Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Level 5 qualification

This guide aims to answer further questions you may have about our Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy. The full qualification specification is available here.

You can also download the Frequently Asked Questions – Crossfields Institute Level 5 in Social Pedagogy (pdf).

If you live in Scotland and are interested in this qualification, please be aware that we are finalising the Levels and equivalences and more information will be available soon. This page and its supporting documents currently refer to Ofqual levels.

What does the qualification cover?

The Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy provides an excellent professional development opportunity for people working in care and education across the age range with a particular focus on social pedagogical leadership and organisational development.

Regulated by Ofqual, the 60-credit qualification delivered via our 12-day face-to-face course[1], which draws on experiential, active and reflective learning. The qualification consists of 3 integrated modules:

  • Social pedagogy in relationship-centred practice: This module provides an overview of key theories and principles in social pedagogy and equips learners to apply these to relationship-centred practice.
  • Developing leadership skills in social pedagogy: This module aims to help learners develop social pedagogical leadership skills and supports them in developing social pedagogy within their own organisation.
  • Social pedagogy in a social and political context: This module helps learners familiarise themselves with the social-political dimension of social pedagogy as an ethical orientation concerned with social issues.

For a more in-depth description of each module, please see section 2 of the qualification specification.

[1] If you have previously completed a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with Jacaranda or ThemPra, you will only have to undertake six days of further learning.

What are the learning objectives for this qualification?

The qualification is designed with a whole-systems development of social pedagogy in mind. By the end of this qualification you will be enabled to:

  • Develop your practice and organisational culture by integrating social pedagogical theories and principles
  • Lead with greater confidence, intention and creativity
  • Enhance important interpersonal skills such as communication, relational and reflective skills
  • Develop your strength-based, ethical and reflective leadership skills
  • Support the development of social pedagogy across all levels with and within your organisation
What are the advantages of undertaking this qualification?

You may work within an organisation which has been developing social pedagogy, or is planning a social pedagogy development project. You may also be interested in social pedagogy for its own sake or to have the learning recognised in an application for a bachelor degree programme. This qualification equips you with an essential theoretical, ethical and practical understanding of how social pedagogy can benefit relationship-centred practice, enable development through social pedagogical leadership and systemic support as well as contribute to social change through engagement with the wider community.

Professionally, the qualification can benefit you in the following ways:

  • You’ll become familiar with foundational principles in social pedagogical practice, its core theoretical concepts and how you can apply these in your practice setting.
  • You’ll engage in experiential and interactive group learning with face-to-face seminars that bring social pedagogy to life, stimulate new ideas and focus on transferring learning into practice.
  • You’ll be able to demonstrate that your practice meets the social pedagogy standards of the relevant professional regulator, the Social Pedagogy Professional Association.
What have others had to say about social pedagogy learning?

Here are some quotes from previous course participants about the impact that social pedagogy has had on them and the people they support in their practice.


“This qualification provides a unique opportunity for employers in social care and social work to establish a clear basis for reflective practice where the quality of relationships both between workers and clients, and in organisational and service development, takes centre stage. It provides an alternative to an emphasis on compliance with processes that has dominated social work practice in recent decades at some considerable cost. This qualification helps those who undertake it to work within the legal and procedural frameworks, while at the same time finding congruence between these and the ethical codes of practice as stipulated by the social work profession. As a practice based qualification, those qualified through the Level 5 Diploma will help people who use services to feel supported in the ways that are most meaningful and enabling for them.”

Robyn Kemp


Centre for Social Work Practice


“The structure of this qualification is favourable in both preparing to work in the field and enabling progression too. From the perspective of an organisation who has been involved in its own social pedagogy journey, this Diploma has relevance and is of value to this area of service delivery.”

Patricia Walls

Social Pedagogy Manager

Kibble Education and Care Centre


“We are aware that for many, taking the step into university education can be daunting and that qualifications such as this Level 5 Diploma can be a real stepping-stone for people within social care settings. We have worked alongside ThemPra, Jacaranda and SPPA to make sure that the content of the Diploma is correct in content and depth, as well as matching the entrance criteria for our university degree programme should people wish to continue their studies. Because of this there is a clear and suitable progression route should learners wish to move on to gain a higher education qualification.”

Lowis Charfe

Course leader BA Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation

University of Central Lancashire

What are the entry requirements?

There are five entry requirements:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You should either hold a qualification at level 4 or higher in a related discipline or be able to demonstrate your ability to study at level 5 by submitting a written assignment as part of the admission process.
  3. You are expected to hold an English GCSE pass or equivalent. If English is not your first language, you need to demonstrate IELTS level 7 or work at that level. We may ask you to have an interview and complete a written assignment as part of a process to ascertain whether your competence in English would allow you to meet the demands of this qualification.
  4. You must either be employed in a care/education setting or related context or be volunteering for a minimum of 350 hours in a similar setting whilst undertaking the qualification.
  5. You should have completed, or expect to complete shortly, safeguarding training with your organisation.
Do I need any previous experience in social pedagogy to be able to undertake the qualification?

You do not need to have any previous experience in social pedagogy to be able to undertake the qualification as this is an entry level qualification (please note the entry requirements above).

If you have previously participated in a course (eight days) with either Jacaranda or ThemPra, please do state this clearly on your application form, indicating the course length and when and where it took place. We can then assess whether you may only need to undertake a six-day further learning course, substantial practice time, evidence of independent study (some of which includes online learning) and assessment time (both face-to-face and remote).

Can I do the qualification if I have only done a Level 3 so far?

Yes, as long as you’re able to show that you can study at level 5. We can assess this through a short written assignment that requires you to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate and reflect on your practice. We can share further details with you if you’d like to know more.

How many credits is the qualification?

The qualification value is 60 credits, which means the total qualification time of 600 hours. 110 of these are ‘guided learning hours’, which includes course participation and tutorial support. We are actively working with university partners to establish Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) arrangements for pathways to bachelor programmes.

What materials do I need to take the qualification?

You will be provided with a wide range of learning resources but may need to buy some of the books that are recommended reading. You will find these at the end of each unit description in the qualification specification. You will also need access to a computer or tablet and the internet to access the virtual learning environment and to write and submit assignments for your assessed portfolio of evidence.

How is the qualification assessed?

This qualification is assessed through a portfolio of evidence. We will take a holistic approach to assessment, which means using assessment tasks which cover elements across the three modules. The assessment process includes essays, presentations, and a creative project called the ‘Prism Project’. All assessment tasks are graded to support the Recognition of Prior Learning process, should you wish to use your credits for a university course.

Read more about what you can expect in section 4 of the qualification specification.

How is the qualification accredited?

This qualification is awarded by the awarding organisation Crossfields Institute and regulated by Ofqual. It is currently delivered by two approved centres, Jacaranda and ThemPra. The qualification is endorsed by SPPA and adheres to its Standards of Proficiency in Social Pedagogy and Standards for Education and Training.

How long does it take to complete?

The course, which forms an essential part of the qualification, is delivered over twelve days (phased over four to six months). If you have previously completed a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with Jacaranda or ThemPra, you will only have to undertake six days of further learning. The overall qualification length is variable depending upon delivery structure, but twelve months part-time is recommended.

What related qualifications can I progress to?

The qualification is designed to enable progression to further training and qualifications in social pedagogy and related disciplines. There are also currently two BA programmes in social pedagogy (at the University of Central Lancashire (BA (Hons) Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation) and YMCA George Williams College (BA (Hons) Children, young people and families (youth work, community learning and development, and social pedagogy)). We advise that you check with the providers of any further study programmes about their policy on the recognition of prior learning.

For which job roles is this qualification relevant?

