How Does A Level 3 Aet Qualification Compare To A Ptlls Qualification For Teaching Adults?

How Does A Level 3 Aet Qualification Compare To A Ptlls Qualification For Teaching Adults

Have you set your sights on a rewarding career in adult education? Perhaps you’re a seasoned professional seeking to share your knowledge, or a recent graduate eager to embark on a stimulating path. Many Asspairing student and teacher ask  Are PTLLS and Level 3 AET the same qualification?

The short answer is : No, PTLLS and Level 3 AET are not identical qualifications. Though both are recognized within the UK for teaching adults, they possess some key differences.They Are Equivalent; Aet Replaced Ptlls In 2013.

This comprehensive guide dives deep into two popular qualifications for aspiring adult educators: the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) and the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS). We’ll compare and contrast these qualifications, explore their unique strengths, and ultimately help you decide which one best aligns with your career goals!

Level 3 AET: Equipping You for Diverse Education Roles!

The Level 3 AET is a nationally recognized qualification that provides a broader and deeper foundation in the principles of adult education and training. It equips you with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Plan, deliver, and assess effective learning activities for adults.
  • Employ a variety of teaching and learning methodologies.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of training programs.
  • Promote a positive and inclusive learning environment.

The Level 3 AET typically involves more in-depth coursework and assessments compared to the PTLLS. This qualification opens doors to a wider range of adult education roles, including:

  • Further Education Teachers (FET): Delivering vocational training and academic qualifications in colleges.
  • Adult Education Trainers: Specializing in training programs within specific sectors like business or healthcare.
  • Learning and Development Specialists: Designing and implementing training programs within organizations.
  • Instructional Designers: Creating engaging and effective learning materials.
LevelLevel 3
FocusBroad foundation in adult education and training
CourseworkMore in-depth exploration of teaching and learning theories
AssessmentsMay involve practical teaching tasks and written assignments
Career OpportunitiesDiverse range of roles in adult education settings

PTLLS: A Stepping Stone for Aspiring Adult Educators!

The PTLLS qualification, now replaced by the Level 3 AET, was previously the standard entry-level qualification for teaching adults in the lifelong learning sector. While the PTLLS is no longer actively awarded, many individuals still hold this qualification.

The PTLLS provided a basic introduction to teaching adults, covering topics such as:

  • Planning and delivering learning sessions.
  • Assessing learner progress.
  • Understanding different teaching styles.

The PTLLS typically involved less extensive coursework compared to the Level 3 AET. While it served as a valuable stepping stone for aspiring adult educators, the Level 3 AET offers a more comprehensive skillset for navigating the diverse demands of adult education.

Here’s a table summarizing the key features of the PTLLS qualification (now superseded by Level 3 AET):

LevelLevel 3
FocusIntroduction to teaching adults in the lifelong learning sector
CourseworkFocused on core teaching skills
AssessmentsMay involve presentations, lesson plans, and observations
Career OpportunitiesPrimarily entry-level teaching roles

Note: If you currently hold a PTLLS qualification, it remains valid for teaching adults in the UK. However, for those seeking a new qualification, the Level 3 AET is the recommended pathway.

Choosing the Right Path: Level 3 AET vs. PTLLS

Now that we’ve unpacked the individual strengths of each qualification, let’s explore which one might be the ideal fit for you:

FeatureLevel 3 AETPTLLS (Superseded by Level 3 AET)
LevelLevel 3Level 3
FocusBroad foundation in adult education and training principlesIntroduction to teaching adults in the lifelong learning sector
CourseworkMore in-depth exploration of teaching and learning theoriesFocused on core teaching skills
AssessmentsMay involve practical teaching tasks, written assignments, and observationsMay involve presentations, lesson plans, and observations
Time CommitmentTypically longer (around 6-12 months)Typically shorter
Career OpportunitiesDiverse range of roles in adult education settings (e.g., Further Education Teacher, Trainer, Instructional Designer)Primarily entry-level teaching roles
Current StatusActively awarded qualificationNo longer actively awarded, but remains valid for those who hold it
Recommended for:Individuals seeking a comprehensive foundation and diverse career optionsIndividuals seeking an entry-level teaching role (if already hold PTLLS)

Opt for the Level 3 AET if:

  • You desire a comprehensive foundation in adult education principles.
  • You aspire to a diverse range of adult education careers.
  • You’re comfortable with more in-depth coursework and assessments.

The Level 3 AET will equip you with a robust skillset applicable to various adult education settings, including colleges, training providers, and corporate learning environments.

