University of Chester

Programme Specification
Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector CertEd
2015 - 2016

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 - 15 credit version

University of Chester

Warrington Collegiate, West Cheshire College, Tameside College and Isle of Man College

Warrington Collegiate, Winwick Road; West Cheshire College, Off Regent Street Ellesmere Port; Isle of Man, Homefield Road, Isle of Man; Tameside College off Beauford Road site Ashton under Lyne



Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years part time

3 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Initial Teacher Education

QAA Descriptors for HE qualifications at levels 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.

Addressing the Minimum Core for language, literacy and numeracy within the Programme: The Minimum Core for language, literacy and numeracy has been embedded throughout  the Programme, and is a theme that is present in all sessions. In addition students are provided with two discrete sessions that address coverage and aid evidence acquisition.  To ensure effective tracking of the coverage of the Standards is achieved, each student is asked to map individual coverage of the Standards via the production of a cross-referenced grid submitted as part of their course work. It is intended that coverage will involve a combination of taught modules, subject specific mentoring and possibly some independent supported study.

On completion of the full award, candidates may apply to compete 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.


Certificate of Education Module Assessment Board

Thursday 7th May 2015

Overall Aims of the Programme

  • 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.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Acknowledge the importance of initial assessment and the consideration of learners’ needs in planning for teaching and learning. (ED4401)
  • Develop a systematic approach to planning, organising and managing teaching and learning. (ED4401)
  • Select methods and resources to meet the needs of learners, the subject and the environment. (ED4401 and ED4404)
  • Identify appropriate methods to assess learning and achievement (ED4401, ED4408)
  • Review and evaluate own role in the teaching/learning process (ED4403, ED4404)
  • To examine ways in which to promote learner independence e.g. e-learning (ED4401)
  • Recognise how the contributions of theories, models and concepts can provide greater insights into teaching-learning process within own specialist area. (ED4402)
  • Identify ways in which to create a positive learning environment within own specialist area. (ED4402)
  • To develop and evaluate the skills of collaborative working.ED4407Reflection skills (all modules)
  • IT skills (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Enhanced reflection skills. (All modules)
  • Work within a professional value base. (all modules)
  • Manage personal learning. (all modules)
  • Record, monitor and evaluate teaching-learning sessions (ED5404)
  • Evaluate and reflect upon own personal progress and practice, as a teacher in own specialist area. (all modules)
  • Plan for future practice. (ED5405)
  • Develop personal skills further in critical reading, writing and research. (all modules)
  • Appraise awareness of the development of own subject specific pedagogy and to plan for its extension and improvement. (ED5402 and ED5403)
  • Selecting and justify a relevant area of interest, using appropriate research methodology, reviewing current relevant literature and evaluating other subject specialists. (ED5402 and ED5403)
  • Engaging with peers, evaluating strengths and areas for development in own practice, and presenting findings clearly and objectively. (ED5403)

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.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Reflect, evaluate, and feedback on own classroom practice and use this to develop own good practices in future. (ED4401, ED4405)
  • Reflect and evaluate own assessment practice, and make suggestions for improvement. (ED4401, ED4405)
  • Evaluate and improve own wider professional practice.(all modules)
  • Critically discuss how to apply theories, principles and models to curriculum development and practice. (ED4402)
  • Assess the significance of equality and diversity for curriculum design and identify opportunities to promote equality within practice. (ED4402)

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. (ED5401, ED5402 and ED5403)
  • Critically analyse the theories, principles and models of curriculum design and implementation and their impact upon teaching and learning. (ED5402 and ED5404)

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.

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)

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) to at least a good standard by the end of the programme. (all modules)

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. (ED4402)
  • Communicate effectively with peers, collegues, 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 (ED4401)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.(ED5402 and ED5403)
  • Synthesise written and oral information(all modules)
  • Develop coherent and evidence-based arguments (all modules)
  • Communicate fluently with members of a team (ED5402 and ED5403)

Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector (Cert Ed)

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, will provide you with first-rate teaching and support your development throughout the course. In addition to the excellent support from College teams you are also supported on the programme by a Subject Specialist Mentor who will work with you to develop your subject specialism teaching and your 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).

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.

Exit points

There is technically, an exit point at the end of the first module, where candidates can exit with 15 credits which include the 12 credits needed by the Institute for Learning (IfL) to confer the recognition of Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTTLS). It is unlikely that any candidates enrolled on this Programme will exit at this stage as the admissions and interview procedure requires candidates to commit to the full Programme leading to the full Certificate of Education awarded by the University of Chester.

Students wishing to terminate their study after the successful completion of ED4401, ED4402 and ED4404 would have covered all the expected Standards necessary to apply to the Institute for Learning for CTLLS recognition.  Trainees can receive a letter of equivalency on completion of the first year.