This qualification is relevant for ambitious practitioners, including leaders, managers and advanced practitioners in a variety of settings (see list below). You will be able to refer to yourself as a ‘social pedagogy practitioner’[1], but are not limited to applying only to job roles with this title. Employers may recognise it as beneficial for jobs in:

  • Residential and foster care
  • Services for care leavers
  • Adoption support
  • Early childhood education and care
  • Education services, including schools, virtual schools, residential schools, Pupil Referral Units
  • Youth justice
  • Early Help and family support
  • Field social work
  • Independent reviewing
  • Youth, play and community services
  • Advocacy and participation services
  • Person-centred care
  • Mental health support
  • Day care and supported living for adults
  • Arts-based support projects

Please note that not all employers in relevant sectors will be familiar with social pedagogy or consider this qualification as compliant with regulatory requirements, though we are actively working to establish equivalency and will update via further iterations of this document and via the Social Pedagogy Professional Association newsletter.

[1] ‘Social pedagogy practitioner’ is a protected title granted by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association and means that you have demonstrated your ability to meet its Standards of Proficiency in Social Pedagogy.

Can I do the qualification online?

Only in part, as there are twelve days of face-to-face learning for the full qualification (six days of further learning for the RPL route available to previous course participants), plus substantial practice time, independent study (some of which includes online learning) and assessment time (both face-to-face and using technology e.g. online, Skype).

There are currently two approved centres – which one will I learn with?

Both Jacaranda and ThemPra are approved centres to deliver this qualification. Your choice of centre may depend on the following:

  • If your organisation has worked with one of these organisations in the past, it is likely that your qualification will be with the centre you know already. If you would like to work with another centre, please be in touch with both.
  • If you have not previously done a social pedagogy course and there is wider interest in the Level 5 within your organisation, your organisation may decide to contract with one specific centre.
  • In order to run courses within an organisation, we need a minimum of 12 learners starting a course at the same time. It is also possible for smaller groups to join learners from other organisations, or individuals, in an open course.
I’ve previously taken part in a social pedagogy course – will this count towards the qualification?

We offer a Recognition of Prior Learning route if learners have previously undertaken a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with Jacaranda or ThemPra. In this case you may only require a six-day course of further learning, provided that you have continued to build on your learning experience from the previous course. You’ll have access to our virtual learning environment and tutorial support, and you will go through the full assessment process. Please make sure to include details of your previous course with us in your application.

When and where will the course be held?

This depends on where you are based and whether your organisation has a number of learners who want to do the qualification at the same time.  We may come to your organisation, but we may also need to find central points between organisations to bring a number of learners together. We will aim to offer you a place on a course running in your area, subject to sufficient learner numbers (between 12 and 20). Please inform us if you know of others in your region or organisation who may be interested in the qualification.

How much is the qualification fee?

There are two different fees for the first cohort of learners, depending on whether or not you’ve previously undertaken a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with ThemPra or Jacaranda.

The introductory fee for the full qualification is £3,100 (no VAT) per learner.

If you have completed a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with Jacaranda or ThemPra, the introductory fee is £2,400 (no VAT) per learner for six days of further learning, tutorial support, access to our Virtual Learning Environment and assessment.

These fees includes the learner registration fee which is £295 at the time of writing (and subject to change), which we pay to Crossfields Institute (the Awarding Organisation).

The total fee is payable via the UCL Online Store as it is subsidised by the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project which UCL is leading until 2019.

Can I get help with the cost of my qualification?

You should have conversations with your organisation about possible funding. If your organisation will fund the qualification, we will require funding approval from an authorised officer in order to accept your application. You’ll be able to download the funding approval form as part of your application pack from November 2017.

Can I pay by instalments?

Yes, you can pay in 2 instalments, one at the point of registration and one at the point of commencing assessment. For the first cohorts, payment of fees, and any refunds, will be via UCL.

I will be funded by my organisation. Can I pay via invoice/purchase order?

If your organisation is unable to pay via the UCL Online Store, UCL will be able to accept purchase orders/invoices. For more information on how you can do this, please contact Gulsh Khatun ( The terms and conditions for the qualification will be those of the centre delivering the qualification, available on the UCL website.

How can I apply?

We’ll accept your application from November 2017. If you’re interested in receiving further information, please complete the enquiry form and we’ll email you again soon. In the meantime, please get in touch with our course administration Gulsh Khatun ( – tel: 020 7612 6070) if you have any further questions.