November 25, 2022

PTLLS Qualification Guide: Everything You Need To Know

PTLLS Qualification Guide: Everything You Need To Know

If you are in the education and training sector, particularly within a teaching or training role, then you have probably heard of the PTLLS qualification.

You might have heard people spell it out as P.T.L.L.S or use the ‘petals’ pronunciation.

Both of these are used to describe a qualification called Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, also known as the PTLLS qualification.

The PTLLS qualification was available in several formats over a number of years, became the de facto standard for teaching and training adults, and remains widely referred to. 

This is all despite the fact that PTLLS has been replaced by the newer qualification called the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET).

Let’s dig a little deeper into the PTLLS qualification and how it has transitioned over the years to become the Level 3 AET.

What is a PTLLS qualification?

PTLLS stands for Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. A PTLLS qualification is a nationally recognised qualification that has now been rebranded as the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) qualification.

A PTLLS qualification could be taken by any individual who wanted to teach adults, no matter what subject they were teaching or at what level of sophistication or complexity. Unlike more advanced teaching qualifications, PTLLS did not need the candidates to be teaching in a real-life situation. 

It was suitable as both an introductory course, for those wanting to get into the field of teaching, and individuals already teaching, but needing a formal qualification to prove their teaching skills.

What can I teach with a PTLLS qualification?

With a PTLLS qualification, you are opening the doors to the education and training world. Many governing bodies consider the PTLLS qualification (and its replacement, the Level 3 AET) to be essential qualifications for most teaching or training roles. For some, it is even a minimum requirement.

If you want to read a thorough breakdown of everything you can teach with a PTLLS qualification, you might like to read our What Can I Teach with a PTLLS qualification? guide.

How was the PTLLS created?

As you might imagine, a formal education and training qualification doesn’t get magically created out of thin air! Hold onto your hats for a deep dive into how the PTLLS was created and what it involved for candidates.

Trigger warning – it’s an alphabet soup of acronyms and numbers! 

Prior to the launch of the PTLLS qualification, there was really only one route to teaching or training adults. This route was to gain a qualification called the 7307 Level 3 City & Guilds Certificate in Teaching Adult Learners Stage 1. 

This teaching qualification was only available via City & Guilds, not any other awarding bodies, and was more or less the only recognised way to gain a nationally recognised qualification for teaching adults. 

This meant that people would say things like “I’ve got my 7307” or “I’m going to get my Stage 1”, and these numbers worked their way into everyday language within the education sector.

Fast forward a few years and a quango (remember them?) called Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) collaborated with City and Guilds, and some other Awarding Bodies, to launch a new qualification.

This teaching qualification was called the PTLLS 7303 Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. This new qualification was available at both Level 3 and Level 4. 

To complicate things further, this was changed from a 9-credit qualification to a 12-credit qualification!

Is this confusing? Yes, you bet it is!

The real motivation behind these changes was a change in law, specifically the Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications (England) Regulations 2007.

This legislation required everybody teaching adults in a college or further education (FE) institute to have a PTLLS qualification, or as it was phrased in the law itself, “no person may teach in a further education institution unless that person holds a Preparing to Teach Award or its equivalent.” A further clause gave a grace period of 1 year for any new teacher to gain their PTLLS qualification. 

All these changes massively increased the recognition of the PTLLS qualification, as well as the total number of people taking the qualification.

This legislation was later amended to remove the requirement for people in further education to have a PTLLS qualification, but the initial popularity the qualification achieved from all of this never went away. As a result, it remains widely recognised despite now being replaced.

What has replaced the PTLLS qualification?

In recent years, the PTLLS qualification has been replaced by Level 3 Award in Education and Training. The Level 3 AET is regulated by Ofqual, the government qualifications regulator, which is why it has the letters RQF (Regulated Qualification Framework) attached to it.

The Level 3 AET qualification retains many features of the PTLLS so essentially, it is the same qualification. The AET qualification is a short course providing candidates with the skills and knowledge to plan and teach lessons. It remains an ideal route into teaching, training and education for a wide variety of people. 

Just like those who gained their PTLLS qualifications in the past, gaining the Level 3 AET proves you have the skills and abilities within a training or teaching role.

Although the qualification names, regulatory systems and legislation may have changed considerably, the importance and status of gaining a Level 3 teaching qualification remain the same.

This makes the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) the ideal introductory qualification for individuals looking to advance their careers within the education and training sector.

At Carlton Training, we provide a Level 3 AET training course along with tutor support to ensure you have everything you need to pass your AET qualification with flying colours. On successful completion of this education and training course, you can start your career in teaching or training adults.

With our online course option, you can study and qualify from the comfort of your own home, at a pace that suits your lifestyle. Click here to learn more about the course content and book online.

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