International Accreditation

The work of theInternational Accreditation Board will involve the accreditation of international courses for practitioners in the field of Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties.

Criteria for the award of International BDA Accredited Dyslexia Practitioner (BDA/IADP/ATS)

This award is the equivalent of Accredited Teacher Status (ATS) or Accredited Practitioner Status (APS) level in the United Kingdom

1 Content Criteria

Please indicate clearly on the Content Criteria Learning Outcomes table where it is that each aspect is covered in the course. 

Learning outcomes: graduates from the course should demonstrate a critical understanding of:

  1. Contemporary theoretical explanations of the nature of specific learning difficulties (dyslexia).
  2. Contemporary models and theories of the typical development of the language, literacy and numeracy skills demanded by the relevant language/s and how dyslexic learners may differ from those who are not experiencing difficulties in acquiring these skills.
  3. The principles underlying structured, sequential, multisensory teaching
  4. The social, emotional and behavioural difficulties learners with
    specific learning difficulties may encounter.
  5. How to design teaching programmes to meet specific individual needs at a basic level in learning, literacy and numeracy.
  6. The contribution of available ICT in the screening and teaching of specific learning difficulties / dyslexia and knowledge of any relevant technical aids.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of current good practice in teaching of literacy (reading, spelling and writing). This should include understanding of the appropriateness of structured, sequential, cumulative systematic phonics teaching programmes and reading models to the home language(s) of the relevant country in the development of intervention programmes for learners with dyslexia.
  8. Identify learners at risk of specific learning difficulties / dyslexia in the classroom by making an appraisal based on observations and assessment of attainments and, if appropriate, the reports of other professionals.
  9. Design, deliver and monitor specialist multi-sensory teaching programmes and resources to meet specific individual needs at a basic level in literacy within the appropriate school curriculum.  Social and behavioural difficulties should be taken into account for each of the learners in their specific teaching.
  10. Communicate effectively, as appropriate, with learners, parents / carers, teachers and other professionals by verbal and written reports on the needs and achievements of learners with dyslexic-type difficulties.
  11. Understand how to develop effective study methods, organisational skills and improved motivation and self-esteem for learners.


2  Requirements for programme delivery and professional practice (equivalent to UK) 

  1. Requirements for teaching/lecture/workshop  hours: (as UK ATS/APS) 40 hours plus tutorials
  2. Requirements for professional practice (as UK)
  • One assessment report (see 1h above) with reference to this specialist teacher assessment (which is not a diagnostic assessment) there must be a clear statement of  how specialist assessment and teaching materials are to be kept secure and confidential; informed consent of the learner/parents/carers is to be obtained and documented; the BDA is to have access to assessments and evaluations for quality assurance purposes
  •  20 hours of supervised and assessed specialist teaching of which 10 hours must be with the same learner in a 1:1 situation.  The remaining 10 hours may be with a different learner, who could be taught in a small group of no more than three learners and may be with a learner 18 years of age or under at the end of the current school year.
  • N.B. Specialist teaching means 1:1 and/or small group teaching usually using a structured, sequential, cumulative, multisensory programme based on phonics and morphology

     c. Evidence of Professional Practice

A portfolio including, a report from suitably qualified specialist professional preferably holding AMBDA or equivalent commenting on the student’s assessment procedures and reports on observations of 2 separate hours of individual teaching.  There must be formal observation of 2 hours of evaluated specialist teaching for the purposes of both formative and summative assessment.  Each formally observed teaching session must be accompanied by a detailed session plan and subsequent evaluation of the learner's progress and must take into consideration how the observed lesson fits into the overall teaching programme.

3   Admission criteria to the course:

Academic, personal and professional to be discussed in relation to the specialist provision and CPD in your country

4 Facilities and resources for teaching and specialist assessment practice

To be discussed in relation to the specialist provision and CPD in the country concerned

5 Qualifications of tutors

Academic and professional, in relation to equivalent BDA UK requirements, to be discussed in relation to the specialist provision and CPD in your country.  Ideally tutors should possess the equivalent of the UK ATS qualification or be able to apply for this via the individual merit pathway outlined on the BDA website

6. Critical awareness of implications of context

The course leader must provide a brief paper showing both critical awareness of the following issues and suggestions as to how their course intends to resolve them. 


Provide evidence of critical awareness of :

1 the cultural and educational assumptions of parents, teachers and administrators in relation to special educational needs and disability issues  in the relevant country

2 Normal classroom practice / organization in the relevant country in relation to learning environment organization facilitating individualised learning within the normal curriculum framework  (e.g. UK Dyslexia Friendly Practice) and how this relates to the organization and assessment of Specialist Teaching.

3 How the proposed course fits into any CPD structure in the relevant country and how this is reflected in the admission regulations for the course.

4 the structure and content of continuing professional development for teachers in the relevant country in relation to the understanding of, and interventions for, learners with dyslexia and SEN

5 the structure and content of initial teacher training in the relevant country and the implications for individuation of curriculum content and pedagogy

Please ensure that you have included information about 3, 4 and 5 above


The first courses accredited should be seen as exemplars and require a critical commentary from both tutors and students to inform re-accreditations and future proposals.  Please note that initial courses do not 'own' the criteria.  These comments and agreed course structure remain the property of the BDA in so far as they can be used to facilitate the 'organic' development of experience in international course development.

Accreditation at International AMBDA level  

The BDA accreditation board assumes that there will be a desire from both Course Providers and their successful students for further accreditation at AMBDA level to enable diagnostic assessment of SpLD/dyslexia. We feel that this is a challenging area which will need further consideration.  At this current stage (May 2017) we recommend that:

  1. unless there are exceptional circumstances, the BDA will only consider accrediting international courses proposed at the IADP/ATS level. 
  2. at this current stage students who wish to move on from IADP/ATS level to AMBDA need to complete a UK AMBDA (top up) course, probably at a distance.
  3. at this current stage, a graduate’s alternative pathway would be to complete in their own country for an assessment course accepted as a qualification for practitioners who assess for learning disabilities relevant to that country’s context and requirements and CPD.  This would not, however, offer International AMBDA without further scrutiny of the course content but it would be relevant to the country’s context and requirements.  How the BDA international ADP/ATS course fits into CPD in the host country, will need further discussion.

The future accreditation of an IADP/ATS course at ADA level is under discussion.  Once a course provider has delivered their IADP/ATS course successfully to two cohorts, it may be possible to develop an AMBDA International level course.  

Applying for Course Accreditation

To apply for course accreditation at IADP/ATS level, first contact the BDA  accreditation office to indicate your intention.  A liaison team will be assigned  to help with the process of putting together the application.  Please contact them to discuss any issues that may arise.

Hard copy applications must  accompany an electronic copy of the paperwork  and should include:

  • the completed Content Criteria Learning Outcomes tbale showing how the course content meets the criteria
  • the paper which covers all the contextual issues that arise in 3,4, 5 and 6 above
  • the student handbook/s for the course.   This should include both academic course content and the practical professional practice handbook which outlines how the students will be supported for their assessment and teaching work
  • CVs of the course leader and any tutor who is supervising the professional practice element of the course.
Please download the Content Criteria Learning Outcomes table and use it to identify in what sessions the course covers the range of criteria and where this can be located in the paperwork.  The delivery hours should total a minimum of 40 hours.  


Contact us

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