University of Chester

Programme Specification
Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector CertEd
2017 - 2018

Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

University of Chester

Tameside College



Tameside College, Beauford Road, Ashton-under-Lyne




Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

2 Years part time

3 Years

Variable - January - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Initial Teacher Education

QAA Descriptors for HE qualifications at levels 4 and 5

The Professional Standards for Teacher and Trainers in Education and Training - England (May 2014) are embedded into the programme and trainees are expected to have fulfilled all areas to at least a good standard on completion of the programme.

Progression to Professional Recognition

On completion of the full award, candidates may apply to complete Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS), professional status that can be gained by successfully completing professional formation. 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 QTLS. This process is undertaken by the Education and Training Foundation as the only organisation that confers QTLS status.


Thursday 7th May 2015

  • To provide opportunities to evidence the Professional Standards determined by the Education and Training Foundation.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the diversity of teaching within further and adult education and training.
  • To facilitate the professional and academic development of students within their own subject specialist area.
  • To facilitate the professional and academic development of students within a supportive environment.
  • To ensure that students are committed to meeting the highest professional standards in their own work.
  • To provide a structured and developmental programme of study which responds flexibly to students’ needs and interests.
  • To ensure that prior learning, experience and expertise is valued and disseminated.
  • To provide an intellectually stimulating yet practical and relevant experience for students.
  • To promote reflective, self-analytical and self-evaluative skills.
  • To encourage a holistic view of the learning-teaching process.
  • To maximise the concept of ownership by involving students, employing institutions, Partnership Colleges and the University of Chester in appropriate decision-making processes.
  • To draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate education and the contexts within which it takes place.
  • To provide students with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts.
  • To encourage students to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society.
  • To provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory and processes in a wide variety of contexts.
  • To encourage the integration of educational processes in a wide variety of contexts.
  • To develop students’ ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in a clear, lucid and coherent manner.
  • To promote a range of qualities in students including intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence.

Students should be able to :

FHEQ Level 4

  • Acknowledge the importance of initial assessment and the consideration of learners’ needs in planning for teaching and learning. (ED4403)
  • Develop a systematic approach to planning, organising and managing teaching and learning. (ED4403)
  • Select methods and resources to meet the needs of learners, the subject and the environment. (ED4403)
  • Identify appropriate methods to assess learning and achievement. (ED4403, ED4408)
  • Review and evaluate own role in the teaching/learning process. (ED4403, ED4408)
  • Examine ways in which to promote learner independence e.g. e-learning. (ED4403)
  • Recognise how the contributions of theories, models and concepts can provide greater insights into teaching-learning process within own specialist area. (ED4407)
  • Identify ways in which to create a positive learning environment within own specialist area. (ED4407)
  • Develop and evaluate the skills of collaborative working. (ED4407)
  • Develop reflection skills (all modules)
  • Demonstrate IT skills (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Enhance their reflection skills. (ED5405, ED5406, ED5407)
  • Work within a professional value base. (ED5405)
  • Manage personal learning. (ED5405, ED5406, ED5407)
  • Record, monitor and evaluate teaching-learning sessions. (ED5406)
  • Evaluate and reflect upon own personal progress and practice, as a teacher in own specialist area. (ED5405,ED5406)
  • Plan for future practice. (ED5405)
  • Develop personal skills further in critical reading, writing and research. (ED5405, ED5406, ED5407)
  • Appraise awareness of the development of own subject specific pedagogy and to plan for its extension and improvement. (ED5406)
  • Select and justify a relevant area of interest, using appropriate research methodology, reviewing current relevant literature and evaluating other subject specialists. (ED5407)
  • Engage with peers, evaluating strengths and areas for development in own practice, and presenting findings clearly and objectively. (ED5407)







Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the two years of study, with progression from an emphasis on clear description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills by the end of the studies. The ability to reason and to synthesise information and data from various sources, to analyse, evaluate and interpret theories, will be shown.

