What training would I have to do to become a lecturer?

When someone is appointed to be a lecturer at a college or independent training organisation, it is generally accepted that you may not have a teaching qualification. You will normally be advised that you will be required to undertake such a qualification whilst you are in post. A useful summary of the range of qualifications required to teach in further education is available on the Education & Training Foundation website.

 The qualification that you will be asked to study for will be chosen for you based on your current qualification level i.e. whether you have a degree or a vocationally relevant professional qualification, which could be at level 2, 3, 4 or higher – see section on What do qualification levels mean in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Sometimes this will mean you undertaking a short qualification to prepare you for a longer, higher level teaching qualification. Studying for a teaching qualification whilst you are working as a lecturer is normal within the post-16 sector. Usually you will attend a class once a week for a few hours and will be required to undertake some study at home until you gain the qualification.

Many colleges will contribute to or pay the full cost of these teaching qualifications for newly appointed lecturers. Occasionally you may be asked to take out an Adult Loan to pay for the cost. Once you have gained the qualification you can work in any organisation within the post-16 sector as a lecturer, but not necessarily within the school or university sectors.

As well as undertaking a teaching qualification, you should expect some training and mentoring from other experienced staff around key subjects such as classroom management, how to prepare for lessons, guidance on assessment techniques etc. Do not, however, be surprised to find that you are asked to deliver classes pretty soon after having been appointed to a lecturing post.

In the best situations, you would be allocated a peer mentor and would be able to undertake team teaching for your first few weeks on the job, but this cannot be guaranteed as a large number of colleges may lack current capacity to provide this support at all times.


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