Skills for Life teacher training

Training and DevelopmentIf you are considering training as a Skills for Life teacher or supporter, you may find the information below helpful.

For advice and further information on teacher training, contact the FE Advice Service on 0300 3031877 or via email at


How do I qualify as a Skills for Life teacher?

New qualification requirements for teaching in the lifelong learning sector (LLLS) were introduced in 2007. The qualification route required depends on your teaching role. There are two teaching roles, defined as associate teaching and full teaching role. The associate role is described as having fewer teaching responsibilities than a full teaching role. All teachers of literacy, numeracy or ESOL are defined as having a full teaching role.

All new teachers will need to undertake an introductory programme which will give them a threshold licence to teach. This is an accredited Level 3 or 4 Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS). This will equip them with the minimum skills and knowledge they need to start teaching.

For most people working towards a full teaching qualification, this will form the first part of their initial teacher training programme.This introductory programme may be a separate award, or may be integrated into the larger teacher training programme. If awarded separately, it leads to the Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) at Level 3 or 4 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

Full teaching qualification programmes

These qualifications cover the PTTLS requirements as part of the course: Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) PGCE or Certificate in Education.

For Skills for Life teachers there will be three routes to becoming fully qualified for both a full teaching role and in their subject specialism:

  • An integrated subject specific programme - which will cover both full teaching and subject specific requirements
  • A generic Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) and a subject specific diploma
  • A subject specific diploma for teachers of literacy, numeracy or ESOL (for those already holding a generic teaching qualification)

Which route you choose will depend on your existing experience and qualifications.

Existing teachers
If you have been working as a Skills for Life teacher since before 2001, then you remain exempt from the 2001 teacher qualifications regulations and there is no requirement for you to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. However you are encouraged to achieve PTLLS and/or DTLLS or to apply to a professional recognition scheme. You may wish to register with the Institute for Learning for CPD purposes.

Associate teaching role
The qualification for the associate teaching role is the Level 3 / 4 Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS). These programmes include the PTLLS at the start of the course and are suitable for teachers with fewer responsibilities than those in a full teaching role.

More information
The FE Advice Service will be able to provide you with more information on Skills for Life teacher training.Telephone 0300 3031877 or email The dedicated website is

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