Students should be able to :

FHEQ Level 4

  • Reflect, evaluate, and feedback on own classroom practice and use this to develop own good practices in future. (ED4403, ED4408)
  • Reflect and evaluate own assessment practice, and make suggestions for improvement. (ED4403, ED4408)
  • Evaluate and improve own wider professional practice. (All modules)
  • Critically discuss how to apply theories, principles and models to curriculum development and practice. (ED4407)
  • Assess the significance of equality and diversity for curriculum design and identify opportunities to promote equality within practice. (ED4407)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Evaluate the range of services and resources available to support students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in own specialist area/organisation. (ED5406)
  • Critically analyse the theories, principles and models of curriculum design and implementation and their impact upon teaching and learning. (ED5405)

The programme is designed to support and develop teaching and learning within a professional context. The ability to reflect upon their own learning and performance and enhance their abilities in the light of that reflection and feedback is critical to development of their professional and academic practice. Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research based on their subject specialist area in a variety of formats.

Students should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Plan, prepare, implement, assess, evaluate and review teaching and learning for individuals and groups. (all modules)
  • Develop own subject specialism. (all modules)
  • Recognise and analyse issues in relation to professional conduct and accountability in the Learning and Skills Sector.(all modules)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of strategies to support their own and their learners' well-being and resilience, (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Critically evaluate the concept of professionalism and core professional values for teachers in the Learning and Skills Sector (all modules)
  • Meet and evidence all Professional Standards (2014) normally to at least a good standard by the end of the programme. (all modules)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of strategies to support their own and their learners' well-being and resilience, (all modules)

 Students should be able to:

FHEQ Level 4

  • Communicate effectively, creating a climate conducive to learning using a range of appropriate resources and materials. (all modules)
  • Develop approaches and methods to enhance effective communication with learners. (ED4407)
  • Communicate effectively with peers, colleagues, learners and other sector professionals. (all modules)
  • Effectively use written, verbal and non-verbal means and visual aids to support teaching and learning. (all modules)
  • Describe and discuss educational issues clearly and accurately both orally (ED403) and in written work. (all modules)
  • Present knowledge in a way that is comprehensible to others and appropriate to the given task. (all modules)
  • Use technology enhanced communication to support teaching and learning. (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Engage in meaningful debate and critical discussion. (all modules)
  • Work effectively and co-operatively in group tasks. (ED5407)
  • Synthesise written and oral information. (all modules)
  • Develop coherent and evidence-based arguments. (all modules)
  • Communicate fluently with members of a team. (ED5407)





Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector

The Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector is a nationally recognised qualification for teachers, trainers and tutors in the Further Education and Skills Sector. Our partner College teams are highly experienced and will provide first-rate teaching and support your development throughout the course. In addition to the excellent support from College teams students are also supported on the programme by a Subject Specialist Mentor who will work with students to develop subject specialist teaching and overall teaching practice performance.

The Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector is a two year, part time programme. Students are usually though not exclusively employed by colleges in a full teaching capacity or fulfil a similar role in other parts of the Learning and Skills Sector (a minimum of 50 hours per year for two years, signed and dated by a department manager for accuracy).

Common to all the teaching qualifications is the requirement for further education teachers to have a knowledge and skills base in English literacy, English language, numeracy and ICT at an appropriate level in order to best support the needs of  students. (ETF, 2017)

There is provision of up to 3 years to complete from the date of entry. The programme is modular and is designed for those who are, or aspire to be in a full teaching role and it embeds the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training - England (May 2014). A full teaching role is one with wider responsibilities, that includes the design, development and evaluation of teaching resources across a range of programmes and levels in the Learning and Skills Sector.

The Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector consists of 120 credits (Level 4 60 credits and Level 5 60 credits).

