Courses leading to each of these awards are identical. The difference is that if applicants already hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status they will be awarded ATS (Approved Teacher Status); otherwise they will be awarded APS (Approved Pratitioner Status). ATS/APS courses are offered at both Level 5 (Foundation Degree) and Level 7 (Post Graduate). Applicants should contactf the relevant course leader to ascertian at which level the course is taught and assessed.

A primary concern of the BDA is that the professional help available to dyslexic people of all ages and abilities should be of a consistent high quality. As a holder of either ATS or APS you will be a recognised Specialist Teacher of learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) / Dyslexia. You will be able to conduct informal, curriculum-based assessments and deliver specialist teaching programmes to learners up to and including 18 years of age.

On successful completion of your course you will also be able to apply for a further course leading to AMBDA. This is the 'Gold Standard' for Specialist Teachers and enables you to conduct formal diagnostic assessments and prepare reports for access arrangements in external examinations. Your learning and assessments, including your supervised and assessed Specialist Teaching, can be credited to you as part of your AMBDA course subject to any Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) conditions of the course to which you apply. You should enquire of the relevant course leader what their regulations are. 

For full details of AMBDA see here.

Holding QTS or QTLS is no longer an entrance requirement for taking an AMBDA course or being awarded AMBDA.

Please note, gaining ATS or APS does not mean you automatically become a Professional Member this has to be applied for separately.

Please consider becoming a member of the BDA. You can keep in touch with the BDA’s work, vote at our meetings and receive Dyslexia Contact magazine and other mailings. Information is available by following this link to our membership section.

Accredited Courses

ATS/APS accredited courses..

Who Can Apply?

Candidates are eligible to apply for ATS/ APS if they fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have successfully completed an ATS/APS accredited course within three years of the date of application.
  • Have at least two years’ experience working professionally with the appropriate age range learners up to and including 18 years of age by the time of application. This may be full-time or equivalent total periods of part-time professional engagement.
  • Submit an ATS/APS Candidate form and a SIGNED Tutor form
  • Pay the £70 fee

Applicants who have completed an accredited course more than three years ago, or believe they meet the ATS/APS criteria through other training and experience, must apply through the Individual Merit route. 

Application forms

Keep copies of any forms that you send to the BDA.

Additional applications

  • ATS/APS candidates can also apply for a Teaching Practising Certificate (TPC).


All payment options are on the candidate form. Cheques ae made payable to the British Dyslexia Associaton. for using a credit/debit card there is an admin fee of £2.50; a credit 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.

Please note that payment is taken on receipt of application

Contact Us

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