The expected exit point is at the end of year 2 for the full Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector (60 credits at Level 4 + 60 credits at Level 5) to meet requirements for those in a full teaching role and at which point the IfL may award Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, subject to completion of the formation process.

Progression from Licence to Practice, to Certificate, to Diploma

Candidates on Awarding Body programmes at the Colleges who have achieved 60 credits or equivalent, may progress to gain the University of Chester's Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector, by joining this Programme through the process of articulation part way through the  Programme. Arrangements are in place to accommodate this progression.

Programme Structure

The Programme is designed to accommodate learning and assessment in both the classroom and the workplace and through personal, professional and academic development. At enrolment all students will be made aware of the structure of the Programme  and how the Programme facilitates and progresses learning through the related subject material and a range of developmental assessable requirements. Teaching practice is an integral part of the whole Programme and is crucial for work-based assessment via the construction of a Teaching Log and teaching observations.

The Programme will provide students with a foundation for transferring and integrating existing skills, knowledge and abilities within the context of teaching and learning. The focus of the first part of the Programme will be the micro-environment of the ‘classroom’ and the processes of planning, managing and assessing will be underpinned by principles of learning. Development of practice will be promoted by: ‘concrete experience and reflective observation’ (Kolb,1984).

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ED5401 5 Wider Professional Practice 15 Comp
ED5402 5 Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice 15 Comp
ED5403 5 Contemporary Issues in the Lifelong Learning Sector 15 Comp
ED5404 5 Continuing Personal and Professional Development II 15 Comp

This pattern of provision conforms to the three desired exit points for professional training in the Learning and Skills Sector.
The threshold award for teaching in this sector known as Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) (6 credits) is achieved through the successful completion of ED4401.
Students who successfully complete the whole Programme will accumulate 60 credits at Level 4 and 60 credits at Level 5 which will confer the award of Certificate of Education in Teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector.
Appropriate APEL are in place to support those entering the Programme from Associate Teaching status (CTLLS)and from other appropriate qualifications.

Trainees 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 compete 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.

Admissions will be processed directly by the Colleges.

Enquiries will be forwarded to the 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. The applicant's experience, aspirations, motivation, work history, etc will be discussed at the interview and his/her teaching commitment established  to meet the minimum entry requirement of 50 hours per year in a full teaching role for the part time Programme over a two year period . A 'full' teaching role is one with wider responsibilities, teaching using materials they have designed themselves and evaluated across a range of programmes and levels in the Lifelong Learning Sector

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

  • Have a good command of written and spoken English, sufficient to be able to produce assignments at Level 5
  • Have 100 teaching practice hours in a 'full' teaching role within the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • 200 UCAS tariff points, of which 180 must be achieved at Further Education (FE) Level 3.
  • Possess at least a minimum level 3 qualification in his/her own area of specialism
  • Evidence of achieved or working towards GCSE Grade C in English and Mathematics (or equivalent)
  • A current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). 
  • Ideally, applicants should be able to show evidence of academic study during the previous five years, to at least FE Level 3.
  • Certificates/confirmation of awards at FE Level 3 or above must be presented.
  • Provide 2 references and demonstrate support from employer and mentor 
  • It is a mandatory requirement that trainee teachers have a subject mentor to offer subject specific support and guidance. Subject mentors must be prepared to attend an initial mentor training session

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. This permits a maximum accreditation of 50% of the award. Each candidate for APL will be required to submit evidence of the outcomes of their previous learning, whether experiential or certified.

Included in the application form is a written personal statement (500 words) which will be used to make an initial assessment of the applicant\'s literacy skills. Potential need for learning support may be identified at this stage and, if found, will be discussed with the applicant.

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. 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.



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 and 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 fulfil, 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, trainees 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 pre-service 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 experience within their specific subject areas.

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 strategy adopted within the Programme will conform to the regulations established by the University of Chester and 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. The Chair of the Awards Assessment Board will be the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Children's Services (or her nominee) and the Chair of the Subject Assessment Board will be the University Link Tutor.

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 and written assignments.

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 onto the VLE in addition to providing a paper copy. 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. Personal Tutors will be responsible for Continuing Personal and Professional Development Profile , tutorials and observed teaching practice. Personal tutors will be aligned to the curriculum specialisms of the student. 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 prior to commencement of study. Mentors will focus upon subject specialist issues, and undertake four observations in total.

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.

Students have the right to one re-assessment in each failed assessment component. 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 trainees 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 trainees 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.

Those exiting at full Certificate in Education stage will have the opportunity to apply for QTLS status. Full QTLS will also be dependent on a Level 2 NQF qualification in English and Mathematics and, when implemented, the successful completion of on-line tests.

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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