  • All students who complete the 20-credit level 4 Module ED4403 (Introduction to Education and Training) will receive a Certificate of Credit. This module is particularly suitable for those who are interested in teaching and want a short qualification that does not have a minimum teaching requirement, or for those who have just started a teaching role. It is the first module of the Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector programme and so allows for progression onto a full teaching qualification at a later date if the required number of teaching practice hours are gained.
  • All students who complete modules ED4403, ED4407 and ED4408 and achieve a total of 60 level 4 credits will receive a Certificate of Credit. This is particularly suitable for students who do not need a full teaching qualification such as the Cert Ed TLSS /PGCE, but would like to leave the way open to progress to the full award in the future. This comprises the first three modules of the Certificate in Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector.
  • The Final award, Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector, is achieved by completion of all 120 credits.

The Certificates of Credit issued after successful completion of module ED4403, and after successful completion of the first three modules of the Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector programme, are not awards of the University of Chester.  The Certificates of Credit provide evidence - which is recognised nationally - of successful completion of particular modules, which qualify recipients for certain roles in the Learning and Skills Sector.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ED4403 4 Introduction to Education and Training in the Learning and Skills Sector 20 Comp
ED4407 4 Theories, Principles and Models in Education and Training in the Learning and Skills Sector 20 Comp
ED4408 4 Developing Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Education and Training in the Learning and Skills Sector 20 Comp
ED5405 5 The Teacher as Professional 20 Comp
ED5406 5 The Teacher as Creative Specialist 20 Comp
ED5407 5 The Teacher as Investigator 20 Comp


  • The Final award, Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector, is achieved by completion of all 120 credits.

Students must pass all modules and all components in all modules without compensation to pass the programme.


Progression to Professional Recognition

On completion of the full award, candidates may apply to complete Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS), professional status that can be gained by successfully completing professional formation. Professional formation is a process that enables students to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS. This process is undertaken by the Education and Training Foundation as the only organisation that confers QTLS status.


Admissions will be processed directly by the Partnership colleges.

Enquiries will be forwarded to the relevant Programme Leader and those considered eligible will be sent an application form and an interview will be arranged with the Programme Leader or a member of the teacher education team prior to the applicant being offered a place. Experience, aspirations, motivation, work history etc. will be discussed at interview. All applicants will be required to undertake diagnostic tests prior to entry to the course. Potential need for learning support may be identified at this stage and, if found, will be discussed with the applicant. 

Applicants need to be qualified and/or experienced in the subject which they intend to teach. Those intending to teach academic subjects would usually be expected to have a degree in their subject specialism. Those intending to teach in professional or vocational areas would usually be expected to have a professional or industry qualification and experience of working in their respective sector. There is a general expectation in the sector that a teacher should be qualified to at least one level above that at which they intend to teach. In some vocational areas this may be problematic but a reasonable expectation is that they hold the highest level trade qualification available, unless they have particularly substantial professional experience. (ETF, 2017)

In order to satisfy the minimum general requirements for admission, candidates must: 

  • Hold a Level 3 (QCF) qualification in your teaching subject specialism. [Under exceptional circumstances some entrants may hold a relevant vocational qualification of at least the level above that of their learners.]
  • Provide evidence of having achieved or be working towards GCSE Grade C and above, (or equivalent) in English and Maths.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate fluently, accurately and effectively in professional spoken English (IELTS 6+ or equivalent).
  • Have a teaching or training contract for a minimum of 100 hours of teaching in the learning and skills sector over the period of the course, which is split into 50 hours for each of the 2 years, which must be signed and dated by a department manager for accuracy. A voluntary teaching placement may be acceptable for part-time applicants at the discretion of the College concerned.
  • Provide two references and demonstrate support from employer and mentor.
  • Have a subject mentor to offer subject specific support and guidance. Subject mentors must be prepared to attend an initial mentor training session.

As the programme involves working with young people, applicants will be required to disclose any previous criminal convictions, cautions or bindovers irrespective of when they occurred. All successful candidates who receive an offer of a place will be required to apply for and be in receipt of an enhanced DBS Disclosure before taking up their place. Only on the receipt of successful clearance from the DBS will the place on the programme be confirmed.

