best qualification for teaching adults

What’s the best qualification for teaching adults?

Now that is a good question.

Once, we would have made a strong argument for the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector QCF, otherwise known – due to its hugely cumbersome name – as PTLLS, or “Petals”, because that’s a lot easier to say in conversation than P.T.L.L.S, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, the answer is the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. In our opinion, anyway.

What’s changed?

Not a lot, is the answer. The Level 3 Award in Education and Training just replaced PTTLS back in 2014 and now does everything the old Petals qualification did and more.

The level three award is the initial teacher training qualification in the UK. It’s as simple as that.

Become a college teacher

Can I become a college teacher with the Level 3 Award in Education and Training?

Yes you can.

Many students who take the course – not just with Authentic, although it is one of our most popular courses, for reasons we’ll get into – are experts in their particular industry. They just want to make a career change after 10, 20 or even 30 years doing what they do.

Let’s look at an example. You might be a respected and qualified solicitor, with years of experience in law firms up and down the land – but you want to get out and try something different.

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training can help you start a new career as a lecturer in any number of colleges which offer law at A level or beyond. You already have the skills and the experience which is invaluable to students looking to follow your footsteps into law – but you don’t have any teaching experience.

Taking the L3 Award will give you the confidence, experience and the teaching tools to draw upon as you look to start your new career.

As long as you’re over 19 and have a good level of literacy, preferably GCSE English, you don’t need any other qualifications to get started.

What if I want to become a college teacher and teach something else?

Yet another good question. Maybe you want to make a clean break with whatever it is you’ve been doing since you left school, or perhaps there’s not much call for college tutors and lecturers in your particular field of expertise.

Or perhaps you’ve not been in a work environment since leaving school or university and you just fancy getting back into the workplace as a college tutor.

That’s not a problem.

To work in a college, the only prior qualifications or experience you need are Maths and English GCSE equivalents, and a qualification in your subject one level above the one you would be teaching.

So, for example, if you have long harboured a desire to teach adults to speak beginners’ French up to GCSE level, then you would need to have ‘A’ level French.

PTLLS Become a college teacher

Can the Level 3 Award in Education and Training course teach me to train young people in my industry?

Yes it can.

Many of our students are beauticians, who want to turn their salon into an academy for young aspiring aestheticians.

The course gives you the skills required to pass on your knowledge and experience in the hairdressing, nails, eyelashes or general beauty sector. Plus, your status as a qualified adult teacher will also give your academy a gravitas that others may lack.

Of course, the qualification is suitable for professionals working in other industries other than beauty who want to train up junior members of staff and need help with the teaching side of the task.

There is one small caveat: At Authentic, we always recommend checking with the official body which governs your industry and also with your insurance company.

Many governing bodies require you to either hold a qualification in the subject you want to teach or have a certain number of years’ relevant experience.

Many organisations require trainers to be at least 19 years old, have Maths and English GCSE equivalents, and a qualification in their subject.

Can teaching adults lead to working in schools?

If you want to start with training adults but think you might be interested in teaching in schools in the future, that’s not a problem.

Many new teachers feel nervous about going straight back into the classroom for any number of reasons. Perhaps you have memories of your school days which are, shall we say, not the most positive!

Teaching adults can be a safer place to start simply because adults, in general, want to be there. They want to learn whatever it is you are teaching them and in many cases they have paid to do so.

Your role is just to pass on your knowledge in the best way possible – there’s not nearly so much “crowd control” in the adult education sector!

All that being said, though, teaching children is a hugely rewarding and satisfying experience and taking the Level 3 Award in Education and Training is a great way to start.

After completing the course, you can then move onto Level 4 and Level 5 courses, gain QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) status and teach in schools.

PTLLS Become a college teacher

Are there other qualifications for teaching adults?

There are.

In addition to the L3 Award, another option would be to go back to college or university yourself and study for a Bachelor’s degree in Education. The B Ed (as it is known) is a three-year degree course, followed by a year in a school, after which graduates gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

This course is normally taken by post A-Level students who want to teach children in primary and secondary schools.

If you do have a degree already, then another option is studying for a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), which is a 12-month full-time course.

The huge advantage the L3 Award in Education and Training has over its rivals is the time factor.

The L3 Award can be completed in as little as two weeks. This alone makes it a much better option for students who can’t subsidise themselves for an entire year or more.

How do I gain the Level 3 Education and Training award?

Yet another good question.

Naturally, there are many options, but here at Authentic we offer two different courses for those wishing to teach adults.

The first option is our online course. If you want to study for your new career but you’ve got a job you don’t want to give up just yet, then the online course is perfect for you.

It gives you the opportunity to dip into pre-arranged classes via Zoom if you want to, while also offering full tutor support over the phone or by email.

Click here to find out more about the distance learning options.

However, we understand that distance and online learning is not for everyone. Not everyone gets on with Zoom, or perhaps you would rather learn from a tutor who is right there in the room with you.

Over just five days in our training centre in Kirkby, you’ll receive four days of intensive instruction from one of our specialist tutors before completing the micro-teach on the final day.   Your coursework can be completed at your leisure.

With enough pre-course preparation, you can complete the whole course and be ready to teach in just one month.

Click here to find out more about the five-day course.


If you’ve got more questions, we’re here to help.

We’d love to talk to you about the Level 3 Award in Education and Training course.

To give us a call and speak to one of our expert trainers, ring 0151 546 5151 and ask for John or Kris.

Alternatively, send us an email at and we’ll get back in touch as soon as we can.

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