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Faculty of Education and Language Studies > Study With Us > Postgraduate > Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA)

Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA)

Gaining Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) through Open University module E801

The 2015 presentation of module E801 will be the last opportunity for students to gain AMBDA accreditation through this route.  AMBDA accreditation will not be offered with the final (2016) presentation of this module.
Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) is a professionally recognised specialist qualification for working with those with dyslexia.  It is increasingly being recognized by local authorities and employers.  The Joint Council for Qualifications approves AMBDA, and teachers who gain AMBDA will be able to take responsibility for assessments and making recommendations for provision in examinations though this will be at the discretion of your manager.  There is an equivalent qualification for those working in further or higher education – AMBDA FE/HE.
Successful completion of Masters in Education module E801 - Difficulties in Literacy Development can lead to AMBDA accreditation.  E801 fulfils the theoretical and academic requirements for AMBDA but not the practical element.  Therefore, for an additional fee of £975, the Open University offers E801 students the opportunity to submit evidence of their practical assessment and teaching competence to the E801 AMBDA Assessment panel to enable them to gain AMBDA accreditation.  This takes the form of:
  • 3 diagnostic assessments (using 3 diagnostic tests with each of 3 learners) and accompanying paperwork, including reports.
  • 4 x 1 hour filmed evidence (on DVD) of assessment and teaching practice. (1 hour of assessment and 3 hours of teaching.)
  • 30 hours of appropriate teaching as evidenced by annotated teaching notes/lesson plans linked to assessments.
The panel meets 4 times each year and you will be required to submit your DVDs and accompanying evidence individually and sequentially to each of the 4 panels as it is a BDA criterion to show that previous feedback has been acted upon.  There will be a Study Day at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes during February.  Attendance at the Study Day is considered essential to receive a full briefing on what will be expected throughout the AMBDA year.
Please note that this is not a taught course and, although you will receive guidance and feedback from the panel, the fee is to cover the assessment of your practical work to ensure that you meet the criteria for BDA accreditation.  The fee is payable on receipt of our invoice with payment by cheque, debit/credit card or bank transfer.  We regret it is not possible to pay the fee by instalments.
AMBDA is demanding on time and energy and you need to bear in mind that you will need to have access to appropriate learners to assess and teach.  All learners that you plan on working with for AMBDA purposes should have difficulties with literacy which may be dyslexia.  You will assess these learners and be involved in specialist teaching.  You will need to purchase or have access to appropriate tests and teaching materials as the Open University cannot provide these.  Please be aware that assessment tools can be expensive and this should be considered in cases where there are no opportunities for borrowing materials.  You will find a list of assessments on the E801 module website or the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) website.  All learners must be in taught in English.
You must complete the AMBDA practical element in the academic year immediately following your E801 studies (no deferrals permitted) and have gained a pass grade for TMA04 in addition to passing module E801 overall.  You should also take the dyslexia option for TMA03.
Although the submissions will be overseen and approved by suitably qualified Open University staff, the Open University does not award the AMBDA qualification.  That is done by the BDA once you have successfully completed the necessary criteria and had these approved.  Before you apply for AMBDA you should carefully read the BDA criteria at  We strongly advise you to check this BDA website frequently for any updates.
For AMBDA accreditation, you will need to have a minimum of two years teaching experience.  For AMBDA FE/HE accreditation you will need a minimum of two years teaching and support experience in an institution of further or higher education.  
Students must opt for either AMBDA or AMBDA FE/HE as we (the Open University) are unable to offer students the opportunity to gain both at the same time.  We are also unable to grant credit for prior learning, including ATS, towards the AMBDA submissions.
For further information please contact the E801 AMBDA Team at