How do you get to level 3 AET

Level 3 AET

Embarking on a teaching career within the adult or further education sectors of the UK often begins with the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET). This preliminary teacher training course is the stepping stone towards becoming a competent educator for learners aged 16 and up. But the journey to acquiring your Level 3 AET can seem daunting if one doesn’t understand the process. In this blog, we’ll guide you step by step towards reaching this critical milestone in your teaching journey.

Deciphering the Level 3 AET

The Level 3 AET, regulated by Ofqual, is an initial teaching qualification aimed at individuals who wish to teach in the lifelong learning sector. It replaces the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), a previously popular entry-level teaching course. Despite the name change, Level 3 AET holds the same value and recognition as the PTLLS.

This foundational course equips potential teachers with the essential skills and knowledge required to effectively deliver education to adults and post-16 learners. The Level 3 AET course covers the basic principles of teaching, including lesson planning, delivery methods, assessment strategies, and creating inclusive learning environments.

Steps to Achieving Level 3 AET

The path to securing a Level 3 AET isn’t as complex as you might think. Here is a step-by-step guide to acquiring this vital teaching qualification:

  1. Eligibility Verification:
    The Level 3 AET is highly accessible, requiring no prior teaching qualifications or experience. However, candidates must have sound literacy and numeracy skills and a strong interest in teaching and education.
  2. Enroll in a Level 3 AET Course:
    The first step is to find an accredited institution that provides Level 3 AET courses. You have the option of choosing between distance learning, classroom-based, and blended learning courses depending on your needs and availability.
  3. Course Completion:
    The course typically consists of four units focusing on professional roles and responsibilities, learning and teaching approaches, assessment methods, and planning inclusive teaching and learning. The course usually takes between 48 to 60 hours to complete, over a period of weeks or months, depending on the chosen study mode.
  4. Assessments and Micro-Teaching:
    Assessment methodology generally involves written assignments, group discussions, and a micro-teaching session where you will plan, deliver, and evaluate a short teaching session. The micro-teaching aspect is a critical part of the Level 3 AET assessment, providing prospective teachers with practical experience.
  5. Certification:
    Upon successful completion of the assignments and the micro-teaching session, you will be awarded your Level 3 AET certificate. This enables you to teach or train in the adult education sector, and it is a prerequisite for progressing to Level 4 Certification in Education and Training or Level 5 DET.


Achieving the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) is a significant accomplishment in your journey to becoming a proficient educator for adults and learners in further education. As an improved replacement of PTLLS, this qualification provides an excellent foundation for those eager to start a teaching career in the lifelong learning sector. It is a worthwhile investment of time and study that opens many doors in the world of education.

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