Our guide to PTLLS

Our guide to PTLLS

First published date February 26 2014 Amended date February 06 2015

PTLLS, or ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’, may be a bit of a mouthful, but it is a necessary qualification to attain for anyone looking to make it in the teaching sector. Anyone who teaches any number of people, be it a group or individually in further education requires a PTLLS qualification. So if you want to become a teacher, whether you want to teach first aid, dance or a language, this is a great place to start. 


What is PTLLS?

PTLLS, also commonly known as ‘petals’, is the industry standard qualification for teachers looking to teach in further education (FE) and is a compulsory requirement to then move up towards gaining a Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Sector (CTLLS) and then on to a Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Sector (DTLLS). Or in other words, you need your ‘petals’ to get your ‘kettles’ en route to gain your ‘dettols’. Don’t worry it isn’t that confusing! Those who require these qualifications will be teaching people over the age of 16 but could be in any location or setting from a college, to adult learning centres or even one on one tuition sessions. Level 3 is the standard level of qualification people go for when taking a PTLLS training course and is the minimum required to teach in FE and to gain access to the CTLLS and DTLLS qualifications also.


Can anyone take a PTLLS training course?

PTLLS courses  only really have one entry requirement, which is usually some kind of qualification or certificate in the area you are planning on teaching in, or at least some demonstrable evidence of volunteer work or experience to prove that you are capable.


What will a course involve?

Level 3 PTLLS courses will take you through a number of things to get you ready for teaching in FE. You will be taught everything from the health and safety fundamentals and issues in a learning environment to the legislative side of things as well; this will include matters such as equality as well as data protection. More hands on training will aim to teach you how to interact with your students whether it will be showing you how to take one on one tuition sessions and how to encourage people or showing you how to implement discipline in your class if there is any kind of bad behaviour or aggression which may disrupt learning.

You will be taught how to properly plan and execute lessons for your class through a variety of teaching methods and theories. You may also be required to put all your new skills and knowledge into practice in a short ‘micro-teach’ where you will lead a mini session in your specialist area.

PTLLS courses are generally about two or three months long and cost between £200 and £400, however there are fast track options that can allow you to complete the course in as little as three days.


Qualifications and careers

Whether you’re looking to teach the English language in the culturally diverse London or woodwork, a PTLLS qualification is vital and just one step of the way along to becoming a fully qualified or associate teacher. PTLLS is the stepping stone to either your CTLLS, which upon completion will make you an associate teacher, learning and skills (ATLS) where as the DTLLS  will gain you a qualified teacher, learning and skills (QTLS) qualification. The latter of the two is the more hands on teaching qualification where you will find you will be taught with more responsibilities and duties than the former.


Big changes!

As you may be aware, there are big changes in place with regard to FE teaching. The PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS are currently undergoing a phasing out period which started in September 2013, but don’t worry, they are still relevant and are valid for life if you want to take a course in it. These qualifications are going to be revamped and replaced by education and training awards. So the PTLLS equivalent will be the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET), the CTLLS will be the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (CET) and the DTLLS will change to the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET).