ptlls ctlls dtlls aet cet det



Knowing which qualification and what level you need to gain  to teach, can seem overwhelming. With acronyms dominating the sector, such as PTLLS, CTLLS, AET, CET, DTLLS or DET you end up wondering if you need a qualification just to understand the process.  This article tries to simplify the classifications and explains which ones are a replacement for older courses.

 PTLLS, AET,CTLLS,CET, DTLLS or DET – which ones are still active?

Firstly PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS have now all been replaced by AET, CET and DET in that order.  In principle, the course content is the same, but the regulatory bodies have changed the names to make it easier to understand.  Therefore PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS are no longer active, but they are still referred to by those who have worked in the industry for several years.

Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) is NOW AET

The PTLLS qualification has now been replaced with the AET (Award in Education and Training).

This course, the foundation level for teaching is aimed at those looking to work (or currently working as a teaching assistant) in an adult teaching or training role in the lifelong learning sector.  The course provides the same syllabus as the PTTLS with only the name changed by the regulating bodies.

It covers the following aspects of teaching;

  • An introduction to teaching
  • Understanding roles and responsibilities
  • Identifying individual needs
  • Adapting different teaching and learning approaches
  • Obtain skills in the planning, delivering, observing and assessing teaching.
  • Student motivation
  • Record keeping procedures
  • Quality assurance

The Certificate to Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) is NOW CET

The CET (Certificate in Education and Training) has now replaced the CTLLS qualification.

The CET is a nationally recognised qualification for those already in a teaching role who want to build upon their skills, as well as those not currently involved in teaching (or teacher training) who can satisfy the mandatory and optional courses units.

Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) is NOW DET

The DET (Diploma in Education and Training) has replaced the DTLLS qualification.

The Diploma in Education and Training  (Or level 5 Diploma in Education and Training) is the recognised teaching qualification for the post-16 sector.  You can become a post-16 teacher in England without a teaching qualification, but most employers expect them.  The course is equivalent to the second year of a UK bachelor’s degree.

It is a popular route for prospective teachers who wish to pursue a career in further education, or currently hold a Further Education (FE) role and want to gain a full teaching qualification.

Level 5 Diploma programmes typically last 12 to 24 months to complete.  Candidates can choose a college-led pre-service training route, a University led-programme or complete the course online through The Big Teacher.

Entry requirements for Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training programmes include;

  • A minimum of 100 hours of teaching experience
  • Level 2 skills in English or Mathematics (or Level 3 if they intend to teach literacy or numeracy)
  • Technical competency in literacy, numeracy and ICT for certain units
  • Non-academic requirements such as a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service Check) and a declaration of any criminal convictions.

What does in Service mean?

The phrase “In Service” is often used to describe teaching qualifications completed as part of someones’ current job role.  These are completed while on the job, and the experience gained from the working environment and current practice is used  as part of the achievement.

“In Service” teaching qualifications include Level 3 Award in Education and Training (previously PTLLS), Level 3 Certificate in Education and Training (previously CTLLS) and Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (previously DTLLS).

Since September 2007 in England, anyone with a teaching role in the Further Education sector is required to complete a level 3 teaching qualification within their first year of teaching. After which, they are required to achieve their Certificate and or Diploma within 5 years and can then apply for QTLS (Qualified Teacher, Learning and Skills)

What level do I need?

To become an Associate Teacher, someone who teaches limited levels of programmes in one curriculum area (usually closely tied to your original Degree or other equivalent qualification) and works from pre-prepared material, you will need to achieve the Certificate (CET).

If you want to become a Full Teacher, someone who teaches a range of levels and programmes and subjects then you will need to achieve the Diploma (DET).

The course enables anyone with Full Teacher status more flexibility over the course content in that they can design resources, evaluates resources and programmes and have more control over the learners experience throughout the learning process.

In either case, the level 3 Award is an introductory qualification, and if you do not start with the Certificate or Diploma as the initial qualification, you will need to achieve the Award.

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