The objective of the OTHM Level 5 Certificate in Teaching Learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is to provide the learner with the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills needed to to promote positive learning outcomes and environments for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Through the course of this qualification learners’ will explore how to analyse and implement pedagogical theories and frameworks, explore and apply specialist action learning techniques in their subject specialism and manage positive/disruptive behaviours in a learning environment to ensure purposeful learning outcomes for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Entry Requirements

This qualification is designed for learners who are typically aged 19 and above.

The entry profile for learners must include:

  • Being 19 years old or older at the beginning of the course
  • Minimum core of literacy, language, numeracy and ICT 
  • A minimum of a Level 3 qualification in their own area of specialism

Or the following:

  • Be mature learners (over 21) with relevant management experience (learners must check with the delivery centre regarding this experience prior to registering for the programme)

English Requirements

If a learner is not from a majority English-speaking country, they must provide evidence of English language competency. For more information visit the English Language Expectations page on the OTHM website.


OTHM Level 5 Certificate qualifications represent practical knowledge, skills, capabilities and competences that are assessed in academic terms as being equivalent to Higher National Diplomas (HND) and Year 2 of a three-year UK Bachelor's degree programme.

Qualification Structure

The OTHM Level 5 Certificate in Teaching Learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities qualification consists of 3 mandatory units, 36 credits, 360 hours Total Qualification Time (TQT) and the recommended Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for this qualification is a minimum of 100 hours.

Mandatory Units

  • Understanding and Managing Behaviours in a Learning Environment (6 Credits)
  • Action Learning for Teaching in a Specialist Area of Disability (15 Credits)
  • Understanding Theories and Frameworks for Teaching Disabled Learners (15 Credits)

Duration and Delivery

The qualification is designed to be delivered over one academic year for full-time study, but it is also flexible in its delivery in order to accommodate part-time and distance learning.

The qualification is delivered face-to-face, through lectures, tutorials, seminars, distance, online by approved centres only.

Assessment and Verification

All units within this qualification are assessed and internally quality assured by the centre and externally verified by OTHM. The qualifications are criterion referenced, based on the achievement of all the specified learning outcomes.

To achieve a ‘pass’ for a unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria. Judgement that the learners have successfully fulfilled the assessment criteria is made by the assessor.

Specific assessment guidance and relevant marking criteria for each unit are made available in the Assignment Brief document. These are made available to centres immediately after registration of one or more learners.

The assessor should provide an audit trail showing how the judgement of the learners’ overall achievement has been arrived at.

Quality, Standards & Recognitions

By complying with our regulators and meeting university progression requirements we ensure the high-quality standards of all our qualifications and assessments.

University Progressions

The local and global recognition has enabled our graduates to enhance their employability skills as well as to join degree and master top-up programmes.

Become an Approved Centre

If you are a college or a private training provider wishing to offer our qualifications, you will need to become an approved centre first.

Find out how
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