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Adult and community learning

This includes education and training in the wider community, often in community venues, aimed at learners post 19. Often this happens as evening classes in local centres.

Award in Education and Training (AET)

A level 3 introductory course to teaching in the sector. 30 hours of study often over 10-12 weeks in a college.

Certificate in Education and Training (CET)

A level 4 course of 120 hours, 36 credits including teaching practice providing a foundation to teaching in the sector.

Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS)

The Certificate in Teaching in Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) is the 2007 associate teacher qualification. This does not encompass the full teacher role. The focus is more on delivering learning (skills and/or knowledge) and assessment often using readymade lesson plans and materials.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

This relates to keeping yourself up to date and includes all aspects of personal training and upskilling in your particular area.

Diploma in Education and Training (DET)

The 2013 full teaching qualification is the Diploma in Education and Training. Confusingly it is often referred to as a PGCE (PCET) or Cert Ed by universities who offer it. DET and PGCE (PCET) are the same qualification and employers do not discriminate on the basis of the title or where you obtained the qualification. It is offered at level 5 or above.

Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS)

The 2007 full teaching qualification is the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS). Also sometimes referred to as a PGCE (PCET) or Cert Ed by universities who offered it. DTLLS is still regarded as a full teaching qualification for the sector although most providers have now moved to offering the DET (see above).

Education and Training Foundation

The sector led body charged with raising standards in teaching leadership and workforce development in the sector.  The parent body of both FE Advice and SET. For more information see

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

This is the provision of English classes for those whose mother tongue is not English.

Further education (FE)

Essentially FE is all state funded education and training below degree level after the age of 16 (and some 14-16 as well). 

Higher education (HE)

Higher education is that delivered at university level: for example, degrees and some professional qualifications, etc. Usually above level 3 (A level equivalent), it can also be found in FE colleges and other providers.

Higher education institutions (HEIs)

These are providers of higher education (see above), usually but not exclusively universities.


This means while you are actually already employed in the sector.


Anyone who practises a particular profession or trade. A teacher is in effect a teaching practitioner.

Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)

The first module of DTLLS is called Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) and can be taken separately.


This means before you are employed in the sector.


QTLS - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills - is the professional status for the sector. The route to QTLS [Professional Formation] is available to members of SET.


The Society for Education and Training [formerly the Institute for Learning, IfL] is the professional membership body for the sector.  

Specialist colleges

These are FE colleges that have a particular specialism, for example agricultural colleges.

UCAS Teacher Training (UTT formerly GTTR)

This is for school teaching, not FE. This is the body through which you apply to do schools’ teacher training. It is not necessary to apply for FE teacher training via the UTT although a few providers are listed with the UTT.

Vocational courses

These are work related and often practical training courses.

Work-based training

This means any training which is delivered in the work place itself. Usually vocational, it can also include basic skills such as basic maths and English.