I'm delighted to have been asked to write a regular monthly article regarding teaching, learning and assessment. Some of you may be familiar with my work, but for those who are not, I write text books and resources to support the teacher training qualifications. I try to write in plain English and I aim to make complex topics easier to understand. I've also been teaching in further and higher education since 1983.

In this, my first article, I aim to give you some information about the revisions to the teaching qualifications known as Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) and the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS). These qualifications were often referred to as Petals, Kettles and Dettles and the use of these titles was one of the reasons for a name change. The Lifelong Learning Sector has also had a name change to become the Further Education and Skills Sector.

Lord Lingfield's Professionalism in Further Education: Final Report of the Independent Review Panel, which was published in October 2012, recommended "Reconsideration of the in-service teaching qualifications to simplify and re-name them" (2012 p6).

As a result, a new suite of Education and Training qualifications in England was launched in April 2013. These were to be called the Level 3 Award, Level 4 Certificate and Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training. Awarding organisations have produced their qualification specifications and training organisations are now able to offer them. There is a final expected end date of August 2014 for last registrations onto PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS.

Level 3 Award in Education & Training

• The Award is available at level 3, PTLLS was level 3 and level 4.

• The Award can be achieved by taking three units, PTLLS had four units. However, the content of the units is very similar and both have 12 credits on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

• The first unit (Understanding Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships) is in both PTLLS and the Award and must be taken, whereas other units can be substituted with units from the Learning and Development qualification (subject to the rules of combination, credit values and any additional observations).

• Guided learning hours (GLH) for the Award is a minimum of 48.

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Level 4 Certificate in Education & Training

• The Certificate is available at level 4, CTLLS was level 3 and level 4.

• The Certificate has five mandatory units (21 credits), four of which include the minimum core. Three units are linked to teaching practice observations.

• The first unit (Understanding Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships) is also in the Level 3 Award. CTLLS included PTLLS, whereas the Certificate only includes one unit from the Award.

• There are optional units which must total at least 15 credits, some of which can come from the Learning and Development qualification (subject to the rules of combination, credit values and any additional observations).

• The content of the Certificate units is very similar to CTLLS and both have 36 credits on the QCF. To achieve the Certificate, at least 21 credits must be at level 4.

• 30 hours of teaching practice must be undertaken, with at least three hours of observed practice.

• The Ofsted grade characteristics for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment can be referred to as part of the observed practice. The full document can be located here: Handbook for the inspection of further education and skills.

• GLH is a minimum of 140.

Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training

• The Diploma has four mandatory units (75 credits), two of which include the minimum core. Two units are linked to teaching practice observations.

• The four mandatory units (at level 4) from the Certificate can be substituted for the Teaching, learning and assessment mandatory unit of the Diploma.

• Anyone achieving the Certificate prior to taking the Diploma can bring forward 20 hours of teaching practice and two observations.

• There are optional units which must total at least 45 credits, some of which can come from the Learning and Development qualification (subject to the rules of combination, credit values and any additional observations).

• The content of the Diploma units is very similar to DTLLS and both have 120 credits on the QCF. To achieve the Diploma, at least 61 credits must be at level 5.

• 100 hours of teaching practice must be undertaken, with at least eight hours of observed practice.

• The Ofsted grade characteristics for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment can be referred to as part of the observed practice. The full document can be located here: Handbook for the inspection of further education and skills.

• GLH is a minimum of 360.

More information, text books and resources to support the new qualifications can be found at: www.anngravells.co.uk.

Ann Gravells is an author and education consultant

Her next article will be: The new Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in England

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