FAQs - ATSGeneral questions

As ATS is not a qualification, it does not have a level. However, the assessment statements for ATS have been informed by several sources that include Level 7 assessment criteria.

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 their practice and subject knowledge further.

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.

In May 2020, we opened up the eligibility criteria to those that do not hold QTLS or QTS. Teachers or trainers that hold a teaching qualification of Level 5 or above, and have a minimum of five years’ teaching experience can now also apply for ATS.

Find out more the reasons behind this decision.

We would highly recommend that applicants are in a position to support/mentor colleagues and have the scope to undertake an improvement project that has organisation wide impact, as these are two fundamentals of the ATS portfolio.

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.


Applying for ATS

The first step is to check you meet the eligibility criteria. You then need to register your interest with us and submit an application form once the application window is open. Applications open in early April and close at the end of August each year.

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 an 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 and the date of application. We also consider your ability to support colleagues and have organisation-wide impact.

You will be informed of the outcome within one month 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 £750. Payment can be made in direct debit instalments with an initial payment of just £150 required on acceptance of a place followed by six payments of £100.

Yes, provided that the number of hours you teach on an annualised basis is equivalent to eight hours a week.


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 need to 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 undertake our online Introduction to Mentoring programme that is free to SET members. This practical programme will help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to get started with mentoring.

Undertaking ATS

ATS is a 12-month professional development process. You will need to submit your workbook 12 months from when you begin ATS.

You can meet the teaching hours requirement through direct teaching or training, delivering planned courses to groups of five trainees/ learners or more, or through teaching equivalent activities, such as coaching and mentoring (one-to-one or small groups) and/or staff development sessions. For example, interactive sessions you have planned in order to develop specific aspects of trainees’/mentees’ knowledge and skills. At least 50% annualised hours should be evidenced by direct teaching or training.

No you do not need to be employed to undertake ATS, but you do need to be teaching or training on average eight 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 on Foundation Online Learning (FOL), 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 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.

There are no set deadlines during the process, but there is a suggested timeline of activity and it is anticipated that participants work closely with their mentors to set realistic deadlines early on in the process.

Your portfolio will be reviewed the month following the official submission date. You should be notified of your 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.


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.

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.

Support procedures

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

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