Many competent, successful and knowledgeable adult educators do not have a teaching qualification. If this situation applies to you, the REAL toolkit will help you to gain recognition for what you have learned so far as an adult educator by universities, colleges and employers. The Toolkit contains activities and exercises which help you identify what you have learned from your work with learners and to set it out in ways that employers, colleges and universities understand and recognise. This can help you to:

  • Get a place on an accredited course  
  • Make a claim for credit towards a qualification, shortening the normal period of study
  • Write excellent job applications or formulate relevant and effective answers during job interviews.

The REAL Toolkit can also help you set goals for your professional development, or assist you in making plans to improve your work with learners, with a view to achieving excellence in the practice of adult education. If you are in Scotland please refer to the Scottish Toolkit.

Real Toolkit for Adult Educators - for adult educators using the toolkit on their own with no help REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (1267KB)

Real Toolkit for Adult Educators (Workshop Leaders and Mentors) - F‌or mentors and others working to assist adult educators. This is a compendium of resources which can be selected from to support the work of those who assist adult educators through RPL processes or to support adult educators' professional development REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (Workshop Leaders and Mentors (2394KB)

Download with the toolkits: Reflective Account template (68KB) Goal Setting Template (64KB)

Also available - templates for all activities:

The templates are available on a PowerPoint presentation and also in a MS Word Document format so that they can be amended to suit your needs.

Word REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (Workshop Leaders and Mentors) (3183KB)

REAL Toolkit Templates (991KB)

PowerPoint REAL Toolkit Templates (pptx 2,255KB) 

Need anything else? Please let us know

Monitored by Learning Link Scotland

More Information about the REAL Toolkit

The aim of the Toolkit is to support a process called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).RPL is a process through which the learning you have gained from your experience together with your present performance can be counted. Using the Toolkit does not automatically lead you towards receiving a qualification in adult education. Instead, the overall approach is formative rather than summative; that is to say. the Toolkit aims to assist your further professional development. 

We assume that an adult educator’s competencies will match against Levels 5 and 6 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The Toolkit contains examples of how you can match what you have already learned as an adult educator against this framework, or the National Standards Framework in your country (if there is one). There are five areas of activity in the REAL toolkit, all aimed at helping you to identify what you have learned as an adult educator and set it out in a form that might be recognised by colleges, universities or employers. These are:

1. Mapping my landscape as an adult educator. Two activities that help you map out who you are as an adult educator and how your work assists learners to succeed.

2. Reflection activity so you can start thinking about what you have learned from your experience as an adult educator.

3. Creating reflective accounts. These are required by summative RPL processes because they count as evidence of what you have learned already an adult educator. We have also included worked examples created by adult educators demonstrating what to include and, importantly, what to avoid. This includes guidance about how to assess yourself against a national standards framework.

4. Reflective activities to identify your values as an adult educator. There is a choice of three exercises that bring to the forefront the values upon which you base your judgements as an educator. This helps you to understand how your values impact your work, which in turn will help you identify your goals. 

5. Goal Setting exercises that assist you to identify areas where you might still develop as an adult educator. 

  Example of Toolkit activity - 'Learner Perception Exercise'



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