Section A. 

Mandatory Qualifications

1. Holds any degree

AND a teaching qualification (Section B)

AND Comprehensive training in adult autism. (Item 1 and item 2a or 2b from Section C)

2. Holds a relevant degree

AND a teaching qualification (Section B, below).

AND National Autistic Society (NAS)

Autism and Girls online course

Note: A relevant degree must contain a substantial autism component. This will be checked at audit.

3. Holds a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Autism or Asperger's or Critical Disability Studies focusing on autism

AND a teaching qualification (Section B)

AND National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism and Girls online course

 4. Holds a Master of Arts, Master of Education or Doctorate (MA /MEd/PhD) in Education (Autism or Special Educational Needs and Disability or Critical Disability Studies focussing on autism)

AND a teaching qualification (Section B)

AND National Autistic Society (NAS)

Autism and Girls online course

Note 1: Additionally, we expect ALL practitioners to undertake 10 hours of Continuing Professional

Development (CPD) each year and keep a record of this for audit. CPD – should be autism-related, teaching, HE and so forth.

Note 2: CPD is automatically thought of as formal training but professional development can include a wide range of activities. While attending lectures, conferences and courses remains a key aspect it is important to realise that the majority of learning comes from experience day-to-day.

Section B

Teaching Qualifications

Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) or higher.

Certificate of Education (Cert Ed)

Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (DELTA) Level 7

Diploma in teaching in the lifelong learning sector (DTTLS)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE/PgCert. ED)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Primary Education

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Post Primary education

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

Postgraduate Certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills (QTLS)

Diploma in Education & Training (DET)

Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCTLHE)

Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA)

Associate Membership of the Dyslexia Guild (ADG)

PgCert/PgDip/MA Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

Section C 

Comprehensive training in adult autism:

1. Six National Autistic Society (NAS) online training modules:

  • Understanding autism
  • Autism and communication
  • Autism and sensory experience
  • Autism, stress and anxiety
  • Autism: supporting families
  • National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism and Girls online course

2. a) National Autistic Society (NAS) one-day face-to-face course in Autism and SPELL in Higher Education. This can be by individual attendance at a NAS organised course, or by attendance at an in-house course delivered by NAS tutors.


 National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism and Girls online course if not taken as part of 1 above


 2. b) In-house, or other accredited training, at an HE institution or elsewhere, and accredited to at least CPD level, which must include autism in HE as its lead subject. All training should be delivered by an appropriately qualified trainer (a qualified trainer from a recognised organisation/charity, or a trainer who can demonstrate a relevant qualification in autism) which results in a certificate of attendance.


National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism and Girls on line course if not taken as part of 1 above


Note 3: The in-house autism training provided by Clear Links and Spectrum First/Spectrum First Education is acceptable under item 2b above but may not be publicly available.

Autism training provided by the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP)

‘Working Effectively with Autistic University Students’ which is likely to be available from November 2019 will be acceptable under item 2b above.

Note 4: For item 2b, please check that your course is accredited to at least CPD level before

undertaking it.

CPD requirements

The following list of CPD activities is not exhaustive, but it will provide you with some idea of the types of activities that support workers can undertake which will contribute to their CPD.

Work-based learning such as reflective practice, work shadowing, coaching from others or undertaking a project.

Self-directed learning such as reading journals/articles, updating knowledge through the internet or television and keeping a file of progress.

Professional activity such as involvement in a professional body, organising journal clubs or other specialist groups or membership of a specialist interest group.

Formal/educational activities such as courses, workshops, attending conferences, writing articles or papers or going to seminars

This list is not exhaustive and many other avenues of obtaining CPD are available such as voluntary work in the area the support worker is delivering support in.

To be relevant for autism roles, CPD should for example cover:

The social model, includes respecting individuality, understanding intersectionality etc., or

Parameters of the specific role, or

The specific role in context includes boundaries, documentation, lone worker policies, confidentiality, risk, contact with third parties, etc., or

Autistic input into research.