Consider the PTLLS (if you currently hold this qualification) if:

  • You possess a basic understanding of adult learning principles.
  • You’re seeking an entry-level teaching role in the adult education sector.
  • You prefer a less time-intensive qualification pathway.

The PTLLS, while still a valid qualification, offers a more limited skillset compared to the Level 3 AET.

Beyond Qualifications: Essential Skills for Adult Educators

Regardless of whether you choose the Level 3 AET or the PTLLS (if applicable), cultivating specific skills is crucial for success as an adult educator:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills: The ability to clearly articulate concepts, actively listen to learners, and foster a positive learning environment is paramount.
  • Subject matter expertise: A solid understanding of the subject you’ll be teaching is essential for delivering effective instruction.
  • Assessment skills: The ability to evaluate learner progress and adjust teaching approaches accordingly is key.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Adult learners come with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Adapting your teaching methods to cater to these differences is crucial.
  • Lifelong learning mindset: The field of adult education is constantly evolving. A commitment to continuous learning will ensure you stay current with industry trends and best practices.

Equipping Yourself for Success: Resources and Support

Ready to embark on your journey as an adult educator? Here are some valuable resources to equip you for success:

  • Advance Training UK: We offer a comprehensive range of courses, including the Level 3 AET, designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to excel in various adult education roles. Consider adding a sentence here about a specific course Advance Training UK offers that is relevant to the target audience (e.g., Level 3 Award in Education and Training for Teachers of Adults).
  • The Society for Education and Training (SET): A professional body dedicated to supporting educators in the lifelong learning sector. They offer various resources and training opportunities. ([invalid URL removed])
  • The Education and Training Foundation (ETF): Provides a wealth of resources and support for educators, including funding opportunities for professional development. (


I already have experience teaching adults informally. Does that count towards the Level 3 AET or PTLLS?

While informal teaching experience is valuable, it typically doesn’t directly substitute for the structured learning and assessments required by these qualifications. However, you might be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) which could reduce the coursework involved.

Can I complete the Level 3 AET or PTLLS online?

A: Yes, several providers offer online versions of both qualifications. However, some elements, like practical teaching observations, might require in-person components.

How long does it take to complete the Level 3 AET compared to the PTLLS?

A: The Level 3 AET typically takes longer to complete (around 6-12 months) compared to the PTLLS (which could be completed in a shorter timeframe). This reflects the more in-depth nature of the Level 3 AET.

Are there any financial assistance options available to help me pursue the Level 3 AET?

Government funding options like Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) might be available depending on your circumstances. Explore options through government websites or consult with your chosen training provider.

Conclusion: A Fulfilling Career Awaits

Whether you choose the Level 3 AET or the PTLLS (if applicable), both qualifications provide a solid foundation for a rewarding career in adult education. This dynamic field offers endless opportunities to share your knowledge, make a positive impact on learners’ lives, and continuously develop your own skills.

Remember, the most important factor is your passion for adult learning and your commitment to making a difference.

Advance Training UK is here to support you on your journey. We offer a variety of courses designed to help you refine your teaching skills and gain the confidence to excel in the world of adult education! Book your course today and unlock a world of exciting possibilities!

Do you have any questions about the differences between the Level 3 AET and the PTLLS, or the skills required for a successful career in adult education?

Feel free to contact us by phone at Tel: 02089658255 or email us at We’re here to help you take the next step towards a fulfilling and impactful career!

What sector/area is can teach with aet/award in education?

Upon successful completion of the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET/PTLLS qualification), individuals are equipped to instruct and train adults across a diverse array of sectors in the United Kingdom.

These sectors include, but are not limited to:

    • Beauty Salon industry
    • Health Industry
    • Beauty Industry
    • Care homes and Care Instruction
    • Educational Support Assistants
    • Education Advisers and School Inspectors
    • Veterinarians
    • Nurses
    • Care sector
    • First Aid sector
    • Driving Instructors
    • NHS Trusts
    • Various Police forces
    • Midwives
    • Librarians
    • Laboratory Technicians
    • HM Forces
    • Teaching Assistants
    • Higher Education Teaching Professionals
    • Further Education Teaching Professionals
    • Secondary Education Teaching Professionals
    • Primary and Nursery Education Teaching Professionals
    • Special Needs Education Teaching Professionals
    • Security Industry
    • Teaching/Training roles.

This qualification enables individuals to provide educational and training expertise in a wide range of professional settings and industries

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