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BSA Advanced Certificate Course

If you do not need further information but just wish to book a place on the Advanced Certificate course:

  • to book a place on a course, follow this link and click on the BSA Course code in the left hand column of the Table and follow the online enrolment links.

  • if you have a query please: Contact the BSA Training Team

Full Details

The BSA's Programme of Professional Development and Training is the most comprehensive CPD package offered to staff in boarding schools, and includes a series of professional development Certificate courses specifically designed to meet the practical needs of boarding staff and provide a internationally recognised qualification in Boarding Education.

The BSA Advanced Certificate in Professional Development

This is a two year modular course is aimed specifically at staff working in and around boarding. Over the last 20 years  approx. 2000 House tutors, Matrons, School Nurses, Assistants, House Parents and HsMs have completed this Award.

Non- graduates complete at HE1 level and graduates at HE3 level. The key difference lies in the end of module assignment. The Course is arranged in 2 parts as follows:

Part 1: Pastoral Care Module

and one of these:

Part 2: Boarding Management or Health & Development or Nursing Issues

Students will normally commence on a Part 1 course and then follow on to a Part 2 Module; the choice of the latter is likely to be dependant on your role in boarding.

What does this course cover?

This course is taken by both graduate teaching and non-graduate house staff, including matrons, assistant house staff and house parents, with responsibility for the care and welfare of boarding pupils. The course sessions will broadly cover the following areas:

  • Organisation and communication in a boarding school; Outcomes for boarders; adolescent development; eSafety issues and challenges
  • Major legislation as it affects life in a boarding school; safeguarding issues; National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools; The Boarding Team; working with parents
  • Conflict resolution;  counselling skills; structures for managing crises and stress in boarding schools;
  • Emotional and mental health issues; bereavement, loss and divorce
  • Nursing Issues and physical matters; relationships;
  • A consideration of some of the challenges that young people face as they develop.

How will this course help me to develop personally and professionally?

At Level HE1, in successfully completing the course you will:

● be able to evaluate and have a clear appreciation of the personal and professional needs and skills involved in your boarding role;

● develop greater knowledge and understanding of the issues covered in the syllabus;

● develop, through support and guidance, the range of personal strategies you use to resolve relevant welfare concerns for your pupils;

● develop your ability to reflect critically on your work and evaluate the need for change or action;

● develop your study and planning skills and your ability to analyse reading and reference material;

● be able to communicate and defend your views and opinions orally and in writing;

● develop, wherever possible, your ICT expertise and an ability to access electronic information sources.

In addition, at Level HE3, successful completion of the course will enable you to:

● develop a clear vision of the school's management strategies for providing good pastoral care;

● develop your study and time management skills and your ability to analyse reading and a wide range of reference sources;

● develop, wherever possible, your ICT expertise and your ability to access electronic information sources.

How is the course organised?

The course is organised around a combination of intensive study days and/or residential conferences which contain a variety of teaching methods and opportunities to learn in different ways short lectures, presentations and discussions led by students, together with group problem solving exercises and case studies. Group discussion is a particularly important aspect of this module, enabling you to look at the theory in the light of your own practical experience. You will be encouraged to contribute ideas, opinions and questions, take responsibility for your own learning and, by sharing, to contribute to the learning of the group as a whole.

There are some 13 courses running at any one time; 5 or 6 of the Pastoral Care and Boarding Management which are run in London and regionally; and one of Health & Development and Nursing Issues run in London. Since September 2015 we have a European courses based in Switzerland.

NB: that all participants are required to attend all five study days for any given courseIf you wish to transfer to an alternative study day, please contact Liz McDonald at with your request, please note that all changes will incur an administration fee of £50 per day.

The cost to participants from schools not in membership of BSA will be £730.

BSA Code for online enrolment Region Module Venue Dates (inclusive) Cost
17/4 Edinburgh Pastoral Care
(Part 1)
Stewart's Melville College 9 &10 Nov 2017, 13 & 14 March 2018, 24 May 2018 £600
17/5 North Boarding Management
(Part 2)
The Mount School, York 10 Oct 2017, 23 Nov 2017, 7 Feb 2018

24 Apr 2018, 19 Jun 2018
17/6 London Boarding Management
(Part 2)
Park Crescent Conference Centre, London 5 Oct 2017, 21 Nov 2017, 6 Feb 2018

23 Apr 2018, 12 Jun 2018

17/7 London Health & Development
(Part 2)
Park Crescent Conference Centre, London 5 Oct 2017, 21 Nov 2017, 6 Feb 2018

23 Apr 2018, 12 Jun 2018

17/8 London Nursing Issues
(Part 2)
Park Crescent Conference Centre, London 5 Oct 2017, 21 Nov 2017, 6 Feb 2018

23 Apr 2018, 12 Jun 2018

17/9 South Pastoral Care
(Part 1)

Downe House, Newbury

Abingdon School, Oxford

16 Oct 2017, 8 Feb 2018, 21 May 2018

23 Nov 2017, 21 March 2018

17/10 Midlands Pastoral Care
(Part 1)

