in the specialist area), and you will be observed for at least 8 hours (4 in the specialised area) during the course.

Certificate in Education (Cert Ed Level 5), Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (Level 6) and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Level 7)

These qualifications (if taken at level 5 or above) are an alternative to the Diploma in Education and Training (DET). The content is very similar but they might be assessed in a different way. The PGCE can be taken by anyone who holds a degree. They are usually taken via a university, whereas the DET is often taken at a college or a training organisation.


Support for the DET qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.
  • ETF qualification guidance for can be accessed at this link.
  • The unit content can be accessed at this link (however, the guidance in this document has been superseded by the above ETF guidance).
  • Optional units can be accessed at this link.
  • A reading lists for the qualification can be found at this link.
  • See a video about this qualification by clicking here.
  • Find out about teaching practice and observations by clicking here.
  • Online modules which cover the content of the course can be found at this link.
Scroll down for text books for the Diploma in Education and Training.

If you are working towards the Diploma qualification, the following guidance may help you to complete each of the mandatory units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


Diploma unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

20 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the unit Teaching, learning and assessment in education and training.


Diploma unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

17 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Developing teaching, learning and assessment in education and training.


Diploma unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

5 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Theories, principles and models in education and training.


Diploma unit four - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

7 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Wider professional practice in education and training.




Level 3 Assessment

The assessment units form part of the Learning and Development qualifications and as a whole they are known as TAQA: Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance

Some awarding organisations use the term TAQA just to denote the assessment units, however, the assessment units are part of a full suite of qualifications. 

The qualifications are based on the National Occupational Standards for Learning and Development (NOS).

Whether you need to have an assessment qualification will be based on the subject you are/will be assessing. You will need to check the subject qualification specification to find out (available via the relevant awarding organisation's website). Not all subjects require assessors to hold an assessor qualification. 

An additional unit for end-point assessment (EPA) and CPD modules are available for apprenticeship end-point assessors. Although the qualification is not mandatory, it is good practice to hold it. End-point assessors of apprenticeship programmes do not meet their learners until the assessment takes place.


The assessor qualifications contain three units at level 3, the first is knowledge based and the other two are performance based. 

The units can be achieved in any order and each has a credit value. Some assessment units can be used towards the teaching qualifications (above), however, rules apply regarding the credits and levels.

Unit 1 will lead to the Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment. This is a theory unit only. 

Units 1 and 2 will lead to the Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE)

Units 1 and 3 will lead to the Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA).

Units 1, 2 and 3 will lead to the Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA).

Unit 1.   Understanding the principles and practices of assessment (3 credits).  

This is a knowledge based unit for new and existing assessors or anyone who wishes to know about the theory of assessment. You do not need to carry out any assessment activities with learners. This unit can be taken instead of the Award in Education and Training unit: Understanding assessment in education and training.

Unit 2.   Assess occupational competence in the work environment (6 credits).

This is a performance unit for anyone who assesses in the learner's work environment using methods such as observations, questions and examining products of work. This unit is also a level 3 optional unit in the Certificate in Education and Training.

Unit 3.    Assess vocational skills, knowledge and understanding (6 credits). 

This is a performance unit for anyone who assesses in a workshop, classroom or other training/simulated environment (not in the workplace) using methods such as assignments, skills tests, projects, simulations and tests. This unit is also a level 3 optional unit in the Certificate in Education and Training. 


Support for the assessment qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.

  • Online modules which cover the content of the units are available at this link.

  • Qualification guidance and unit content can be accessed at this link.

  • A reading list for the qualifications can be found at this link.  

  • Videos can be found at this link.  


If you are working towards the assessment qualification, the following guidance may help you to complete each of the units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


Assessment unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

16 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Understanding the principles and practices of assessment. 


Assessment unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

9 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Assess occupational competence in the work environment.


Assessment unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

10 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Assess vocational skills, knowledge and understanding.



Level 4 Quality Assurance

The internal and external quality assurance units form part of the Learning and Development qualifications and as a whole they are known as TAQA – Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance

Some awarding organisations use the term TAQA to denote just the quality assurance units, however, the quality assurance units are part of a full suite of qualifications. The qualifications are based on the National Occupational Standards for Learning and Development (NOS).

Some quality assurance units can be used towards the teaching qualifications (above), however, rules apply regarding the credits and levels.

Whether you need to have a quality assurance qualification will be based on the subject you are/will be quality assuring. You will need to check the subject qualification specification to find out (available via the relevant awarding organisation's website).

Not all subjects require quality assurers to hold a quality assurance qualification.


Internal Quality Assurance (IQA)

(please scroll down for the EQA units)

There are three units at level 4, the first is knowledge based and the other two are performance based. 

