NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges

Our course code: X400

Course fee £695 or from £52 per month

Enrol on our course

The smarter, new and evolved way to become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA). Enhance your training with our Ofsted approved and online Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges. This course has previously been regarded as the Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 4 qualification but has been expanded to include roles and responsibilities in a college workforce as well as a school learning environment.

Build upon existing classroom experience. Learn to mentor children of all ages. Become an Advanced Practitioner with desirable teaching and leadership skills and the ability to work in classroom settings unsupervised. With this qualification, you can potentially earn up to £33,000.

Why it’s better to study STL4 instead of HLTA

HLTA Level 4 Advanced Practitioner in Schools & Colleges
Work as a Higher Level Practitioner/Teaching Assistant Tick or Yes Tick or Yes
Internationally recognised qualification Tick or Yes
Course credits for University Tick or Yes
Can be assessed solely by your course tutor Tick or Yes
Requires an assessment by your local council Tick or Yes
Limited to practice only in your local LEA area Tick or Yes
No limits on where you can practice Tick or Yes

The Advantages of a Level 4 Teaching Assistant Qualification

Do you want to push your career as a Teaching Assistant? Gain more responsibility? Recognition? Better salary? Maybe you’re after those all-important leadership skills, so you can mentor others in school and college settings? If you’re nodding your head to those questions, you’ve come to the right place. Delivered by expert tutors, your teacher training expands your knowledge, so you can better support people as individuals. In fact, on our Level 4 Advanced Practitioner course, you’ll develop insight into teaching theories, as well as partnership working, supporting mental health and SEND. Furthermore, you’ll cover the age ranges starting from 5 years old and above.

Learn on the job! As a classroom assistant already working to a level 3 standard, you can continue to earn while you learn. Simply incorporate time for studying online alongside your working day and within a year you’ll be even more qualified. You’ll have a friendly supervisor observing your work so that you can tick off key criteria. We do this to ensure you’re competent across all areas – and we’ll support you to ensure you always are!

Our Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner is suitable for TAs:

  • Already working in a learning support role in a school – evidence needed of the last 12 months
  • Working at Level 3 looking for the next step in their professional development
  • Holding (or soon to hold) a Level 3 Teaching Support qualification, please note the STL Level 3 ‘Award’ is not accepted.
  • Wanting career progression or improved leadership and coaching skills
  • Considering further learning to advance into leadership positions within the education sector
  • 18 years of age or above

The final step for teaching assistants looking to maximise their growth with higher level teaching assistant status.

  • A formal qualification

    This course is a formally recognised RQF qualification and is recognised throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

  • Study with winners

    We’re an award-winning learning provider and have been recognised for our cutting-edge learning techniques.

  • Unlimited Tutor Support

    Get as much help and support as you want from your personal course tutor via email and phone.

  • Awarding body: NCFE CACHE
  • Our course code: X400
  • Qualification code: 603/2474/0
  • Official Qualification Title: NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges

CACHE stands for the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education, and are the leading specialist Awarding Organisation for the Care and Education Sector.

Study Hours

It takes around 150 hours to complete this course.

Study Method

Throughout this course, you may be expected to complete assignments, essays, research projects, presentations, video/audio recordings, and practical learning sessions to meet the requirements of your course. This information will be included in your study pack detailing exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals as a student.

There will be a requirement for you to have a class teacher/mentor/supervisor who will also add evidence of your competence to your portfolio. It’s important that you provide the contact details of these individuals and the schools that they work at to your tutor.

Course Duration

You have up to a year to complete this course. This is usually ample time for learners, even with full-time jobs and other commitments. Don’t worry if you go over the year though, we can organise an extension to your course for an additional fee, which also extends your tutor support.


This Level 4 certificate is designed to provide you with everything you need to develop professionally as an Advanced Practitioner, and to expand the career opportunities available to you.

This course takes place across five mandatory units, with learners achieving a total of 21 credits. As you demonstrate your ability to work at level 4 in a school or college environment, you will be assessed by written assignments, professional discussion, and during observations that should take place as part of your everyday routine. Your Oxbridge tutor will sign off your observations, as well as mark your assignments.

Your performance in the workplace can be assessed by a workplace assessor who has held a supervisory role for over two years, and has a Level 4 or above support teaching qualification or full teaching qualification. Alternatively, you can be assessed by a colleague who has an assessing qualification such A1 or CAVA, alongside a Level 4 or above support teaching qualification or a full teaching qualification. Oxbridge will verify the suitability of your assessor, and we offer free guidance in how to observe and write in a format suitable for marking by your tutor, if needed. An Oxbridge assessor can also be provided for you if needed, for an additional fee. Find out more about what’s required of an assessor here. 

