If you are finding it difficult to follow the changes in teaching qualifications in the Education and Training sector you might find the following FAQs useful:

In September 2007 the Government introduced new regulations to reform the training, qualifications and continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers, tutors, trainers and instructors in England. The aim was to have a teaching workforce that was fully and appropriately qualified or working towards a qualification by 2010. However, as of 30 September 2012, the following changes took place:

  • The government’s regulations requiring registration with IfL for teachers and trainers in further education (FE) colleges ended
  • The requirement for declaring 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year was removed. The Government and the FE and skills sector recognise the importance of CPD to the profession, however, and have an expectation that CPD should continue.
  • The statutory requirement to obtain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) was removed. However, since 1 April 2012, after the Institute for Learning’s successful campaign, QTLS is recognised in law as the equivalent to QTS for teaching in maintained schools.

The Lifelong Learning Sector / further education and skills sectors include: adult and community education, further education colleges, work-based learning, prison / offender education, armed forces and SFA funded training in the Third Sector. The qualifications were further changed in Sept 2013 and Jan 2014 and AET, CET and DET replaced PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS.  The Education and Training Foundation was set up in August 2013 – see question below.

There is growing evidence that the teacher/tutor qualifications (CTLLS/CET and DTLLS/DET) are increasingly being asked for as a quality benchmark, regardless of whether they are ‘legally required.’ Already we have evidence from our learners that some local authorities, police authorities and other sector regulatory bodies are asking for CET as a minimum to deliver learning. A number of specialist awarding bodies are also requiring qualified staff on delivery teams before they will grant or maintain scheme approvals.

From September 2013 and January 2014 the PTLLS, CTLLS & DTLLS qualifications were replaced – see below.

`Teacher’/’Tutor’ means anyone who is responsible for planning and carrying out teaching or learning delivery with a learner irrespective of the number of hours they do or their job title. ‘Teaching’ includes: tutoring, training, instructing, lecturing, facilitating, teaching literacy, numeracy, skills for life or job skills.

The first step for most people teaching in the Education and Training sector is to complete the AET course. This can be done before starting to teach or during the first year in employment and is a preparatory introduction to teaching – you do not need to be in a teaching role to undertake this qualification. The AET is completed at L3. You can either progress onto or go straight into the Certificate in Education and Training or Diploma in Education and Training (if you are already able to / are delivering teaching hours). Whether you work part time or full time the qualification routes are the same and not linked to the amount of teaching you do.

The Education and Training Qualifications

From September 2013 the current PTLLS was replaced by:

  • L3 Award in Education and Training (AET)

and from January 2014 CTLLS & DTLLS were replaced by:

  • L4 Certificate in Education and Training [takes the place of CTLLS] (CET)
  • L5 Diploma in Education and Training [takes the place of DTLLS] (DET)

People who hold the ‘old’ qualifications or are part way through their study do not need to undertake the new qualifications or change their current programme. Where someone has achieved the ‘old’ PTLLS they should still be able to use that to take forward and have prior learning recognised in the new qualification.

We currently deliver the City & Guilds 6502 Award in Education and Training (AET) which is the new updated version of PTLLS. This is not a teaching qualification but a preparation for one. This qualification is for people who work, or want to work as teachers/trainers in the further education and skills sector. It is for people who are not in a teaching role, or who have just started a teaching role or for those who want a short qualification to enable them to make career choices.

We also deliver the City & Guilds 6502 (CET) Certificate in Education and Training at level 4. This qualification is suitable for individuals who want a qualification which focuses on practical teaching, are currently teaching and want to have their experience and practice accredited. CET learners will be qualified / experienced in the subject they intend to teach, and have access to 30 teaching practice hours and possess appropriate levels of language, literacy and numeracy. The CET replaced the CTLLS qualification.

We also deliver the City & Guilds 6502 (DET) Diploma in Education and Training at level 5. This qualification provides training for those individuals who hold a teaching role with an extensive range of teaching or training responsibilities, including those in more than one context. Candidates are required to undertake a minimum of 100 hours teaching practice and candidates will be observed for at least eight hours over a minimum of eight occasions throughout the duration of the course. The DET replaced the DTLLS qualification. DET is deemed equivalent to the PGCE or Cert Ed. qualifications.

City & Guilds TAQA – Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance. This new suite of qualifications replaces the A1 and A2 assessor awards and the V1 internal verifier award. These practitioner qualifications are designed to support the assessment and quality assurance of all new QCF qualifications including: Apprenticeships, Functional Skills, Technical certificates, NVQ’s, Awards, Certificates and Diplomas. Each qualification includes a full days training followed by one-to-one work with your TAQA assessor at a time to be arranged.

