SpLD/Dyslexia: Professional Practice in Assessment & Reporting 'PPAR'

Please note that due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the 2020/21 PPAR programme will be delivered as an online course.

Patoss, in collaboration with the University of South Wales, is delivering a 30 credit Level 7, SASC authorised module, leading to an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).

Course Aim

This course will provide you with the theoretical foundation, appropriate knowledge and supervised practice to develop your existing skills into those of the specialist SpLD teacher assessor.

Course Description

The University of South Wales and Patoss will share delivery of the academic component of this module and Patoss, through its group of professional practice tutors and a dedicated online learning platform, will provide additional support to develop your assessment practice.

This course is designed to enhance students’ existing understanding of SpLD/dyslexia, which will have been established through previous study on ATS/ APS or AMBDA level courses. In addition, students will already have a thorough knowledge of standardised assessment gained during designated prior courses covering this subject area.   


To be eligible to undertake the course, there are two possible pathways:

Pathway 1: You will have completed the following qualifications:

A specialist teaching qualification accredited at Approved Teacher Status (ATS) or Approved Practitioner Status (APS) level and one of the following:

Patoss - Assessing for Access Arrangements (AAA)

Communicate-ed - Postgraduate Award of Proficiency in Assessment for Access Arrangements (PAPAA)

Real Training - Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET)

Pathway 2:  you will have an AMBDA level specialist teacher and assessor qualification gained more than 5 years ago and want to assure that your assessment practice is completely up to date.

Please note that, where possible, original documentary evidence of course work, marked assignments and personal reflections from your previous ATS/ APS or AMBDA Level course should be made available prior to enrolment (*see note below).

These documents will cover your full teacher assessment of a learner, the detailed report with recommendations for learning and the 12 hour teaching programme with a learner, all undertaken under the supervision of an AMBDA level qualified tutor.

*In exceptional circumstances a Recognition of Prior Learning application might be possible in order to provide this evidence.    

Additional requirements:

You will be responsible for ensuring that you have suitable Wi-Fi, hardware and software to enable you to attend all webinars and access the online learning platforms.

You need to photograph or scan copies of completed test records for uploading to SharePoint.

You need access to two different learners and must be able to provide written permission for PPAR course tutors to access their anonymised assessment information. Please note that diagnostic reports written during this training course cannot be used in future DSA applications.

You need access to a range of up to date standardised test kits suitable for the assessment of SpLDs (please refer to the June 2020 SASC guidance). Original test papers must be used, and test copyright conditions strictly adhered to.


The course duration is 9 months.  It includes a combination of webinars and directed independent study followed by the practical application of assessment skills through two Case Studies.

Study Time

The course involves 300 hours of study which is delivered through 8 compulsory live webinar sessions, online tutorials, directed learning activities, online group work, interactive online discussion tools, preparation of assignments and independent study.

For the academic component, online access is provided to the University of South Wales library and study resources to assist in the completion of a 5000 - word essay which is due in by 12th April 2021. 

During the second and more practical phase of the course, which will run through to October 2021, students are supported remotely by a Patoss Professional Practice tutor and will have access to a range of Patoss member resources.

The two professional practice assignments consist of Case Studies which involve carrying out two different assessments and writing up a diagnostic report for each learner.  The first Case Study will be completed by 30 May 2021. Case Study 2 is due by 25 September 2021. Reflections on all assignments and course activities are expected and these will be compiled into a Professional Practice Portfolio to be handed in by 30 October 2021. 


Assessment will take the form of a combination of an essay, two diagnostic reports, critical reflections and practical tasks, including a recorded observed assessment for one learner.

The 5000 word essay relates theory to practice and the assessment criteria will be made available to students at the start of the course.  In the unlikely event that the essay fails to meet the pass mark, one resubmission is permitted.

The first Case Study will be marked formatively. Case Study 2 is then carried out independently and the diagnostic report is subject to summative marking. Please note that if Case Study 2 does not reach the required standard and a further diagnostic report is required, an additional fee of £165 is payable.

All parts of the course must be passed in order to achieve the final qualification.

Start date

Enrolment will take place in early January 2021 and the compulsory webinars dates are:

Session                Day / date                                             Subject

Session 1              Wednesday 20th January 2021                 Course aims and assignments

Session 2             Wednesday 3rd February 2021                   Contemporary SpLD/Dyslexia theories

Session 3              Wednesday 24th February 2021                 Academic research and writing skills

Session 4              Wednesday 17th March 2021                     Background Information/ Report formats

Session 5              Wednesday 31st March 2021                       Psychometrics

Session 6              Wednesday 14th April 2021                        Cognitive and Attainment profiles

Session 7              Wednesday 28th April 2021                         Diagnosis and recommendations

Session 8             Wednesday 12th May 2021                           Professional Practice

The compulsory live sessions run from 5.30 – 6.30 pm.

Course content

Sessions 1 – 3 - explore the evolution of SpLD theories and how they have shaped contemporary assessment practice. These sessions also help to develop vital research and writing skills, as expected within a Level 7 course and future professional assessment practice. 

Session 4 - focuses on gathering the necessary background information about a learner prior to assessment. Furthermore, the purpose and structure of pre and post 16 SASC report formats is outlined and explored in relation to contemporary SpLD theory.

Sessions 5  - 6 - provide brief revision on psychometric testing and the statistical measures that relate to SpLD assessment.  Testing of underlying ability by specialist teacher assessors will also be outlined, as will the exploration of tests of cognitive processing and attainment in literacy and numeracy.

Session 7 - focuses on drawing all assessment evidence together to reach a diagnostic conclusion and make recommendations for support.

Session 8 - this final webinar will focus on working within ethical and professional boundaries.

Course Outcome

Successful completion will enable participants to apply for an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) which endorses a specialist teacher’s qualifications and competence to undertake full diagnostic assessments for specific learning difficulties/dyslexia.

Terms & Conditions

Payment can be made in two equal instalments, the first on enrolment and the second in May 2021.

By submitting an application, you are agreeing to pay Patoss Ltd within 30 days from the date of invoice, subject to your application being confirmed as successful, or before the first day of the course [whichever is sooner] and accept our terms and conditions. You are also agreeing accept our Cancellation/Transfer Policy and Terms and Conditions which are shown at the bottom of the website page


Julie Baister, Course Leader: jbaister@patoss-dyslexia.org  


Julie Baister, Patoss Lead Tutor

E: jbaister@patoss-dyslexia.org

When & Where

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This course is worth 300 hours CPD

SASC Blue Block

30 Hours

For those professionals seeking to update an Assessment Practising Certificate, this event will contribute 30 hours to the core assessment practice CPD requirements.

What is SASC?


This course uses blended training, which means it is made up of both attendance and online training.

If you wish to print this information, to show a colleague, click on the image for a PDF copy of the Onsite flyer

SpLD Dyslexia Professional Practice in Assessment and Reporting USW