Assessment Practising Certificate (APC)

An Assessment Practising Certificate underpins a specialist teacher’s qualifications and competence to undertake full diagnostic assessments for Dyslexia / Specific Learning Difficulties. 

Award of the APC depends upon professional practice being externally verified as meeting the defined standards for the diagnostic assessment of Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) as set by the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC).  SASC seeks to extend the principles of good practice contained in the DfES Guidelines across all age ranges and throughout the profession.  All APC holders are listed on the SASC website

The Department for Education has changed its evidence requirements for applications for disabled student allowances. From February 2019, for a student at any age, a diagnostic assessment that meets SASC guidelines produced by a specialist teacher assessor with a current APC at the time of assessment will be accepted as evidence for Disabled Student Allowance.  With the advent of the removal of the age limit on the student’s age at the time of diagnostic assessment, reports produced by holders of an APC will have a longer lifespan.  The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) also recognises an APC for the purposes of specialist assessment for Examination Access Arrangements. 

As well as recognising professional achievement, the APC also endorses the holder’s commitment to continuing professional development (CPD).  Those wishing to hold or renew a Practising Certificate will be required to demonstrate this commitment by showing how they have regularly updated their professional skills and competence through study, professional discussion, training and practice.  Details of requirements for planning and maintaining continuing professional development in support of the SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate can be found on this page.

Guidance on CPD for an APC

An APC licence is valid for three years and is dependent upon professional membership of an APC awarding body. Membership must be maintained throughout the licence period.  Patoss is a major provider of APCs and provides a substantial range of training, assessment guidance and resource, is a widely recognised professional association for specialist teachers and an SpLD Assessment Standards Committee [SASC] Authorised CPD Provider.