Continuing Professional Development

This guidance summarises the BDA’s requirements for CPD. and what is considered appropriate CPD and clarifies the difference between formal and informal CPD. All holders of AMBDA, ATS/APS and APC are responsible for keeping up to date with the knowledge, skills and professional competence required of them in their specialist teaching and assessing roles.

CPD requirements

Holders of AMBDA and  ATS/APS are 'Active' if they complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD in the  previous three years ,or the last submission of their CPD Portfolio. This must consist of a minimum of 10 hours of formal CPD and 5 hours informal.

Applicants are asked to log their CPD on the BDA CPD portfolio log. For guidelines on how to record CPD, please refer to the Guidelines for Recording Continuing Professional Development.

Applicants are responsible for their own records. It is useful to keep an ongoing file to help complete the CPD log  itself. This can be helpful for OFSTED, ESTYN, GTC, Institute for Learning, Inspection Service of Northern Ireland purposes etc.

Copies of attendance certificates must be submitted for the 10 hours of FORMAL CPD; if they are not available then receipts or emails may be submitted instead.

AMBDA CPD MUST include a 5 hour SASC Accredited course or equivalent

As the  BDA also awards Assessment Practising Certificates (APC) to holders of AMBDA, this has meant making significant changes to the required content of accredited courses in the areas of teaching and assessment, to include the SASC criteria by which formal assessment reports are judged. For AMBDA related CPD it is essential, that evidence of professional development relating to current thinking and techniques in the area of psychometric and educational assessment is provided.

Successfull candidates will be sent a certificate stating their submission of CPD to the BDA.

What is Formal CPD?

Formal CPD is conferences, training course, webinars provided by any of the following:

  • British Dyslexia Association (BDA)
  • University Courses and conferences
  • Association of Educational Psychologists
  • Bangor Dyslexia Unit
  • British Psychological Society(BPS)
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Dyslexia Action/Real Group
  • Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre
  • Local Authority courses and conferences.
  • Local Dyslexia Associations
  • OCR
  • SASC
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists


What is Informal CPD?

Informal CPD is research or reading specialist SEN and SpLD material and resources; for example:

  • Critical reflection and review of your teaching practice, or that of your peers’.
  • Observation, personal study, mentoring or coaching
  • Participation in ICT based learning programmes and distance learning
  • Reading and review of relevant professional journals and recent research
  • Reviews of articles that you have published yourself
  • Presentations that you have given to colleagues or in workshops or conferences.

Please note that a subscription to a publication does NOT constitute CPD.

The BDA Accreditation Board regularly considers and, if necessary, amends the CPD requiremnets of its awards.


How to complete the CPD portfolio log

This Portfolio starts with a list of formal and informal CPD, in date order, that has been rtaken to ensure candidates are up to date with current thinking in the areas of dyslexia, during the past three years. (Part 1a). 

Please cross reference these to the copies of the evidence of 'attendance'.

Candidates then Reflect on the parts of this updating that have been most influential in developing their professional practice and the changes it has brought about. When writing this reflection applicants should refer to the appropriate criteria and address, any changesy since they were awarded accreditation and what areas they intend to prioritise before submitting their next CPD portfolio; (Part 1b). We would expect this reflection to be 150-200 words.

Part 2 Requires evidence of Professional Activities during the past three years This should consist of a minimum of 10 hours direct teaching per year for holders of ATS and 15 hours direct teaching per year for holders of AMBDA. This teaching should be with learners of an age appropriate to the age range of the ATS/AMBDA held. If not, then a clear explanation of the circumstances should be submitted.

For those holders of AMBDA running and/or assessing accredited courses the teaching and observation of the ’skills’ and ‘assessed specialist teaching’ elements of the course and evidence of tutoring/assessing/mentoring those on your course(s) is 'acceptable evidence'.

For those holders of ATS/APS/AMBDA in advisory and/or supervisory roles the observation, planning and reviewing of skills, teaching programs or professional practice of teachers / teaching assistants supporting learners with dyslexic-type difficulties will be acceptable as 'evidence'.

Evidence of holding a current APC completes the section seeking evidence of current knowledge and skills in the area of formal educational assessment and report writing, include a current APC number and provider.

Part 3 requires a letter of confirmation from a line manager and / or other appropriately qualified individuals (e.g. holders of AMBDA or equivalent) who have a good knowledge of your teaching and who can verify the contents of your portfolio. This letter should be on the headed paper of the school / local authority / etc. and, particularly if a parent / carer if you are in private practice, be accompanied by their CV or other evidence demonstrating their credibility in endorsing your quality of teaching. It will be useful for them to indicate the extent of their knowledge of your professional activities and development. In particular, they should indicate the extent of their direct observation of your teaching and the results for the learners involved.

Sending your portfolio to the BDA

Send the CPD Portfolio log, copies of attendence certificates along with payment of  £75, to Accreditation, BDA., 6a Bracknell Beeches, Old Bracknell Lane, Bracknell RG12 7BW.