6. Are the admissions criteria and application procedures for the course clear and easy to understand?
It is important to have clear admissions criteria and application procedures, because these help applicants to decide whether the course will be suitable in terms of their previous experience and/or knowledge. It is also important for course tutors to be sure that course applicants have any prerequisite skills and/or competences, so that course participants stand a good chance of being able to complete the course and the assignments successfully. Applicants will need to show evidence of good speaking and writing skills in English, whether English is their first or another language. A serious training course and qualification must allow for the possibility that a participant may fail, and course providers have no wish to see participants waste their time and money by undertaking a course they are clearly not yet ready for.
7. Is the length of the course equivalent to 100 contact hours or more?
The contact hours (i.e. face-to-face with tutor and peers) may include lectures, workshops, tutorials, directed group work, private study with easy access to a tutor and other tasks which are directly under the control of the training institution. A typical Level 4 course would include at least 100 contact hours. If the course is shorter than 100 hours, many reputable employers may not accept it as a basis for employment. This type of course offers one route into the profession. Other possibilities are offered in the Further and Higher Education sectors.
8. Does the course provide opportunities for observation and for supervised and assessed teaching practice?
This type of teaching practice is a vital part of any teaching qualification. A typical Level
4 course would include for each individual at least six hours of teaching practice with
genuine language learners, supervised by suitably qualified practitioners. If the course
does not include this, many reputable employers may question its usefulness.
9. Does the awarding body manage a clearly defined appeals and complaints procedure for course participants?
In the interest of transparency, participants should be able to follow a clear set of
procedures, if necessary, to register an appeal to the awarding body if results or
judgments are felt, for any reason, to be unjust or questionable, or if the course did not
appear to meet the criteria set by the awarding body.
The types of course outlined above lead to introductory teaching qualifications for
10. What if the course you are thinking of following does not meet the above criteria?
It is possible that you are thinking of following a different kind of course - perhaps a
shorter course, held over one weekend, or an online course delivered entirely through the internet. If so the following are additional points to bear in mind:
Please note that the type of course we are outlining in these guidelines, is an introduction to the profession. Click here to see more information about possible career structure.