Individual Merit route to ATS/APS and ATS FE-HE

Approved Teacher Status/Approved Practitioner Status and Approved Tutor Status Further-Higher Education by Individual Merit

The BDA Accreditation Board members are all qualified teacher-trainers and assessors from various institutions and related professions, all with a specialist knowledge of Dyslexia. The Board members do not work directly for the BDA but they review the applications for Individual Merit to maintain the quality and standard of those holding these BDA accreditations.

These notes are intended as a guide to applying for ATS/APS and ATS FE/HE by Individual Merit. They should be read in conjunction with the relevant Individual Merit Criteria and Evidence Document relevant to the phase of education, ATS/APS or ATS FE/HE, which sets out the areas of knowledge, skills and understanding that applicants would have achieved by successfully completing a BDA accredited course. 

For an application to be successful, evidence must be provided of how this has been achieved by continued professional development and professional experience. This evidence must be at a minimum of FEHQ Level 5 for ATS/APS and ATS FE-HE and before making any application, candidates must be sure that the BDA ATS/APS or ATS FE/HE criteria is met in full as fees are non-refundable and any resubmission requires a further fee.

There is a Glossary of Terms used in BDA documentation.

Applying for ATS/APS or ATS FE-HE by individual merit 

All applicants must submit the following: 

  • A completed and signed BDA ATS/APS IM or ATS FE/HE IM Candidate form.
  • A learner profile of the student that is being taught for the application
  • A completed Criteria and Evidence Document for ATS/APS or Criteria and Evidence Document  for ATS FE-HE. showing evidence at a minimum of FEHQ Level 5. This will enable a candidate's training and experience to be mapped on to the ATS/APS or ATS FE-HE criteria to demonstrate how these have been met.  It is important that attention is drawn to relevant, contemporary professional development activities and experience of mainstream and specialist teaching. 
  • A concise, up to date CV clearly showing relevant SpLD/dyslexia training including dates of any courses attended, validating institution(s) and how those courses were assessed. Attach documentary evidence, where available. This should detail professional educational experience to date, demonstrating at least two years of mainstream classroom experience, experience as a specialist teacher and present roles and responsibilities. This should be no more than 2 typed A4 sheets.
  • Two letters of support, on headed paper with original signatures, from appropriately qualified individuals who have knowledge of the experience and qualifications include CVs. At least one of these individuals must have a good knowledge of SpLD/Dyslexia and, preferably, hold AMBDA or an equivalent SpLD qualification.  If one is from a parent/carer they should indicate the nature of your activities with their child.
  • A recording of one hour of specialist teaching carried out using the BDA guidelines for recording and the required accompanying documentation.


Sending an application to the BDA

Applicants should keep a copy of all documents and recordings that are sent to the BDA and use a recorded/signed for delivery and send passwords for encrypted recordings separately by a different, secure means.

An Idividual Merit application requires scrutiny of documentary and digital evidence and it is in the interests of applicants that decisions cannot be arrived at quickly.  

Please note tht we are unable to return any of the submitted documents or supporting evidence, The DVD/USB recording will be wipe and destroyed in line with the GDPR May 2018.



The current fee for submitting an ATS/APS, ATS FE-HE applicaiton is £150  Cheques are made payable to the British Dyslexia Association; a credit/debit card form is attached to the candidate form. We can invoice a school/employer (not individuals) if the invoice form is completed and sent with the application.

Contact Us

Accreditation, BDA, 6a Bracknell Beeches, Old Bracknell Lane, Bracknell RG12 7BW