Old Swinford Hospital, Stourbridge

Oundle School, Peterborough

15 Nov 2017, 13 Mar 2018, 20 Jun 2018

23 Jan 2018, 8 May 2018





Pastoral Care

(Part 1)

Residential venue TBC

Baden Powell House, London

23-24 Oct 2017 (1 night residential)

30 Nov 2017, 20 Mar 2018, 7 Jun 2018

17/12 London


Boarding Management

(Part 2)

Baden Powell House, London 16 Nov 2017, 1 Feb 2018, 22 Mar 2018

10 May 2018, 14 Jun 2018

17/13 European Course


Pastoral Care

(Part 1)

Collège du Léman, Switzerland 25 & 26 Sep 2017, 17 &18 Jan 2018, 22 May 2018 £600
18/1 London Boarding Management

(Part 2)

Baden Powell House, London 25 Jan 2018, 19 Mar 2018, 6 Jun 2018

25 Sep 2018, 13 Nov 2018

18/2 West Boarding Management

(Part 2)

Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire

Blundell's School, Devon

30 Jan 2018, 6 June 2018, 13 Nov 2018

27 Mar 2018, 25 Sept 2018

18/3 Easter Course Pastoral Care
(Part 1)
Dauntsey's School, Wiltshire

Baden Powell House, London

9-10 Apr 2018 (1 night residential)

20 Jun 2018, 27 Sep 2018, 14 Nov 2018



If cancelling 4 weeks before Day 1 of the course, a refund will be given.  Cancellation after this period and before Day 1, a charge of £120 will need to be made. 



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CREDIT: Image header taken from BSA member school Merchiston Castle School


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the Course Objectives?
    • to raise awareness of key issues of importance to boarding
    • to increase confidence and competence (especially for those with little boarding experience)
    • to bring boarding staff up to date with recent changes and developments
    • to provide opportunities to share experience and good practice with colleagues
    • to encourage reflection and critical evaluation of boarding practice and professional issues
    • to provide opportunities to study and develop expertise in specific areas of interest
    • to contribute towards school improvement and raising standards of pastoral care and welfare
    • to enhance a professional career path in boarding;to provide a university qualification in recognition of successful completion of the courses.
  • What do the Certificates consist of?

    Professional Development Certificate (graduate staff at level HE3)

    Part 1

    • Pastoral Care and Young People

    Part 2 Either

    • Management Issues in Boarding Schools
    • Or Health and Development Issues affecting Young People
    • Or Nursing Issues in Boarding School

    Professional Practice Certificate (non-graduate staff at level HE1)

    Part 1

    • Boarding Welfare and Pastoral Care

    Part 2 Either

    • Health and Development in Childhood and Adolescence
    • Or Studies in Boarding Management
  • How are these Certificates delivered?

    This comprises of five study days which are arranged on a regional basis so that students are able to select thelocation which best suit their needs. Students must attend all five sessions of each course. These Study Day sessionswill be tutored by a variety of specialist contributors as well as experienced boarding staff. Many sessions will benefitfrom joint contributions and discussion between non-teaching and teaching staff participants. Students are alsoexpected to read in and around the key topics and to carry out research.

  • Where and when are the courses run?

    The courses are arranged on a regional basis, with the Study Day sessions being held in one (or in some cases two) locations.

    The first date of each regional course is key and MUST be attended as it includes the essential introduction to the whole course/module. If this day is not attended, you will need to start on another course if available. 

    NB:  that all participants are required to attend all five study days for any given course.  If you wish to transfer to an alternative study day, please contact with your request, please note that all changes will incur an administrative fee of £50 per day. 


  • How is the Course Assessed?


    • PART 1 - completion of a 3,500 word Portfolio, reflecting the learning and understanding that has been developed in relation to course themes and the participant’s learning.
    • PART 2 - compilation of a Resource Pack on a chosen boarding/health and development theme, incorporating appropriate investigation and evaluation in school.


    • PART 1 - compilation of a 3,500 word Diary, reflecting the learning and understanding in relation to the themes of the course and the participant’s professional development.
    • PART 2 - will be assessed by the completion of an extended piece of written work (3,500-4,000 words), in the form of a short research project or an essay on an issue of importance and relevance to the participant.


  • How long will it take?

    Most participants will complete the two parts of the course in sequence, but it is possible to complete Part 2 before Part 1 if participants have had prior experience of working in a boarding setting. It is expected that most participants will complete both parts of the certificate during a two-year period, but some may be able to complete the whole course within a shorter time span.

  • What support will be available to me?

    Each course will be supported by a team of tutors and participants should have the support of a mentor (approved and appointed by the Head), who is likely to be a senior colleague in a position to support, encourage and assist the participant in day-to-day work, and in his/her progress through the course. The mentor will be briefed by BSA and will receive appropriate training and guidance. The course tutors for the taught components of the Certificates will also provide on-going support and help with the self-study units and assessment tasks.

     Reading lists will be provided for each module of the course; schools are expected to provide such reference materials for their participants.

2 Certificates via 10 study days over 2 years at venues all over the country. You can do it, and the BSA can help.

BSA Training Team