QTLS and ATS support policy

1. Introduction 

1.1 The Society for Education and Training (SET), which is part of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is committed to supporting our members undertaking the professional formation programme leading to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) to reach full potential on programme. 

1.2 The purpose of this document is to ensure that all participants in the professional formation process leading to QTLS and the developmental process leading to ATS have fair and consistent support and access to their programmes. 


2. Scope and audience

2.1 This policy applies to all members who are undertaking the Professional Formation process leading to QTLS and the developmental process leading to the ATS professional status, from registration stage to award stage. 

2.2 While the main source of support will be the QTLS supporter and the ATS mentor, this document outlines the support available from ETF staff during the programmes. Participants who wish to apply for reasonable adjustments must refer to the Reasonable Adjustments policy.

2.3 As Professional Formation leading to QTLS and the developmental process leading to ATS are programmes leading to a professional status, formative assessment or tutorial support are not provided. 


3 Responsibilities

3.1 Participants

  • 3.1.1 In order to support participants who intend to undertake Professional Formation leading to QTLS and the developmental process leading to ATS, you should communicate any requirement for additional support not described in section 6 of this document, including requests for reasonable adjustments, to ETF staff at least one month before your programme is due to start. Please refer to the Reasonable Adjustments policy.

3.2 Professional Status team

  • 3.2.1 ETF staff will endeavour to apply the support described in section 6 of this document in a timely, fair and consistent manner within each cohort and across cohorts. 


4 Definitions (glossary)

Member  Qualified teacher, trainer or leader in the education sector who is registered with SET, pays a membership fee, and is eligible to access the benefits attached to their membership. 
Applicant Member of SET who has registered to undertake Professional Formation leading to QTLS or the developmental process leading to ATS. 
Participant  SET member undertaking Professional Formation leading to QTLS or the developmental process leading to ATS. 
Awardee SET member who has been awarded QTLS or ATS following successful completion of the developmental processes. 
Professional Formation application window  Refers to the period between 12 August and 31 October 2024 when applications for the programme are open.    
Application  Refers to the portfolio issued to members during stage 1 of Professional Formation and to the documents required to ascertain eligibility for the developmental process leading to ATS. 
Professional Formation Unlike a course or qualification, Professional Formation is a 6-month developmental process when participants work on their portfolios (leading to QTLS status). 
ATS (Advanced Teacher Status)  Unlike a course or qualification, ATS is a 14-month developmental process working on CPD activity at the level of an advanced teacher (leading to ATS).  
In-programme support Help offered to participants where support had previously been requested and approved, from the date their portfolio is issued to the date when they are awarded or withdrawn, including the resubmission process for those who do not initially meet the criteria. This includes support required during the Professional Formation application window. 
Review and moderation process  Procedures to review the portfolios and reach a “criteria met” or “criteria not met” outcome. The review and moderation process starts after the submission deadline and runs over one month. 
Support communications  Emails instigated by the participant to request advice and clarification, seek help or ask questions to the professional status team regarding their portfolio. 

5 Data protection

5.1 The Education and Training Foundation takes its responsibilities when processing your personal data extremely seriously. Our Privacy Notice and Cookie Policy explains how we collect, manage and protect your personal data. 


6 Procedures

6.1 In-programme support: 

  • 6.1.1 The main source of academic support will be provided by the supporter in the Professional Formation process leading to QTLS status, and the mentor in the developmental process leading to ATS.  
  • 6.1.2 It is the responsibility of the participant undertaking the Professional Formation process leading to QTLS status to appoint a supporter who is appropriately qualified and meets the requirements in the Guidance for Supporters document.  
  • 6.1.3 Participants undertaking the developmental process leading to ATS can request that SET appoints a mentor if they are not able to identify anyone to take this role. This is subject to availability. 
  • 6.1.4 In addition, the following support is available to participants taking part in the professional status processes: 
    • Guidance notes under each section of the portfolios 
    • A series of webinars addressing portfolio requirements at key stages of the programmes 
    • A series of regular email communications with information about the programmes at the point of need 
    • Response to general queries will be provided via the membership enquiries team (membership@etfoundation.co.uk
    • A Help button built into the professional formation (QTLS) and developmental process (ATS) portfolios for queries related to portfolio content clarification.  
  • 6.1.5 In order to operate a policy of fairness and consistency and ensure that all participants have equal access to the support available, we are not able to provide specific feedback on any element of your portfolio as this will be provided by the reviewing and moderation team after you have submitted your portfolio for review.  
  • 6.1.6 Participants are expected to demonstrate a high level of autonomy and exercise their professional judgement regarding the content and evidence they provide, consulting the support communications guidance documents available in the portfolio. 
  • 6.1.7 With the exception of cases where special arrangements have been agreed on an individual basis (see Reasonable Adjustments policy), requests for support will be managed to ensure all participants have equitable access to support. 

6.2 Support during the review and moderation process:

  • 6.2.1 Participants whose portfolio review returns a “Criteria not met” outcome are entitled to the following support: 
    • Detailed written feedback 
    • One re-submission opportunity free of charge 
  • 6.2.2 In order to operate a policy based on equity, fairness and consistency within and across cohorts, further requests for support will only be granted by prior arrangement with participants who had applied for reasonable adjustments before the start of their programme. 
  • 6.2.3 Evidence re-submitted after the deadline or evidence that does not meet the required criteria upon resubmission will result in a re-start of the process with a new portfolio with the next available cohort. The re-start process will incur an administration fee (see Terms and Conditions for the QTLS and ATS programmes).

6.3 Accessibility tools

  • 6.3.1 As the professional status programmes take place in the participants’ organisations, participants requiring additional support will access the arrangements organised by the workplaces as part of their day-to-day work.  

  • 6.3.2 A range of accessibility tools is available to participants who require vision, hearing or neurodiversity support within the Knowledge Base in the e-portfolios. This is in addition to the support available at their workplaces. Learning and literacy accessibility tools are available on the same link.  


7 Reasonable adjustments

7.1 Please refer to the Reasonable Adjustments policy.


8 Financial support

8.1 Both Professional Formation leading to QTLS and the development process leading to ATS are professional status programmes aiming at the development of skills, values and attributes of fully qualified teachers in the Further Education and Skills sector. These developmental processes are not defined as courses or qualifications.  

Participants in these programmes are fully qualified professionals who do not fall into the student category. Therefore, student financial support is not available for participants in any of the professional status programmes. 


9 Objections

9.1 If, following initial discussion with a member of staff at ETF regarding the support received (as described in section 6), participants wish to object against the sufficiency of the support received, they can do so by emailing: membership@etfoundation.co.uk to request an objection form. This form must be completed within 10 working days of receiving the initial requested support outcome. ETF will then respond in writing within 10 working days. See the  SET Objections Policy. 



Appendix 1: Professional Formation T&Cs 2024

Appendix 2:  ATS T&Cs 2024