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Helen Arkell Level 7 Diploma in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties


Accredited by CPD Standards Office

Venue: Farnham, Surrey

*****This course is full, but if you would like to go on the waiting list, please email [email protected]*****

The Helen Arkell Charity is a long-standing, fully accredited, externally validated provider of professional training courses, and has successfully delivered courses in both Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) for many years.Now accepting applications for September 2022

The Helen Arkell Level 7 Diploma provides an all-in-one route to achieving an Assessment Practicing Certificate on successful completion of the course.

Why study for Level 7 with Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity?

Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity is the oldest dyslexia centre in the UK and has a long history of providing quality training. Helen Arkell herself was involved in the development and delivery of the first professionally recognised courses in the country.

We are unique in providing a very high proportion of tutor-to-candidate contact time to ensure that all candidates achieve to the very best of their ability. The tutor group system encourages candidates to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences during the weekly contact with each other. 

Helen Arkell Charity offers a unique approach to the organisation of the teaching practices and assessment sessions on the Level 7 Course. Candidates are allocated learners in state schools that are local to our Farnham Centre and they are supervised closely by tutors. Past candidates’ evaluations of our courses have deemed this ‘hands-on’ approach to have been particularly helpful as they carry out their teaching practices and assessments.

The tutor team comprises experienced professionals who all contribute to the lecture programme. Outside experts are also invited. Past candidates’ course evaluations deem this variety of input a real strength of the Centre.

There is a generous ratio of tutors to candidates on the course (maximum five candidates to one tutor).

The course fee includes access to all resources required to undertake diagnostic assessments. Candidates do not need to purchase any tests.

Membership of an online library is included in the course fee and candidates have access to the Helen Arkell academic library and bookshop.

Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity is recognised as a gold-standard centre for delivering specialist teacher and specialist assessor training. Many schools request our graduates when they have SEN vacancies, as they value the high quality of the training.

Who is this course suitable for?

Candidates will have achieved Helen Arkell Level 5 or equivalent (from other course providers).

The Level 7 Diploma requires candidates to complete a total of three Teaching Practices, at least one of which will be carried out during the current academic year as part of the Level 7 Diploma. It is expected that most candidates will already have completed two of the Teaching Practices, of 20 hours in total, on the Helen Arkell Level 5 Diploma (or equivalent from other course providers) within the last three years.

Candidates will need to have a high level of skill and be working at or above the equivalent of Level 5 in the following key skill areas: literacy, including the application of knowledge in writing, numeracy and IT. Candidates will be confident working with others, learning independently, improving their own learning and problem solving.

What will I learn on this course?

The Helen Arkell Level 7 course focuses on specialist assessment and teaching and encompasses a wide range of learning outcomes. It includes lectures, tutorials, workshops and discussions. Candidates will complete written assignments, undertake directed study and carry out assessments and teaching under the guidance of a tutor.

The course consists of four key modules:

• Theoretical Concepts Underlying Dyslexia/SpLDs This includes an Extended Essay and Presentation.

• Psychometrics and Educational Assessment This includes a Comprehensive Review and Resource File of Assessment Materials.

• Assessing Learners for Dyslexia/SpLDs This includes three Full Diagnostic Assessments and incorporates an Access Arrangement Assessment.

• Relating Theoretical Perspectives to Practice This includes a Teaching Practice at Secondary Level.

The three Diagnostic Assessments and the Teaching Practice are arranged by the Centre’s staff in a local secondary school and usually carried on the designated course day. Candidates will be observed during assessment and teaching practice sessions.

Written work and assignments are marked, and detailed feedback is provided by an experienced tutor in order to support each candidate in meeting the required course criteria.

All modules are internally assessed and verified, then externally verified by the CPD Standards Office. There is no requirement to sit written exams on this course. 

How long does this course last?

The course lasts one academic year. It will begin on Thursday 8 September 2022 and completion is expected by the end of June 2023.

Hours are usually 8.30 am to 4.00 pm, although start and finish times can vary according to allocated assessment sessions and teaching practice schools. Attendance at an HADC Centre, a teaching practice school or online is required for one full day a week on Thursdays during term time.

At the start of the course, a timetable is given to each candidate that details lecture dates and when assignments are due to be submitted. 

What opportunities are there to progress after successful completion of this course?

The Level 7 Diploma leads to many rewarding careers and opportunities. It enables candidates to:

• Obtain an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).

• Carry out assessments for Access Arrangements in line with Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) Guidance.

• Plan and deliver assessments for Specific Learning Differences and write Diagnostic Assessment Reports using up-to-date SASC Guidance.

• Work as a Specialist Teacher at secondary level. 

• Develop programmes of learning.

• Implement, evaluate and supervise Individual Education Plans across the age range.

• Liaise with LEAs, school staff, parents, and other professionals to support the needs of leaners.

• Take an advisory role with regard to formulating and implementing school/college policies for both inclusion and effective teaching of learners with specific learning difficulties.

• Work as a freelance specialist tutor and assessor.

See an example of SEN Job Vacancies advertised through Helen Arkell on behalf of schools and other organisations.


‘I have learnt more than I could have imagined possible in such a short space of time.’

‘I experienced a well organised, people valued and friendly experience with excellent service.’

‘Excellent. Over and beyond the call of duty. Highly personalised, nurturing, knowledgeable.’

‘An outstanding tutor; so incredibly supportive and made the whole course such a positive experience.’

‘My tutors were amazing. They worked so hard and the feedback I received boosted my confidence and helped me to develop professionally.’

Our Level 7 candidates are entitled to membership of the National Union of Students.

Enquire about this course at [email protected]

Email me when alternative dates are available.

Download a course registration form

Course Availability

Please contact us for information on this course.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1064646) A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 3432423.