If you are currently thinking of becoming a teacher, trainer or tutor working with adult learners, i.e. age 16+, your options for gaining an appropriate Initial Teacher Training (ITT) qualification may currently seem a little difficult to understand.

In this blog I will attempt to explain what’s happening and what your options are now.

Firstly, if you haven’t visited the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LISIS) website, you should!  http://www.feadvice.org.uk/
The Information there may answer many of your questions, however, it is not up-to-date regarding the imminent changes to Initial Teacher Training qualifications. 

These changes came about because the ‘Independent Review of Professionalism in Further Education (FE)’ was commissioned in January 2012 to review the current arrangements to regulate and facilitate the professionalism of the Further Education and Skills workforce and to make recommendations for how these should be changed or improved. Lord Lingfield’s final report following that review can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/further-education-skills/docs/p/12-1198-professionalism-in-further-education-final

LISIS were tasked with developing the new qualifications following the recommendations made in that report.  Naturally, they involved interested parties in that process.  Their findings and recommendations can be found here: http://www.lsis.org.uk/sites/www.lsis.org.uk/files/LSIS-TQR-Findings-Report-Jan2013.pdf

To cut to the chase!  The new qualifications will be:
  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training (12 Credits)
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (36 Credits)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (120 Credits)
There will also be a number of ‘pathways’ within the Diplomas for candidates who specialise in teaching Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL and Disabled Learners. The titles of these ‘Integrated Diplomas’ are likely to be as follows:
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (Literacy)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (Numeracy)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (ESOL)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (Disabled Learners)
In addition there will be ‘standalone’ specialist Diplomas. The titles of these qualifications is likely to be as follows:
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching English: Literacy and Functional English
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching English: ESOL
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in English: Literacy, ESOL and Functional English
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Mathematics: Numeracy and Functional Mathematics
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Disabled Learners
The new qualifications should be available from some Awarding Organisations (AOs) as early as September 2013 (for example: Ascentis, one of our own Awarding Organisations and City and Guilds) and most AOs anticipate having the qualifications available during the 2013/14 academic year.  To read the LSIS "Guidance for employers and practitioners" about the new qualifications and regulations, click here:  http://www.lsis.org.uk/sites/www.lsis.org.uk/files/Guidance-for-Employers-and-Practitioners-2013-April.pdf

There are a number of other significant changes as a result of the Review of Professionalism in Further Education:

Amendments to The Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications (England) Regulations 2007 mean that teachers in England no longer have to belong the Institute for Learning (IfL), obtain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, or declare their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  Just how this may improve standards in education and training in the sector is difficult to imagine, however, I’ll let you reach your own conclusions on that!

So, to work as a teacher, trainer or tutor in the sector it is no longer mandatory to be a member of the Institute for Learning (IfL).  Membership is now entirely voluntary, however, I personally will be retaining my membership because IfL is currently the only professional body for our profession as CIPD has a rather different focus.  However, the LISIS report supported the Lingfield report in recommending the formation of an FE Guild.  The suggested functions of the Guild seem not unlike those of IfL to me, however, you can make up your own mind by looking here:  http://feguild.info/General%20info%20index.htm

But what if you want to begin your Initial teacher training now?

To be honest, that’s an easy question to answer: enroll on our DTLLS course this September 2013 - especially if you already have achieved PTLLS - because PTLLS is not recognised in the new Certificate or diploma qualifications you won't be able import your credits from those qualifications.

In my opinion, much of the criticism of those qualifications in the Lingfield report  was based on the first versions that were released in 2007.  All three qualifications had undergone significant revision by 2012, for example by widening their sector relevance through incorporating competence based Units from the Learning and Development qualification suite, e.g. Units from the QCF Assessor qualifications. 

PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS will remain available for registration until 31 December 2015, however, once the new ITT qualifications become available they will run in tandem with PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS until the end of the academic year in which the new qualifications are released, i.e. summer 2014 or possibly 2015.
All the reports make it very clear that teachers, trainers and tutors that hold the current ITT qualifications will not need to update or upgrade to the new ones.  PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS will still be recognised and honoured in future.

As an Accredited Centre, Skills2Train currently offer PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS and will offer the “new” ITT qualifications when they become available during August/September 2013. So my advice is:  if you wish to teach adults enroll on a course now and progress to Professional Recognition by achieving QTLS status (see:  http://www.ifl.ac.uk/cpd/qtls-atls). 

Which course should you enroll on:  If you already have PTLLS, enroll on DTLLS now!

If you don't have PTLLS; choose the most appropriate "new" Award, Certificate or Diploma in Education and Training qualification after discussing your needs with us .............. don’t delay, enroll today!.