The Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) tutor training course is the first step in the new suite of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses which also includes the CTLLS and DTLLS.

By 2010, anyone in receipt of government funding for teaching will require a PTLLS certificate. PTLLS stands for ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’. Essentially anyone who delivers learning to one or more individuals will be covered by this regulation, whether the teaching is delivered in a classroom or at business premises. It will cover full time teachers delivering lessons in a college and at the same time will cover trainers and assessors providing courses and underpinning knowledge for work and vocational qualifications. The intention of a PTLLS course is to have a ‘one size fits all’ qualification which will give all qualified teachers a substantive qualification that allows them to pass the necessary threshold to teach.

Understanding the necessity for PTLLS courses depends first of all on understanding the meaning of the phrase ‘lifelong learning’. While there are certain levels of compulsory learning in the United Kingdom, and a child must stay in school or full-time education of some sort for the duration of their childhood, there is then another sector of education beyond this that is described as ‘post-compulsory’ or ‘lifelong’ learning. The skill set required for teaching the compulsory education sector is naturally very different from that which is required to teach non- or post-compulsory education.

PTLLS Course Content

In line with the requirements for teachers in the Lifelong Learning sector, new qualifications were launched in September 2007. The minimum qualification now required if you wish to teach in the post-compulsory education sector is a PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector), which may or may not lead to a full QTLS qualification. The exact content of PTLLS courses depends on where and from whom it is gained, but there are certain principles which are indispensable parts of PTLLS courses wherever it is learned. The suitable candidates for PTLLS courses are anyone who would like to work in the lifelong learning sector and is new to teaching adults, and those who have been teaching for a short time and have no subject-specific training.

Someone who is looking to gain a PTLLS qualification will be required to demonstrate a range of competencies which stretch from straightforward competencies such as ‘Basic theory of education’ and ‘Job roles and responsibilities’ to more specific and involved modules such as keeping a reflective teaching journal and giving a ‘Micro teaching session’. All of these elements will be assessed by an internal verifier who will judge to which level the attendee has satisfied each of them. In order to get on PTLLS courses in the first place it will be necessary to demonstrate a sufficient level of literacy and be qualified in the subject you wish to teach. It is unnecessary to have taught before. The idea of the assessment process is to decide whether or not you have the competency to teach.

Before commencing PTLLS courses, candidates will need to go through an interview process and a numeracy and literacy assessment.

Much of the course is given to continuous assessment processes, allowing the course attendee to monitor their progress and identify areas which will require improvement. In each section of the course, the candidate will need to carry out assignment work which they carry out outside the classroom. This entails three separate assignments. To show one’s capability in each element of the course, there are various aspects in each module of the course that must be satisfied before they can be ticked off and signed off.