Here are a few answers to some general questions we get frequently asked.
Is CTLLS a stepping stone to DTLLS?
No, it isn’t. The majority of teachers working in FE colleges would be in a full teaching role. The qualification for this is the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).
Please note that the qualification could also be called a Cert Ed, PGCE, PGD or other title depending on which awarding institution has validated the course.
There are two ways to complete the DTLLS. You can take the unit called the PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) and then proceed to a Level 5 DTLLS course. Alternatively, you can enrol directly onto a DTLLS or its university equivalent. The PTLLS is incorporated early in the DTLLS programme.
The second role – and this one is more likely to exist in work based learning provision – is the associate teaching role. The qualification for this limited role is the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS). There is only one way to gain this: take Level 3 or 4 PTLLS (6 credits) then proceed to a Level 3 or 4 Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (24 credits).
I’m qualified to teach in schools, can I teach in the lifelong learning sector?
From 1st September 2007 teachers entering the lifelong learning sector with qualified teacher status (QTS) for schools continue to be recognised as being qualified to teach in further education.
The regulations require teachers with QTS to gain professional status for the Lifelong Learning Sector, Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS), within two years of appointment to post.
Following the 2007 Regulations, two new teaching roles were defined in the sector – these are the Full Teacher and Associate Teacher roles. Those working in the Full Teacher role carry out the full range of teaching responsibilities and are required to gain QTLS status. Associate Teachers do not have the full range of teaching responsibilities – for example they may not develop their own teaching materials but may teach using pre-prepared packs – and need to gain ATLS status.
To gain QTLS or ATLS, QTS holders need to:
1) Register with the Institute for Learning, the professional body for teachers in the lifelong learning sector and commit to up to 30 hrs of continuing professional development (CPD) each year, depending upon teaching hours.
2) Complete a CPD process which involves familiarising themselves with the lifelong learning sector. This process could be offered as part of an induction – alternatively, awarding bodies may develop accredited modules if FE colleges request it. Either way, it will be offered once someone is in post. You can see guidance about this process here. When a candidate applies for ATLS or QTLS, the IfL will verify whether this familiarisation process has taken place or not, during the assessment of a candidate’s professional formation.
3) Complete a period of professional formation and submit a portfolio to evidence professional practice – you can find out more on the ‘Professional Formation’ area of the IfL website here
I’ve gained my DTLLS, so have I achieved QTLS?
If you’ve gained the qualification, you will have to complete a process of professional formation before being considered for a professional status. The process can be completed once you hold a teaching post.
I work in the industry I want to teach in, so I don’t need a degree in it to teach it, do I?”
Relevant employment experience in many subjects is a big asset – not least because many learners will be seeking work, or career progression, on completing their courses. A teacher who has a strong background in a particular industry can pass on invaluable insights to their learners. In fact, in vocational subjects, where you are developing job- related skills you are generally required to demonstrate a work background in your specialism. However, you are still expected to hold appropriate qualifications so that you can deliver underpinning theory and knowledge effectively. A degree is not compulsory in every field but as a minimum you generally should be qualified to a level above the courses you will be teaching.
General Professional Recognition Learning and Skills (GPRLS)
The GPRLS scheme is open for teachers with significant qualifications and/or experience in teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. To be eligible for the scheme in its current form, you would need to be delivering learning in the following settings in England:
- FE colleges, independent specialist colleges and sixth form colleges
- All organisations delivering Skills Funded Agency funded programmes including: Work based learning providers; Adult and community learning providers; Specialist colleges; Train to Gain; OLASS Providers.
If you do not work in any of these settings, you are currently ineligible for the scheme.
Upon successful completion of the scheme, recognised teachers will have the same professional standing as colleagues with accepted teaching qualifications, and will be in a position to begin the professional formation process which leads to Qualified or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS/ATLS). These are the licences to practise and are conferred by the Institute for Learning (www.ifl.ac.uk)
GPRLS overall has been designed specifically as an ‘equivalent’ in terms of the Regulations to ITT qualifications, for certain members of the FE workforce. It provides an evidential route to professional standing for those for whom initial teacher training is inappropriate. There have already been practitioners who have had Recognition conferred and who have gone on to complete professional formation with the Institute for Learning and gain licensed status. Professional Recognition has been available for a number of years, although prior to the 2007 Regulations, it was only for Skills for Life practitioners. Since 2007, however, it has been opened to those working in all areas of learning, and can be undertaken for either the full or associate role.
There are three different GPRLS routes:
GPRLS – All Areas: for those in any curriculum area who wish to apply for generic recognition in either the full or associate teaching role.
GPRLS – Skills for Life: for those who teach Literacy, Numeracy, or ESOL who wish to apply for recognition in the full teaching role (there is no associate teaching role in Skills for Life subjects).
GPRLS – H2F – is now available as a new route to Professional Recognition and is for HE lecturers who gained a teaching qualification post February 2006 at a HEA accredited institution delivering its initial teacher training programme to the Professional Standards Framework (PSF). Where HE lecturers are required, either by the 2007 Regulations or by the terms of their employment contract, to gain QTLS, this is an appropriate route when undertaking formal training to complete the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) may not be appropriate.
Further information can be obtained at the SVUK website
The ITT Qualifications
Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
This is the short introductory course that must be taken by everyone who is a new teacher, trainer or tutor in the lifelong learning sector. It is at level 3 or 4 of the QCF and involves approximately thirty hours of “lessons” plus an additional thirty hours of self-directed study. The length of this course depends on the way in which the course is presented, and so varies from provider to provider. For example, some providers may offer it as a five day course – others may offer it as three hours a week, for 10 weeks. The PTLLS qualification does not need to be taken separately as a stand alone course, as it is the introductory unit within both the CTLLS and DTLLS qualifications.
Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS)
This qualification is appropriate for staff who hold an Associate Teacher role, as defined in 1) above and is at level 3 or 4 of the QCF. It involves up to 120 hours of “lessons” and a minimum of 30 hours of teaching practice. The length of this course depends on the way in which the course is presented, and so varies from provider to provider
Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS)
This level 5 qualification is mandatory for staff who hold a Full Teacher role, as defined above, and for any teacher, trainer or tutor of a Skills for Life subject (see our section on Skills for Life). It is usually available as a one academic year, full-time course or as a two academic year, part-time course. *Note: If the DTLLS is offered by a Higher Education Institution (HEI), the institution can use a different title to DTLLS, such as Certificate in Education or PGCE PCET. To ensure you are enrolled on the correct course, check with the HEI that the course is the equivalent to the DTLLS and is endorsed by SVUK.*