As part of the commitment to widening access to under-represented groups, non-standard qualifications (including those achieved in the workplace and work experience) will be considered on an individual basis. A similar approach will be adopted for those who have considerable teaching experience but only ‘historical' qualifications. Accreditation of prior learning will be considered in line with the current policy at the University of Chester. Each candidate for APL or AP(E)L will be required to submit evidence of the outcomes of their previous learning, whether experiential or certified.

As teaching practice is an integral part of the programme, discussion regarding the context, the learners and the nature of the learning-teaching process will take place at interview. This will establish the appropriateness of the teaching, i.e. planning, delivering and assessing learning the applicant has in place.

Teaching practice, together with observation and assessment of that practice, is a vital component of high-quality initial training. There is a requirement for a minimum of 100 hours of practice for the Cert Ed which ideally will include teaching a variety of learners at more than one level in different learning environments. (ETF, 2017)

The term 'teaching practice' refers to the teaching and learning sessions that are planned for specific learners and that take place in a learning environment. These sessions will include aspects of planning, delivery and assessment, including differentiation, and other factors that contribute to successful teaching and learning. Contact hours where teachers are supervising students for other purposes cannot be included as part of the required teaching practice hours. (ETF, 2017)

Teaching practice group sizes may vary, ideally with a minimum of 12 learners, but the majority of the teaching practice must be to groups of 5 or more learners. It would not be possible to acquire, develop and demonstrate the full range of teaching skills through individual or small group teaching. Teachers need to be able to manage larger groups of learners and to deploy a variety of teaching techniques and facilitate a wide spectrum of learning activities. (ETF, 2017)

Applicants will be required to provide written confirmation, from their employer/line manager, that the necessary teaching practice requirement will be concurrent with his/her attendance on the programme.

Direct entry to Year 2 of the Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector will be considered and be guided by the ‘AP(E)L Policy and Procedures' of the University of Chester.


There are no published QAA benchmark statements which are directly applicable to professional Teacher Education courses; however there are key external documents which inform all aspects of provision:

  • The Professional Standards outline in detail the teaching standards that must be met to at least a good standard and the Personal and Professional Conduct which must be adhered to
  • Provision is subject to regular inspections as outlined in the Ofsted Initial Teacher Education Inspection Framework.

The programme is designed to allow candidates the best opportunity to fulfill, normally to at least a good standard, all of the 2014 Professional Standards by the end of the programme. Each module is aligned to particular standards that can be evidenced based on its content and outcomes. In addition, students will complete the required Professional Standards documentation to demonstrate their proficiency in each standard, and outline targets for improvement and development.

All students entering the programme will be adults who are either voluntary or in-service and who either are currently teaching, or aspire to teach within the Learning and Skills Sector.  This rich mix of experience, knowledge and skills will be a powerful learning resource and generate exchanges of information and best practice. The specialist experience of mentors will help students to develop their subject specific knowledge and experience of subject specific teaching.

Through their professional links with other employers and organisations, the Programme team are familiar with many of the settings from which the student body will be drawn. All members of the education team are experienced practitioners, each having particular specialisms and expertise which they bring to the programme. This combination can be used very effectively to facilitate students' academic and personal development and to guide and advise them in aspects of professional practice. In addition, the specialist experience of mentors will help students to develop expertise within their subject specific area(s).

The students' own teaching practice, work context and experiences, within the teaching/learning process, will contribute significantly to the whole programme. These will not only provide opportunities for all students to review and evaluate a range of teaching/learning settings and practices but also offer insights into different curricula and learner characteristics.

A range of teaching methods and learning resources will be utilised to respond to individual learning styles and to ensure that differentiated delivery takes place. The ethos of the Programme centres upon the promotion of professional practice and the development of evaluative and reflective skills, with particular reference to the student's own specialist area.

The Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training (2014) are evidenced through the following:

  • Practice-based learning; planning for teaching and learning, observation of teaching practice, evaluation and reflection of practice.
  • Individual and groups activities, tasks, Case Studies.
  • Observation of an experienced teacher.
  • Teaching Log.
  • Completion of Personal and Professional Progress (Year 1) and Professional and Academic (Year 2) Profiles.
  • Learning Journal.
  • Lectures and discussion.
  • Individual and group tutorials.
  • Individual mentoring sessions.
  • Student-led individual and group presentations.
  • Self-directed learning/independent study.
  • Reflective Accounts.
  • Independent research/investigation.
  • Action learning sets (centred around curriculum specialisms).

The assessment strategies adopted within the programme conform to the regulations established by the University of Chester are detailed in the Partnership guidelines. An External Examiner will be nominated in accordance with the University of Chester regulations and will be subject to approval by the University.

Assessment of learning,  is continuous, formative and summative. Informal assessment takes place during every taught session via questioning, observation and feedback from student tasks, etc. Formal assessment is exemplified through observed teaching practice, teaching log, student presentations, Continuing Personal and Professional Development Profiles, reflective accounts written assignments and reports.

Each module  will have specific assessment criteria for each assignment. These will be set out in the student handbook and communicated to students by the tutor responsible for the module, who will undertake the assessment of written assignments, reflective accounts and presentations. Students will be required to submit their written assignments on the date determined by the Module tutor or tutor which will normally be two weeks after the completion of the Module. It is a requirement of the programme that students upload all their written assignments through Turnitin. Prior to formal submission, students will have  the facility to discuss an assignment plan/introduction with their tutor. Students will not be allowed to submit a full draft of the assignment prior to the official hand-in date.

A personal development record will be maintained throughout each year of the programme through the Teaching File in ED4408 in Year 1 and the Continuing Personal and Professional Development Profile file in ED5406 in Year 2. Programme tutors will undertake tutorials and observations of teaching practice.  Mentors will, wherever possible, be required to be specialists in the subject area of the student, and will be issued with a full mentor pack and offered a range of mentor training opportunities prior to commencement of study. Mentors will focus upon subject specialist issues, and undertake four observations in total, 2 in Year 1 and 2 in Year 2.

Assignments will be returned to the students when the first, second and third stages of the assessment procedure are completed. However, students will receive provisional, written feedback from the first internal assessment. Second marking and moderation will be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University of Chester.

As this is a programme of professional preparation students must pass all module assessment components. Students will be required to pass all modules at Level 4 before progression to Level 5.


An emphasis on employability is fundamental to the award and all students are either employed or in secured unpaid teaching placements. Settings for employment include teaching in adult and community education, private training providers or schools, and sixth form colleges, offender learning and special schools/colleges. In order to meet the practice requirements of the award this is a necessity. Teaching and learning approaches, assessment methods and strategies and tutor support take account of employment and career progression, with each module emphasising practice-based and subject specific issues. Reflective practice is integral to the programme and enables students to develop their generic and subject specific teaching skills with the help of supportive, developmental teaching observations and constructive tutor, mentor and peer feedback. The programme is designed with the needs of the sector in mind and is guided by partner colleges to help to ensure the programme meets current market needs and trends. 

All Colleges have an Equal Opportunities policy and strategy which has been refined and developed though consultation with staff, students and representatives from external organisations. The strategy has been particularly successful in enabling access for non-traditional students. Data is regularly gathered to monitor the recruitment, retention and progress of all students, with particular attention paid to issues arising through gender, ethnicity, disability, and economic disadvantage as potential barriers to student progress. A series of Equal Opportunities staff development events are held and these prove extremely effective in developing staff knowledge and understanding of Equal Opportunities issues. Students entering the programme will be required to respect and uphold the relevant College Equal Opportunities policy. More importantly, they will be expected to promote and demonstrate Equal Opportunities within their own practice, for example evidence of differentiation in planning learning.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

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