Many successful, knowledgeable and skilled adult educators in Scotland do not have a teaching qualification. The Scottish REAL Toolkit is designed to assist adult educators so that what they have learned through their professional experience with learners might be recognised. The Scottish REAL Toolkit is designed to address the perceived need for adult educators’ learning to be recognised by employers, universities and colleges.

The Toolkit was created at the University of Stirling, in association with Learning Link Scotland and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Partnership.

You are welcome to contact the project with queries, comments or requests for training (messages received and monitored by Learning Link Scotland).


 The REAL Competency Framework

‌The REAL Competency Framework allows adult educators in Scotland, for the first time, to map their own skills, knowledge and competencies against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, at levels 7 to 10. The Toolkit assists Adult Educators in this matching process whilst supporting the writing of reflective accounts that evidence their self-assessment. The resulting portfolio can be used to back up claims for admissions to courses of study, to produce excellent job applications and exemplar responses during job interviews. The toolkit can also support Continuous Professional Development (CPD) processes, or goal setting for those who wish to improve their work with learners and develop excellence in the practice of adult education.

The REAL Competency Framework was developed using existing National Occupational Standards which were developed in consultation with large numbers of adult educators. There is more information about how the Framework was created here. The REAL Framework, alongside the Toolkit, was developed alongside adult educators. The REAL Toolkit (Scotland) is an educational resource for adult educators and its creators attempted to incorporate good educational practice in its design. Adult Educators usually focus on how their work influences the learning of others, rather than their own learning. The aim of the Toolkit was to put the learning of adult educators first, placing adult educators at the centre.

If you are a manager, mentor or workshop leader who supports the professional development of adult educators, then you may also wish to consult the REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (Workshop Leaders and Mentors).

If you work in the area Community Learning and Development (CLD) you can also refer to the CLD Council's tool for the Recognition of Prior Learning (i-develop).

Links to the documents which make up the REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (Scotland)

REAL Competency Framework for Adult Educators REAL Competencies Framework (Scotland) (799KB)

REAL Toolkit for Adult Educators (Scotland) REAL Toolkit Scotland (1072KB)

'Type onto' pdf templates:

Reflective Account Template (75KB)

Goal Setting Template (63KB)

Summary Self-Assessment Template (87KB)

What adult educators say about the Scottish REAL Toolkit:

Website hosted by University of Stirling