Professional Accreditation

This section provides information on Accreditation and Practising Certificates Awarded by the B.D.A. If you are unable to find the information you need on this section of our website, you can contact the accreditation department at: 

Please note that the B.D.A. Helpline is unable to answer specialist queries relating to the accreditation department.

B.D.A. Accreditation

These are specialist qualifications for working with children and are increasingly being recognised by L.E.A.s. and other employers. 

There are three levels of Accreditation with the B.D.A.:

1. AMBDA (Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association) or AMBDA FE/HE¹ (Further Education/Higher Education and Adults).

AMBDA acknowledges the holders expertise in both the theory and practice (teaching/tutoring) of SpLDs (Specific Learning Difficulties). 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 or Teaching Practising Certificate. From September 2015, Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is not a requirement for AMBDA.

2. ATS (Approved Teacher Status), APS² (Approved Practitioner Status) or ATS FE/HE¹.

ATS/APS recognises the holder’s ability in both the theory and practice (teaching/tutoring) of SpLDs but not their ability to conduct assessments. Holders of ATS, APS or ATSE 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. 

3. ALSA (Accredited Learning Support Assistant).  

This is an expanding area of accreditation and gives learning support 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. In order to gain ATS or AMBDA, candidates 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 16s). 

¹ FE/HE awards are for individuals working with over 16s/Adults. 
² APS is for individuals who do not hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

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. itself is not 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 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.

Completing an accredited programme does not automatically entitle you to an accreditation award. 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 that is equivalent to 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.  

Continuous 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 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 and current. Both are of equal importance. The B.D.A. must be able to confirm, when asked, that for any holder of accreditation that 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.  

Please click on the Continuous Professional Development link to the left download the full pack you will require. 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, and candidates wishing to remain on the list of registered tutors/assessors, must submit a continued professional development portfolio.

Currently available CPD courses:

Psychometric assessment and statistics in context,
January/May, 2015

This course aims to develop competence and increase confidence in the selection and application of psychometric tests, statistical analyses, interpretation and communication of results within the constraints of the dynamic educational setting.

View full details about this course on the SASC website by following this link.