These qualifications are delivered by our sister company – Joan Patterson Associates. For information or to discuss your requirements call Joan on 01298 213511 or email joan@joanpattersonassociates.com or visit their website.

Life After achieving the Education & Training qualifications

You do not have to do all three qualifications. There are no further mandatory qualifications after DET although you could study at masters level if you choose to.

Professional formation is a process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS). This is a post-qualification process that enables you to demonstrate the following through professional practice:

  • The ability to use effectively the skills and knowledge acquired whilst training to be a teacher
  • Application of the occupational standards required of a teacher.

QTLS is ‘Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills’ status and is gained by going through the Professional Formation process.  To apply for QTLS, you need an initial teacher training qualification at Level 5, for example, equivalent to the Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) or Diploma in Education and Training (DET).  If you are applying for QTLS  you are also required to demonstrate numeracy and literacy qualifications at (or above) Level 2.

  • QTLS status is recognised in law as equal to QTS for teaching in schools
  • Career progression: QTLS status demonstrates your commitment, skills and knowledge to employers
  • Recognition of your status as a professional teacher or trainer
  • Valuable continuing professional development (CPD) that builds confidence and enhances your skills
  • Members with QTLS can use these initials as a designation.

The Education and Training Foundation is the only organisation that confers QTLS status following the transfer of IfL’s legacy in October 2014.   SET’s professional status register is a list of SET members who have successfully completed professional formation and achieved Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

More information on applying for and gaining QTLS can be found at https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/professionalism/qtls/

The Education and Training Foundation, a new organisation set up to improve professionalism and standards in the further education and skills sectors launched 1 August 2013. Established by sector bodies and funded by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the new Foundation will set professional standards and provide support to ensure learners benefit from a well-qualified, effective and up-to-date professional workforce supported by good leadership, management and governance. http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/

Questions about our AET/Award, CET/Certificate and DET/Diploma Programmes

Our AET courses are usually held every 3-4 months.  Our CET and DET courses usually start in October/November or April/May each year.

Course dates will be updated on our website as soon as they are available.  You should apply (for CET/DET) as soon as you are confident you will have sufficient teaching hours while on the programme.

For AET you do not need to already be teaching but you should be able to prove, either by qualification or experience, that you can work at a level 2 standard in English, Maths and ICT. You should also have qualifications or experience in the subject matter you intend to teach.

For CET you need to be able to evidence 30 hours of teaching during the course, have experience or qualifications in the subject you are teaching and have appropriate literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Your teaching should be to learners over the age of 14.

For DET you need to evidence 100 hours of teaching during the course, have experience or qualifications in the subject you are teaching and have appropriate literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Your teaching should be to learners over the age of 14.

For CET or DET courses you will have access to our dedicated VLE giving access to:

  • generic and session specific resources
  • access to assignment guides
  • be able to upload assignments, learning journal entries, book observations and receive formative and summative feedback
  • upload your teaching evidence for your Teaching File
  • join forum discussions and participate in collaborative learning activities
  • complete any course administration tasks

This will depend on the course and qualification you are undertaking.

For full information on the courses and content on each course visit the Our Services page.

The content for the assignments will be covered in the training days and your own follow-up research, tailored to your own individual teaching context. Support for CET and DET programmes is available via the Virtual Learning Environment, email and telephone. For all other courses, email and telephone support is always available. Individual tutorial sessions are part of the programmes. Feedback from our current students is that they feel well supported throughout the process of researching and writing the assignments.

This is difficult to answer as people work differently.

Some people spend a lot of time researching; others take time putting their thoughts on paper and writing assignments. Planning, preparing, delivering and evaluating the 100 (or 30) hours of teaching for DET and CET also need to be considered.

It will also depend on the length of the specific course – more information can be found by visiting the Our Services page.

Our expertise in ITT, team leading, management and customer service can be tailored specifically to your needs. Visit the Business Page for more information.

If you don’t ask we can’t help! Call us to discuss your needs and let us help you to develop your company. Call 01924 842027 now.


Our course delivery team are highly experienced and well qualified. They have all held / hold senior positions in industry, business and the lifelong learning sector, ensuring delivery of high quality learning and development.

We will discuss with you what it is you are looking for and how best we can accommodate and deliver the right programme for your people. Already know what you want or not really sure – either way we can help you.