When you submit your written work, you will be required to include a bibliography using clear citations and references. You will also need to provide documentation of your work, such as an evidence record, and a log of placement hours. Your tutor will explain exactly what is needed.

Course Outcomes

In 2015, NCFE acquired CACHE. As of September 2017, our CACHE courses will now be known as NCFE CACHE, and you will receive your certificate from both awarding bodies.

This qualification comes with NCFE CACHE Level 4 certification. NCFE CACHE have been developing courses in the childcare, education and healthcare sectors since 1945 and are one of the most reputable awarding bodies for qualifications in the UK and overseas. Practitioners working in these areas are much more employable having gained NCFE CACHE certification and many employers specifically ask for their qualifications when taking on members of staff.

NCFE CACHE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are: The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Welsh Government, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

Learners may progress within the workforce in the following job roles and responsibilities:

  • Higher Level Practitioner / Teaching Assistant
  • Internal progression at a higher level, including those with management responsibilities
  • Leadership, mentoring, supervision and management opportunities


Additional Information

Official Qualification Title - NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges

Difficulty - Level 4

Entry requirements - Students should be at least 18 years old and must be working in learning support in a school and should have completed (or be completing) a Level 3 Teaching Support qualification such as: NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools.

Minimum Enrolment Age - 18 years

Credits - 21

Course Content

1: Enabling Individuals to Learn

In this unit, you’ll understand the roles and responsibilities of an advanced practitioner. You’ll gain awareness of the statutory educational frameworks in the UK and how to safeguard people of all age ranges, for example, against drug use or bullying. You’ll also look at how people learn, put the relevant theory into practice, and evidence how to apply new learning to the day-to-day role, reporting on changes to practice in one’s own setting through development of a learner portfolio. In addition, you’ll be expected to consider how the environment and learning activities influence an individual’s development. Finally, you’ll explore various leadership, mentoring and management skills and styles.

2: Understand How to Support Children and Young People to Improve Their Mental Health and Well-Being

In this unit, you’ll uncover the core components of mental health and well-being, such as happiness, confidence and engagement. You’ll analyse factors that influence individuals from infancy to early adulthood, such as language and academic ability. You’ll also gain insight into current legislation within the UK and how individual perceptions can be shaped by media, cultural or public surroundings. Finally, you’ll explore coping strategies and resilience building to better support and improve individuals’ mental health and well-being.

3: Working with Others to Support Individuals with Additional Needs and Disability in a School or College

In this unit, you’ll cover current frameworks for inclusive practice, evaluating policies and procedures in relation to statutory frameworks and national guidance. You’ll examine factors that impact those learning with special education needs or disabilities, as well as the level of assistance required to support them. You’ll also discover the role and responsibilities of the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo), analysing strategies used by practitioners to help those with additional needs. Finally, you’ll consider aspects that affect families caring for individuals, evaluate partnership working with other professionals, and reflect on a range of policies and procedures to better support individuals with additional or special educational needs or disabilities in one’s own setting.

4: Working with Families and Other Professionals in a School or College Setting

In this unit, you’ll understand the requirements for partnership working in schools and colleges, such as different strategies to incorporate and barriers to overcome when working with families. You’ll discover the diverse needs of families and how to address them. Finally, you’ll learn how to lead, coach and mentor staff within one’s own setting, using methods and strategies for overcoming challenges in relation to partnership working.

5: Implementing Change in School or College Setting

In this unit, you’ll plan a research project from scratch. This will include selecting you research topic and using established methods and techniques to design your project. You’ll perform a literature review of academic research papers exploring ideas for change in one’s own setting. You’ll also use research methods to review an established research paper, summarise its main findings, and provide recommendations for change. In addition, you’ll implement and evaluate any changes in one’s own setting. Finally, you’ll consider the nature of your findings and identify various ways and suitable methods in which to explain and share those findings with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have some answers to common student questions, but if you can't find the answer you're looking for then please contact us and we will do everything we can to answer your questions.

Students must be working in learning support in a school and should have completed (or be completing) a level 3 Teaching Support qualification such as: NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools.

You will have access to your personal tutor, via email and telephone, who will mark your assignments and guide you through the course. In addition, you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process. Your personal tutor will be highly experienced in their subject area and qualified to teach.

We provide all the specially written learning materials you require to study this course at home. The course fee also includes tutor support for the specified duration of your course.

No, this course is assessed by coursework alone.

No, all of the study materials are supplied within your learning pack.

Most students finish comfortably within the course duration period given. However, if you do need more time, your personal tutor support can be extended for an additional fee.

Please check our main FAQs section or Contact Us, we have experienced course advisers who will be delighted to help!