As the first unit is purely knowledge based, it can be taken prior to, or at the same time as the performance unit/s. It is ideal for anyone wanting to know what it’s like to be an internal quality assurer but does not yet have anything to quality assure.  

The units can be achieved in any order and each has a credit value.

Most internal quality assurers only need units 1 and 2.

Unit 3 is for those who are responsible for a team of quality assurers (whether internal or external).

Unit 1 will lead to the Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice. This is a theory unit only. 

Units 1 and 2 will lead to the Award in the internal quality assurance of assessment processes and practice.

Units 1, 2 and 3 will lead to the Certificate in leading the internal quality assurance of assessment processes and practice. 

Unit 1.   Understanding the principles and practices of internally assuring the quality of assessment (6 credits).

This is a knowledge based unit for new and existing internal quality assurers or anyone who wishes to know about the theory of internal quality assurance. You do not need to carry out any internal quality assurance activities with assessors to achieve this unit. This unit is also available as an optional unit in the Certificate and Diploma (at level 4). 

Unit 2.   Internally assure the quality of assessment (6 credits).

This is a performance unit for anyone who internally quality assures the work of assessors. For example, observing practice, sampling judgments and decisions, supporting and advising assessors. It can be achieved in any environment by internally quality assuring qualifications, programmes of learning or workplace competence. This unit is also available as an optional unit in the Certificate and Diploma (at level 4).

Unit 3.   Plan, allocate and monitor work in own area of responsibility (5 credits).

This is a performance unit for anyone who leads the internal quality assurance process within an organisation. The role will include having a responsibility for managing the quality and performance of assessors and/or other internal quality assurers. Developing systems and liaising with external quality assurers might also be part of this role. 


Support for the IQA qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.
  • Online modules which cover the content of the units are available at this link.
  • Qualification guidance and unit content can be found at this link.
  • A reading list for the qualifications can be found at this link.
  • Videos can be found at this link.

If you are working towards the IQA qualification, the following guidance may help you to complete each of the units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


IQA unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

8 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Understanding the principles and practices of internally assuring the quality of assessment. 


IQA unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

7 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Internally assure the quality of assessment.


IQA unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

5 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Plan, allocate and monitor work in own area of responsibility.



External Quality Assurance (EQA)

There are three units at level 4, the first is knowledge based and the other two are performance based. 

As the first unit is purely knowledge based, it can be taken prior to, or at the same time as the performance unit/s. It is ideal for anyone wanting to know what it’s like to be an external quality assurer. The units can be achieved in any order and each has a credit value.

Most external quality assurers only need units 1 and 2.

Unit 3 is for those who are responsible for a team of quality assurers (whether internal or external).

Unit 1 will lead to the Award in Understanding the External Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice. This is a theory unit only.

Units 1 and 2 will lead to the Award in External quality assurance of assessment processes and practices.

Units 1, 2 and 3 will lead to the Certificate in leading the external quality assurance of assessment.

Unit 1.   Understanding the principles and practices of externally assuring the quality of assessment (6 credits) 

This is a knowledge based unit for new and existing external quality assurers or anyone who wishes to know about the theory of external quality assurance. You do not need to carry out any external quality assurance activities to achieve this unit. This unit is also available as an optional unit in the Certificate and Diploma (at level 4).

Unit 2.   Externally assure the quality of assessment (6 credits) 

This is a performance unit for anyone who externally quality assures the work of assessors and internal quality assurers. For example, observing their practice, sampling their judgements and decisions, giving support and advice. It can only be achieved by practising external quality assurers who are working for an awarding organisation.

Unit 3.   Plan, allocate and monitor work in own area of responsibility (5 credits) 

This unit has the same content as the one which can be taken by internal quality assurers. It is a performance unit for anyone who manages and leads the external quality assurance process within an awarding organisation, for example, co-ordinating the work of other external quality assurers. Developing systems, policies and liaising with awarding organisation personnel might also be part of this role.


Support for the EQA qualification:

  • Resources and assessment materials are available at this link.
  • Online modules which cover the content of the units are available at this link.
  • Qualification guidance and unit content can be found at this link.
  • A reading list for the qualifications can be found at this link.
  • Videos can be found at this link.

If you are working towards the EQA qualification, the following guidance may help you to complete each of the units. As soon as you checkout, you will receive a download link.


EQA unit one - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

10 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit  Understanding the principles and practices of externally assuring the quality of assessment. 


EQA unit two - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

7 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Externally assure the quality of assessment.


EQA unit three - Guidance for completing the unit (£4.50)

5 pages listing guidance and evidence which could be produced to meet the unit Plan, allocate and monitor work in own area of responsibility.


More resources are available,

click here for details.


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