Towards Independence

Towards Independence provides a framework of activities through which personal, social and independence skills can be developed and accredited for those with severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

Towards Independence offers formal recognition for small steps of achievement towards a larger goal. Modules can be used separately and accumulated to build a record of personal achievement.

Who is it for?

  • Post-16 students (so there is a progression route from Key Stage 4)
  • Students with severe (SLD), moderate (MLD) and profound multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)

Towards Independence can be undertaken in schools, colleges, residential homes, day and care centres and across local authority and private provision.


For those seeking a qualification outcome, Towards Independence can be used to support the delivery of the Entry 1 qualifications in Personal Progress - download this mapping document for details.

There is also scope for progression through:


There are more than 70 modules to choose from, and the first of these - Starting Out - is mandatory. This module enables learners to be helped to recognise achievements and plan targets and challenges, which can then be developed through further modules.

Levels of support are used to show how the learner has achieved the activity. They show individual progression and differentiation between learners:

  • Experience recorded
  • Gestural help
  • No help
  • Physical help
  • Sensory experience
  • Spoken/signed help

Additionally, there is an opportunity to record students' achievements by allocating a P level or other descriptor to their work, as appropriate.


The modules can be divided into the following themes: Communication and numeracy; Creative studies; Cultural; Independent living; Leisure, recreation and sport; Personal development, PSHE and citizenship; Work related; Modules particularly suitable for learners with PMLD. ‚ÄčDownload a complete list of Towards Independence modules.

Each learner will need their own copy of the relevant module book, which registered centres can buy online. Download sample pages from the Starting Out module and the Meal Preparation: Introduction module.

Supporting resources

A Towards Independence Tutor Guidance and Resources folder is available to buy, which includes an overview of the programme, photocopiable resources, ideas for gathering evidence, and answers to frequently asked questions.

In addition, the Module Reference Booklet contains the curriculum for every module and will help tutors plan which modules are most suitable for their learners.

You can also download an example of a completed Towards Independence student portfolio.

Getting started

For centres new to ASDAN, your first step is to complete the Centre Registration Form. Current ASDAN centres need to ensure that the Preparing for Adulthood programmes are added to their centre's registration.

Following registration, you will be able to purchase your books and access additional resources and guidance via the members area of this website. ASDAN also provides introductory training workshops and can arrange in-house training.

ASDAN members area

Once your centre is registered with ASDAN for Towards Independence, you can find further information and resources in the members area. This section of the website contains all the essential documents, forms and updates that you will need to deliver your course.

There is no limit to the number of people from a centre who can register to use the members area. You can create a new user account using the online form. 


After students' work has been internally moderated, centres must register candidates for external moderation, which is carried out at a regional moderation meeting or by post. ASDAN will issue certificates following successful external moderation.

What's Next?

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