Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status. 

More than 26,000 professionals have achieved QTLS since its introduction in 2008.  

No, QTLS is not a course or qualification. QTLS is a professional status achieved after completing a six-month period of professional formation process in a FE and Skills setting.  

Professional formation is a developmental process leading to the professional status QTLS. 

In order to apply for and apply to undertake the programme you will need to: 

  • Check your eligibility 
  • Be a member of SET.
  • Your membership grade must be MSET (Member) or FSET (Fellow).
  • Pay the non-refundable £50 application fee 
  • Complete and submit the application portfolio  

There is one application window per year, fromAugust to October, with successful applicants issued a professional formation portfolio in January 2025.  

Teachers and trainers who successfully apply will then undertake a six-month self-guided developmental forward-looking process, known as professional formation. 

Yes, when applying, simply select 'invoice my employer' as your method of payment and we will raise an invoice. Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure the invoice for the application fee and programme fees are paid on time; failure to do so may result in your results being delayed.   

No, you must be a current member of SET to be able to undertake QTLS. Your membership grade must be MSET (Member) or FSET (Fellow).

It is the responsibility of the applicant to check that they are suitable to apply for professional formation.  

You will complete and submit your application portfolio for consideration. SET will then review the application and the evidence supplied to determine the suitability of the applicant to undertake professional formation leading to QTLS.  

If your application is successful and then your teaching practice changes during the professional formation period, it is your responsibility to contact the Membership and Accreditation team to notify them of the changes.   

Unfortunately, if you miss the published deadlines, you will not be able to defer. In extenuating circumstances, we may be able to offer you an agreed extension, but you must formally request this. Further details can be found in the Terms and Conditions. 

Once you have received your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) certificate, you can apply to undertake professional formation leading to QTLS.  

You must have already received your full certificate before you can apply for professional formation.  

In the application process, you will be required to demonstrate that you have accumulated a minimum of 230 hours of group teaching practice across the full period of the programme.  

You don’t have to be working full-time to undertake professional formation, but you will need to be in paid employment and teaching learners aged 14+ for a minimum of 230 hours in a FE and Skills setting for the duration of the professional formation period to meet the evidence requirements. 

It is possible to undertake professional formation while teaching overseas. However, please be aware that professional formation is underpinned by theProfessional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in the FE and Skills sector in England, and therefore the organisation must be following a UK curriculum. Please note that QTLS is only officially recognised in England at the moment.  

Traditionally, tutorial sessions are centrally designed and there is usually limited assessment. The content is usually so diverse (between departments and organisations) that a single/handful of qualifications held would not cover the broad subject knowledge required to teach these subjects.  

Furthermore, tutorials can often be an opportunity to speak with small groups or individuals rather than teaching a topic. Therefore, we are not able to consider tutorial sessions towards group teaching hours.   

During the application window, you will be asked to upload qualification certificates, provide information about your teaching practice, and upload a copy of your professional CV and a narrative that demonstrates your eligibility and suitability to undertake the programme. See the application checklist of mandatory evidence.

There are four sections which comprise the application stage: 

  1. About you  
  2. Qualifications  
  3. Roles and responsibilities  
  4. Supporting statement (endorsement) submission 


Once admitted onto the programme, you will be given access to the professional formation portfolio which consists of eight sections:  

  1. About You 
  2. Updates to qualifications and roles and responsibilities  
  3. Self-assessment 
  4. Professional Development Plan  
  5. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Record  
  6. Critical reflection on impact  
  7. Final action plan  
  8. Final supporting statement submission 

Unsuccessful applicants will be given a short window in which to resubmit further information as requested. If the resubmission attempt is unsuccessful, members will need to reapply for a future cohort, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria at the time of application. 

Your supporter plays a critical role so please read ourGuidance for Supporters and contact us if you have any questions.  

You will need to have a minimum of two observations of your teaching: one within the first six weeks of the professional formation process and one towards the end of the process, no more than six weeks before the submission deadline.  

The professional formation review process is conducted by a team of specially trained reviewers and moderators. All reviewers and moderators hold QTLS status, are members of SET and are representative of the breadth of the FE and Skills sector.  

Your portfolio will be reviewed the month following the official submission date and you should be notified of your results within six weeks.  

Once you receive your results, you can access and download a digital certificate from your MY SET dashboard. Your hard copy will be posted to you at a later date.  

You can download your digital QTLS pin from theMY SET dashboard. This can be used in your email signature, LinkedIn profile and social media, whilst your membership of SET is maintained.  

All members with QTLS status, who maintain this status through their SET membership, will be issued with a Teacher Reference Number (if they do not already hold one) and will appear on both SET’s professional status register and the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers managed by the Teacher Regulation Agency.

Yes, you can. Just contact us with your name and membership number.

If you receive a ‘Criteria Not Met’ outcome, you will receive detailed feedback and be given 6 months to resubmit.  

If there are significant weaknesses identified during the review of your portfolio, you may be asked to start the programme again.

Yes. As an active SET member, your name will appear on the professional status register and your QTLS status will be considered active. 

If your membership lapses, your entry on the professional status register will be taken down. You can rejoin SET at any time; you will then be placed back onto the register.