FAQs - Advanced Teacher Status (ATS)

FAQs - ATSGeneral questions

As ATS is not a qualification, it does not have a level. However, the review statements for ATS have been informed by Level 7 standards.

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS) enables practitioners, who are often in the early stages of their career, to develop their teaching skills and subject knowledge and reflect on the impact of the process on their practice and learners. ATS is a progression route from QTLS and enables advanced teachers and trainers to develop mastery in their practice and subject knowledge.

No, ATS is not replacing QTLS.  It is a progression route from QTLS aimed at those experienced teachers who have held their Level 5 or above initial teacher education qualification for a minimum of four years, and who are in a position to formally coach/mentors others and influence the organisation at strategic level.

ATS is an alternative route to SET Fellowship for those members who have not gained a Master’s Degree in Education. The aim is to enable high performing teachers and trainers from a diverse range of settings to undertake ATS, particularly those for whom a Masters qualification may not be a desirable or appropriate option.

In November 2018 it was announced that those who achieve Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) will also be conferred with the Chartered College of Teaching’s Chartered Teacher designation. The Chartered College of Teaching has a re accreditation process, however as long as you maintain ATS status through SET, you will maintain this status.


The Society for Education and Training (SET) re-accreditation scheme for Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) holders shines a light on the importance of maintaining a high level of professional practice in FE and Training sector.

From March 2022, and regardless of when you achieved ATS, SET members will be required to attend a re-accreditation event once every three years to maintain their status. The reaccreditation event provides an opportunity to continue on your CPD journey, network with your peers, and share your achievements post award. There is no re-accreditation fee and the event is also free to attend.

Applying for ATS

The first step is to check you meet the eligibility criteria. You then need to submit an application form once the application window is open.

You will need to demonstrate that you have a high level of teaching and learning skills, an in-depth knowledge of the subject you teach and that you can successfully mentor others, showing effective learning leadership skills.

In the application form we ask for a witness testimony, which highlights outstanding teaching practice and positive outcomes for learners. This should be completed by a senior leader, advanced practitioner, line manager or quality manager. We also ask that you seek an endorsement from a senior manager at your organisation that outlines your suitability to undertake the developmental process leading to ATS.

We review all applications, taking into account their eligibility for the cohort they are applying to. We also consider your ability to support colleagues and have organisation-wide impact.

You will be informed of the outcome within 8 weeks of your application being submitted.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will notify you by email with the reasons why and you will have one additional attempt to submit further information.

The cost of ATS is £884. Payment can be made in direct debit instalments with an initial payment of just £224 required on acceptance of a place followed by six payments of £110.

Yes, provided that the number of hours you teach on an annualised basis is at least 320 hours, for example, approximately 7hrs per week in average over 46 weeks. 


Yes, provided you are teaching learners aged 14+ and teaching year groups 10, 11 and/or above. However, you may want to also consider the Chartered Teacher programme through our partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching.

No. ATS is aimed at teachers working in the FE and Skills sector, rather than HE.

No, but we recommend that you obtain a testimony and endorsement from a more experienced peer, such as an Internal Quality Assurance assessor.

No, but you will ideally have an opportunity in your current role to be able to mentor others in order to be able to generate the evidence required.

No, you do not need a mentoring qualification. However, you may want to access the resources available in the ETF Mentoring Hub.

These practical programmes will help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to get started with mentoring.

Undertaking ATS

ATS is a 14-month professional development process. You will need to submit your portfolio 14 months from when you begin ATS.

You will typically be required to work approximately four hours per week on your portfolio. As you near the end of the programme you can expect to put in more hours. The minimum requirement of seven hours per week does not take account of termly breaks, Christmas or Easter holidays. Therefore, if you work for an organisation that follows a half-term structure, you will need to secure more than seven hours per week.

No you do not need to be employed to undertake ATS, but you do need to be teaching or training on average seven hours a week in order to be able to generate the evidence required.

You would be expected to undertake any CPD that you consider will enable you to meet the evidence requirements, but it will be your responsibility to organise any CPD activity. We will be able to signpost participants to CPD that is currently available through FutureLearn, or CPD events the Education and Training Foundation or SET are running that may be relevant.

You will need to complete a portfolio of all the evidence you have collected and collated. Once completed, you share it with your mentor and then send it to us to be reviewed.

You will need to complete a self-assessment and professional development plan where you will outline your professional development needs. You will also need to complete a record of the professional reading you have undertaken during the process and keep a reflective diary that will be an informed reflective account of the CPD you have undertaken during the process and an evaluation of the impact this has had on your colleagues and organisation. You will need to complete a digital technologies report and a Quality Improvement Project (QIP) and provide records of your coaching and mentoring of a colleague/s. You will need to be able to demonstrate that you have developed deep expertise in both the theory and practice of teaching during the process and this will be explored in the viva interview. 

Guidance regarding deadlines will be accessible within the Onboarding page in the Knowledge Base section of the portfolio. There is also a suggested timeline of activity and it is anticipated that participants work closely with their mentors to set realistic timescales early on in the process.

Your portfolio will be reviewed in February following the official submission date. You should be notified of your provisional result in the month following the review of your portfolio.

If your portfolio does not meet the criteria, you will be given detailed feedback from your reviewer. You will have an opportunity to re-submit your portfolio, once you have added the additional evidence required.

Yes. The minimum requirement of 7 hours per week does not take account of termly breaks, Christmas or Easter holidays. Therefore, if you work for an organisation that follows a half-term structure, you will need to secure more than 7 hours per week.


Your mentor should be a more experienced colleague working in your organisation or network.  If you would prefer to nominate a mentor outside your organisation or network, we may be able to help arrange this. Contact us by emailing membership@etfoundation.co.uk.

You will have a minimum of three professional discussions with your mentor. Their role is to support you through the process and ask you questions to enhance your thinking about your professional development. Your mentor will also be required to complete a supporting statement at the end of your developmental journey. 

Support procedures

For full details read the QTLS and ATS reasonable adjustments policy.