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.


ASDAN's Preparing for Adulthood programmes provide further opportunities for accrediting the achievements of learners with special educational needs:


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. 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

If you are not yet registered with ASDAN, your first step is to complete an Application for Centre Registration Form. See the Join section for more information. Current ASDAN centres need to ensure that the programme is 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 ASDAN also provides introductory workshops and can arrange in-house training.

ASDAN members area

Once your centre is registered with ASDAN for Towards Independence, you can access further information and resources via the members area of It contains all relevant updates, essential documents and resources.

There is no limit to the number of people from a registered centre who can sign up to use the members area. 


After students' portfolios have been internally moderated, centres must register candidates' names for external moderation via the members area of In most cases, moderation will be carried out by post. ASDAN will issue certificates following successful external moderation.

What's Next?

Case Studies

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Out in the community

Towards Independence provides personalised curriculum for students

Dubai student unleashes her creativity and develops confidence