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BSA Certificate in Boarding Practice – Pastoral Care

October 15 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

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 practice Certificate courses specifically designed to meet the practical needs of boarding staff and provide an internationally recognised qualification in Boarding Education.

This is a two year modular course is aimed specifically at staff working in and around boarding. Over the last 20 years  approx. 3000 House tutors, Matrons, Support Staff, School Nurses, Assistants, House Parents and HsMs have completed this Award.

This course is aimed at graduates and non graduates,  the key difference lies in the end of module assignment. The Course is arranged in two parts as follows:

  • Part 1: BSA Certificate in Boarding Practice – Pastoral Care

and one of these:

  • Part 2: BSA Advanced Certificate in Boarding Practice Boarding Management
  • Part 2: BSA Advanced Certificate in Boarding Practice for School Nurses
  • Part 2: BSA Certificate in Boarding Practice – Pupil Welfare and Support
  • Part 2: BSA Advanced Certificate in Boarding Practice – Supporting International Students

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
  • Legal awareness; leadership and management; pupil induction
  • 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 non graduate level, 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;

In addition, at graduate level, 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;

How is the course organised?

The course is organised around a combination of intensive study days 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 12 courses running at any one time: four of the Pastoral Care and four Boarding Management and two of BSA Advanced Certificate in Boarding Practice for School Nurses and BSA Certificate in Boarding Practice – School Support & Welfare, BSA Advanced Certificate in Boarding Practice – Supporting International Students.

Dates for 2024-2025

Pastoral Care :

PASTORAL CARE, OCTOBER MODULE: BSA CERTIFICATE IN BOARDING PRACTICE  : Dates for this module are: October 15, 2024: November 29, 2024:  February 03, 2025: May 14, 2025

Boarding Management : 

 BOARDING MANAGEMENT, OCTOBER MODULE: BSA CERTIFICATE IN BOARDING PRACTICE Dates for this module are: October 04, 2024: November 11, 2024:  February 05, 2025: March 19, 2025


If cancelling four 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.

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 courses consist of?

Professional Development Certificate

Module 1

  • Pastoral Care

Module 2

  • Boarding Management
  • Or Pupil Support & Welfare
  • Or Nursing Certificate
  • International Student Certificate

How are these certificates delivered?

This comprises of four study days. Students must attend all four sessions of each course. These Study Day sessions will be tutored by a variety of specialist contributors as well as experienced boarding staff. Many sessions will benefit from joint contributions and discussion between non-teaching and teaching staff participants. Students are also expected to read in and around the key topics and to carry out research.


The first date of each 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: Please be aware that it is crucial to remain on your assigned course path and tutor group to gain the very best out of your training. Of course, we understand some things are unavoidable however we cannot guarantee alternative placement days, and this may incur an admin charge

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.

NB: Please be aware that it is crucial to remain on your assigned course path and tutor group to gain the very best out of your training. Of course, we understand some things are unavoidable however we cannot guarantee alternative placement days, and this may incur an admin charge.


October 15
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA)
+44 (0) 20 7798 1580
View Organiser Website


Virtual – Zoom
United Kingdom + Google Map