Teaching Practising Certificate via Accreditation of Prior Experience or Learning (TPC-APEL)

The TPC offers a way for you to demonstrate that you are a current specialist teacher with relevant practical experience who is committed to maintaining best practice and ongoing development of your professional teaching skills. You must have a minimum of 5 years experience teaching learners with SpLD.

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.

Individuals may apply for a Teaching Practising Certificate based on Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning [APE-APL]. Successful completion of this route would qualify you for Associate Membership of Patoss as a Patoss Professional Member.

See the following documents:


Two testimonials will be required. 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, on headed paper, 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.

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, on headed paper
  • a professional reference from a suitably qualified colleague (e.g. holder of an ATS or AMBDA equivalent accreditation), on headed paper
  • 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.

Apply for a TPC via APEL