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Language lead accreditation

Nottinghamshire County Council recognises the significance of communication in the development of children and young people. Details of their commitment to this are outlined in the ‘Language For Life’ approach. To support this agenda, the County have committed to encouraging practitioners to develop enhanced skills in the area of children speech, language and communication. These enhanced practitioners are known as language leads.

Language leads need to have a passion for driving forward crucial messages around speech, language and communication. They need have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that speech, language and communication is considered in all planning, delivery and evaluation of services for the children and families within their care.

 Everything you need to know about becoming a language lead can be found in the document called ‘The language lead role: a guide for practitioners’.


Becoming a language lead

Practitioners wishing to become language leads need to access the following support and training:

Language leads should work towards completing the following documents which all support the development of the language lead role:

Your link to this support is your local Children's Centre's speech and language therapist.


Language lead accreditation

Some practitioners who have developed their skills as language leads have become very interested in the role. Nottinghamshire County Council support a number of practitioners through language lead accreditation, a process which acknowledges the enhanced skills of language leads through a nationally recognised level 3 award.

To become an accredited language lead, practitioners need to fulfil the criteria for language leads (outlined above) and the requirements of the level 3 award in supporting children and young people’s speech, language and communication.


The Level 3 Award

This award has been designed for anyone working with children and young people to enable them to:

  • understand the importance of communication
  • be able to support all children’s communication development
  • recognise and support those children and young people with speech, language and communication needs, based on knowledge of typical speech, language and communication development

The award is a national qualification at level 3, has been recognised by Ofqual and is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

To achieve the award learners must achieve 6 credits from two mandatory units plus a minimum of 3 credits from the optional units available. Each credit is around 10 hours of study, including learning and assessment time. As a 9-10 credit award, there is a fairly significant time commitment required for people to gain this qualification.

This time includes:

  • Direct teaching/structured learning
  • Reading and research
  • Application of learning to practice and reflection on that learning, evidence by the portfolio
  • Portfolio building and completion
  • Assessment feedback and support.

In Nottinghamshire, all the training you have completed in speech. language and communication counts towards this learning.


The units

Each learner must achieve the following two mandatory units:

  • Support speech, language and communication development
  • Support children and young people’s speech, language and communication skills

Learners must also complete one of the following optional units:

  • Support the speech, language and communication development of children who are learning more than one language
  • Support positive practice with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs
  • Understand the speech, language and communication needs of children and young people with behaviour, social and emotional difficulties
  • Work with parents and carers to support their children’s speech, language and communication development

Each unit has a clear specification which includes its learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Students have to demonstrate their knowledge or practice as set out by the assessment criteria for each unit. The criteria represent the standards that learners are expected to achieve in order to meet the learning outcomes. If a learner is unable to provide evidence that they know or can do one of the assessment criteria, they will not be able to achieve the award.

Students are expected to complete workbooks for each unit plus observations of practice for both mandatory units and for 3 of the optional units. These observations will be supported by expert witnesses from NCFP. These pieces of work will make up a portfolio which will be assessed by Elklan for the awarding body- Ascentis.


Still interested?

Remember, entry requirements for the award are attendance at Talking Matters, Let’s Interact and Communication for All. Make sure you have attended all of these before you apply.

You also need to have completed the first layer of the language lead continuum.

Please be aware that there will be a charge of approximately £420 for the qualification.

You should attend the briefing session before starting the award. 

If you want further information or wish to attend the next briefing session, reserve a place by contacting Sue Guest on 07920 082 152 or

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