Professional Accreditation

The Accreditation Board meets three times a year (January, May and September). The next board will meet on September 21 2015 and if you wish your application to be considered at this meeting, applications must be received by August 10 2015.

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Accreditation Level










ATS Individual Merit









Renewal of CPD



AMBDA Individual Merit

Stage 1 £150

Stage 2 £240

Stage 3 £165



(APC plus professional membership)



Full Professional membership required



PAM required

APC Route 1


To include £15 SASC fee

APC Route 2


To include £165 fee

APC Route 3



APC Route 4



Submission of second report


If second report is needed for APC

Student Membership



Professional Membership


Required for APC and TPC

Prices correct as of September 1st 2014 and may be subject to change. Prices do not include a £2.50 credit/debit card charge which will be added separately.

AMBDA (Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association) or AMBDA FE/HE (Further Education/Higher Education and Adults).

AMBDA certifies the holder's expertise in both the theory and practice (teaching/tutoring) of SpLDs (Specific Learning Difficulties / Dyslexia). The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) approves AMBDA. This means that it is a recognised Level 7 (postgraduate) qualification giving the holder the right to assess, diagnose and make recommendations for provisions for external examinations (Exam Access Arrangements). Holders of AMDA may be admitted onto the B.D.A.s. list of Specialist Teachers/Tutors and Assessors and are also eligible for an Assessment Practising Certificate and / or Teaching Practising Certificate. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is not a requirement for AMBDA.

ATS (Approved Teacher Status), APS (Approved Practitioner Status) or ATS FE/HE.

ATS/APS recognises the holder’s ability in both the theory and practice (teaching/tutoring) of SpLDs / Dyslexia but not their ability to conduct formal assessments. Whilst taking the same accredited course those with QTS are awarded ATS, those without QTS are awarded APS.  Holders of ATS, APS or ATS FE/HE may be admitted onto the B.D.A.s. list of specialist teachers/tutors and are also eligible for a Teaching or Practitioner Practising Certificate. 

ALSA (Accredited Learning Support Assistant).  

This is an expanding area of accreditation and gives learning support / teaching assistants recognition for their skills in supporting dyslexic children in the classroom under the supervision of the class teacher. Please note that for overseas candidates who completed courses not taught in or from the United Kingdom, Overseas Status (OS) awards are available.

Candidates for all awards must have the equivalent of two years full time experience in the age range in which their award in based (i.e. below or above 18 years) at the time of application.

Gaining B.D.A. Accreditation

There are two methods of gaining accreditation.

  1. The easiest is to complete an accredited course that has been registered with the B.D.A. Please note that the B.D.A. is not itself a course provider. Questions regarding the method of delivery (such as part time, full time or distance learning) and matters relating to course timing, length, required prior qualifications and cost should be directed to the individual course provider.     

A list of current course providers may be found by clicking on the Course Providers link on the left hand side of the screen.

Please Note: This information on B.D.A. accredited courses is intended to be as accurate as possible. However it is not possible to ensure that this website is always fully accurate and students must check with a course provider to find out what accreditation is currently in place for a course before booking that course. The B.D.A. takes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. It is the responsibility of prospective students to contact the institution in order to clarify if they offer the course as a standalone or as part of a wider programme.

Once you have successfully completed a course, accreditation awards, as well as Practising Certificates may be gained by clicking on the respective links on the left hand side of the screen and following the application procedure described. 

2. The second method is the Individual Merit route. This is for candidates who have completed an accredited course more than five years ago or for those who have completed training and have experience that they believe is equivalent to that gained through an accredited course (at the level of the accreditation award they wish to gain). Candidates following this route should click on Individual Merit Link on the left hand side of the screen. For candidates who wish to compare their qualifications a complete list of criteria for accredited courses is provided in this section.  

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The awards of either AMBDA or ATS/APS indicate that their holders have a high level of understanding of dyslexia and professional competence in teaching, assessing and supporting dyslexic learners. As with all professions, it is important both for the continuing credibility of the designation and the provision of accurate information for ‘consumers’, that these understandings and competencies are up to date. Both are of equal importance.

The B.D.A. must be able to confirm, when asked, that for any holder of accreditation this is so. Consequently, the Accreditation Board has decided that every three years holders of any accreditation award except ALSA should be asked to demonstrate the Professional Development Activities and direct teaching they have undertaken so as to remain conversant with knowledge, skills and professional competence required of them in their specialist teaching role. This is recognised by the award of a certificate indicating that their award status is 'Active'. The BDA holds a list of Active award holders. 

All CPD applications must be submitted using the official B.D.A. documents. Applications using CPD documents from other organisations will not be accepted.

Note that with the exception of Practising Certificates (which have a life span of three years), Accreditation Awards do not expire. However, candidates wishing to remain on the Active list of registered tutors/assessors must submit a Continuing Professional Development Portfolio every three years.

Contact us

The British Dyslexia Association Accreditation Department can be contacted via email, phone or post.

Accreditation Department, British Dyslexia Association, Unit 8 Bracknell Beeches, Old Bracknell Lane, Bracknell, RG12 7BW


Telephone: 01344 381560