Teaching Practising Certificate

Application Guidance and Minimum Requirements

Rationale for a Teaching Practising Certificate

Members have asked for a professional recognition scheme to value the skills and knowledge of specialist teachers and their commitment to best practice, which includes a commitment to continuing professional development. Members were particularly concerned that the work of teachers be valued in the same way that recognition is given to assessors through the Assessment Practising Certificate scheme.

Aims of the TPC

The TPC offers a way for individuals to demonstrate that they are a current specialist teacher with relevant practical experience who is committed to maintaining best practice and ongoing development of their professional teaching skills.

Teaching Practising Certificates can be used to underpin quality assurance of your specialist skills and commitment to best practice. If you hold a Patoss Teaching Practising Certificate you can note Patoss is your professional body for Quality Assurance purposes. Policy guidance and support documents to underpin this quality assurance are downloadable from your Members' Area of the Patoss website.

Summary of the TPC requirements

Please note the TPC is not mandatory.Those who do not hold a TPC will not be excluded from the Patoss Tutor Index on this basis.

To be awarded the TPC you must:

  • Hold Specialist SpLD qualifications
  • Be a full or associate membership of Patoss
  • Be committed to ethical practice
  • Be committed to continuing professional development
  • Supply evidence of specialist teaching practice

To apply you will need to supply:

  • A completed application form
  • 2 testimonials corroborating your employment and supporting the quality of your practice

Please see below for guidance on requirements for new applications, renewals and joint certificates. Please also see the attached Schedule of Fees - Summary of TPC / APC evidence requirements document.

TPC New Application Requirements

Applicants must be full or associate members of Patoss. The validity of the certificate is conditional upon membership being maintained throughout the TPC period.

Members are asked to confirm their commitment to ethical practice and continuing professional development (CPD).

Current Specialist Teaching Practice

All applicants must demonstrate that they are current, practising teachers who have conducted a minimum 20 hours of direct specialist SpLD related tuition in the 12 months prior to application. A declaration to confirm teaching hours should be made on the application form.

"Direct specialist SpLD related teaching"includes:

  • 1:1 or small group work with people with SpLD and/or
  • Professional training/mentoring in the SpLD field delivered by qualified specialist teachers.

It does not include mainstream teaching work where adjustments are made to support curriculum access or learning support work where another professional guides the teaching objectives and activities.

Specialist Teaching Experience

All applicants must demonstrate a minimum of 1 year in a professional SpLD teaching role.

Please complete the application form showing your current and previous teaching experience. This form asks applicants to highlight and briefly describe those roles which have involved specialist teaching practice, either working directly with individuals with SpLD or professional mentoring or teacher training activity within the field.


Two testimonials should be attached to the TPC application. The contact details of those providing the testimonials should also be supplied. They may be contacted as part of the Patoss audit process.

One testimonial should be from a current employer or a professional colleague, who can confirm the validity of the most recent aspects of the employment history, and can knowledgeably comment on the quality of teaching practice.

For those applicants working independently - a professional colleague does not necessarily have to be a person with whom they work directly, but someone who is aware of their practice; for example, a fellow member of the local Patoss group, a school teacher with whom they collaborate to support a child or a human resources professional with whom they coordinate in providing workplace support.

Testimonials should be signed, dated and on headed paper. They must relate to assessment practice within the last 5 years, at a minimum.

The second testimonial should provide further evidence of the quality of your teaching practice. This could be:

  • a student self-evaluation of progress
  • a reference from a parent
  • a professional reference from an employer
  • a professional reference from a suitably qualified colleague (e.g. holder of an ATS or AMBDA equivalent accreditation)
  • a copy of any professional observation of teaching, such as those undertaken for inspections or internal quality audits - including observer's contact details
  • a reference or course evaluations from participants of professional mentoring or teacher training programmes - including contact details of one participant who is prepared to support application.

For a renewal TPC application

Full or associate membership of Patoss must be held and a commitment given to ethical practice and continuing professional development.

On renewal of the TPC all applicants must also supply:

  • A completed Patoss CPD log evidencing a minimum of 20 hours CPD activity within the last three years, including reflection on impact of CPD on practice. (For those jointly applying for an APC this CPD log minimum rises to a total of 25 hours - the other requirements of the APC stand.)
  • Updated details of employment history since previous application
  • Two updated testimonials as described above drawn from practice since previous application.

For a joint APC and TPC application

If you wish to apply for both an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) and a Teaching Practising Certificate (TPC) you are welcome to do so. There are a number of routes to the Assessment Practising Certificate so these must be considered alongside the requirements of the TPC. Patoss has endeavoured to create as much overlap as possible between the two schemes to ensure minimal additional application requirements for members. Please see the attached Schedule of Fees - Summary of Evidence Requirements table or contact the Patoss office for further guidance.


The Teaching Practising Certificate aims to offer a low annual cost for members - at a total of £60 this represents a £20 per year cost for the three year validity period of the TPC.

There is a reduced fee for those applying jointly for their APC and TPC to reflect the fact that some evaluation of the CPD log is already included in the existing APC fee. If members wish to apply for both certificates the renewal dates of their APC and TPC will be harmonised. Those whose APC renewal dates are less than 1 year to renewal will only by charged £20 for their first TPC. If the APC renewal date is one year or more away the £40 fee will apply.

For full detail of our fees and the costs of joint certificate applications please see the attached Schedule of Fees - Summary of Evidence Requirements document.

Please Note: The Patoss Board periodically reviews requirements and fees. Please ensure you use the current guidance schedule on application.

TPC Application form [WORD] [PDF]

TPC Renewal form [WORD]

If you do not hold an SpLD Specialist Teaching qualification but have more than 7 years experience you may be eligible to apply for membership and a Teaching Practising Certificate through accreditation of prior experience and learning [APEL] See information on TPC - APEL for more details.



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