Apply for ATS

Find out how to apply for Advanced Teacher Status (ATS).

The application window to apply for ATS is now open (from 1 April to 31 August 2020), to begin in October 2020.

Register now for ATS

If you are interested in applying for ATS, these are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Join as a member of SET - if you are not one already.
  2. Check you meet the eligibility criteria
  3. Download and complete an ATS Application Form if you are a QTLS holder.
  4. Download and complete an ATS Application Form if you are a non QTLS holder
  5. Complete one or two Supporting Testimonies forms.
  6. Provide a CV outlining evidence of subject knowledge, qualifications and previous employment.
  7. Submit all of the above to

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, so it is advisable to apply early. 

Read the ATS terms and conditions

What to expect after you apply 

Once the application window has closed, applications will be reviewed during September. Notification of the outcome will be sent to applicants by the end of September. The e-portfolio will be issued on 1 October and an introductory webinar will take place towards by the end of October. The process lasts 12 months, so completion will be the end of September. 

Fees for ATS

The cost of undertaking 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.

ATS portfolio requirements 

Significant professional development activity will be core to the process, which is underpinned by the 20 Professional Standards - a framework developed by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) for teachers and trainers to critically appraise their own practice and improve their teaching through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Sections of the online portfolio will include the following:

  • Introduction: Your role and responsibilities, motivation for undertaking ATS and evidence you meet the entry criteria. 
  • Professional development plan: A self-assessment to identify professional standard focus, rationale and anticipated impact of the professional development.
  • Improvement project or case study: Documenting professional development activity undertaken during the process relevant to the mandatory Professional Standards, and other specialist standards relevant to your area of focus.
  • Case studies, reports and research: The positive impact of the process on others in your organisation, and your organisation's quality improvement strategy, supported by evidence of your mastery in teaching or training.
  • Final action plan: Demonstrating how you will continue to develop your practice on achievement of ATS. 

ATS deadlines for each stage

Please refer to the below timetable for further information.


Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4


Application registration

Workbooks issued

Deadline for submitted completed workbook

Workbooks reviewed

Results released

Deadline for resubmission (if applicable)


1 April 2020 – 31 August 2020


Monday 5 October 2020


5pm, 30 September 2021


October 2021




5pm, 31 March 2022

Completing ATS

1. Review of your portfolio

After you have submitted your completed portfolio to SET, it will be reviewed by a member of SET’s highly experienced team of reviewers.

A team of moderators will ensure consistency in the judgements made by reviewers, as well as in the
quality of the ATS portfolios. Your portfolio will be reviewed against three broad criteria:

  • Authenticity: does the evidence appear to be authentic?
  • Sufficiency: is the evidence sufficient to award ATS.
  • Reliability: is the evidence included relevant to the applicant
    and their role?

Written feedback will be provided by SET reviewers. If the evidence in your portfolio demonstrates you have met the ATS criteria, your reviewer will recommend that you should be awarded with ATS, subject to a viva interview, and this will be confirmed to you by email. Otherwise you will be asked to make modifications to your portfolio.

2. Viva interview

If your portfolio has been recommended for the award of ATS, you will be invited to a viva interview, held in London.

The viva will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your year’s development with the ATS lead moderator and a Head of one of the ETF’s programmes. This interview can alternatively take place via Skype. Participants must pass the viva interview in order to be awarded with ATS.

3. Results

If your viva interview is successful, you will be notified that you have achieved ATS. Your certificate will be mailed out to you. 

Support for participants during the process

Participants will be supported throughout the process by a mentor. Ideally, the mentor should be a more experienced colleague working in their organisation or professional network. Alternatively, you can request a mentor from SET. It remains your responsibility to nominate a mentor before starting your portfolio. 

The role of the mentor will include:

  • supporting you in scoping your professional development plan
  • providing support with action planning
  • providing support during the process through professional discussion
  • writing a supporting statement once you have completed their portfolio. 

Mentors are encouraged to undertake SET’s online mentoring programme.

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