Read our frequently asked questions about Advanced Teacher Status.

What is ATS?

1. What is meant by Advanced Teacher Status?

ATS is an advanced status for experienced teachers and trainers. It is a developmental opportunity that will enable practitioners to develop their pedagogical skills and subject knowledge and demonstrate their effectiveness in working collaboratively with their peers to improve the quality of teaching within their organisation or network. Visit the What is ATS? page. 

2. What is the difference between QTLS and ATS?

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. Please note, if you have not previously been Awarded QTLS or QTS you can now apply for ATS. Please read the eligibilty guidelines to find out more

3. What level is ATS?

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.

4. What evidence on application is acceptable to demonstrate high level teaching skills and learner outcomes?

Evidence could include a recent observation report of your teaching and records of learner achievement that demonstrates improvement over two or more years, or a witness testimony completed in the last six months. These should have been completed by an advanced practitioner, line manager or quality manager.

5. Is ATS replacing QTLS?

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 an update to the eligibility criteria in 2020, if you have not previously been awarded QTLS or QTS and you have held your ITE qualification a minimum of five years, you can now apply for ATS.

6. How is ATS an alternative route to SET Fellowship?

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 Master’s qualification may not be a desirable or appropriate option. ATS has parity with Chartered Teacher Status.

7. How does ATS relate to Chartered Teacher Status?

In November 2018 it was annouced that those who achieve Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) will be conferred with the Chartered College of Teaching’s Chartered Teacher designation.

Applying for ATS

8. What will an ATS participant need to demonstrate if their workbook is to be successful?

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

9. How do I apply for ATS?

Firstly, check your eligibility on the ATS eligibility page. Secondly, register your interest in the next cohort of ATS, in order to receive a brochure. Thirdly, visit the application page and follow the steps outlined. Any queries should be sent to  

10. When will I find out if I've been successful?

Applicants will be informed of the outcome within one month of the application window closing.

11. How will SET decide who will be accepted?

SET will review all applications and will allocate places taking into account the eligibility of practitioners to participate with reference to the eligibility criteria, the date on which individuals applied (allocation on a first-come, first-served basis).

12. What happens if I have been unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful, we will notify you by email. If you meet the eligibility criteria, but we have insufficient places, then we will notify you and add your name to our waiting list for next cohort.

13. When will the next cohort start?

Find the dates of the next cohort on the registration of interest page. If you wish to apply you will then need to visit the application page and follow the steps outlined.

14. How much does it cost?

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.

All of the information and documentation needed to start ATS is contained in your workbook. In order to access your workbook, we must have received the initial payment of £150 or payment in full (visit the Apply for ATS page for more information about ATS fees).

15. How long will I have to complete my workbook?

ATS is a one-year professional development process. Participants will submit their workbook 12 months from when they begin ATS.

16. I teach in blocks rather than a regular number of hours a week. Can I still apply?

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

17. I am a teacher educator/I mostly deliver staff training. Am I eligible to apply?


18. I am a manager and in my role I deliver a mix of teaching learners and staff development that includes one to one mentoring. What counts as teaching/training in terms of the hours teaching required?

You can meet the teaching hours requirement through direct teaching or training by delivering planned courses to groups of five trainees or more (trainees could be trainee teachers or learners on BTEC programmes, for example), 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 that have been planned by the candidate in order to develop specific aspects of trainees’/mentees’ knowledge and skills. Note that we would require at least 50 per cent of the annualised hours to be evidenced by direct teaching or training.

19. I trained to teach in FE, but I am currently teaching in a school. Can I apply?

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.

20. I am the director of my company, so I don't have a line manager. Is this a problem when completing my ATS application?

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

21. How many hours a week would I need to allow to work on my workbook?

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 per cent of the annualised hours should be evidenced by direct teaching or training.

22. I am a self-employed freelance specialist teacher and lecturer. Do I need to be employed to undertake ATS? 

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.

23. I am teaching in HE. Am I eligible to apply?

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

24. I am already a SET Fellow. Can I undertake ATS? And why should I?

Having ATS entitles you become a SET Fellow. If you are already a SET Fellow through meeting our criteria in a different way, then you are also eligible to undertake ATS in order to gain a nationally-recognised status to reflect your advanced practitioner skills and knowledge. 

25. Do I need to have experience of mentoring colleagues before I apply?

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.

26. I don’t have a mentoring qualification. Does that matter?

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.

27. Will I be required to attend any CPD events, meetings or conferences as part of the ATS process? 

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.

Completing your workbook

28. What do I have to do to achieve ATS?

You will need to complete a workbook. Once you have been issued your workbook, you then collect and collate your evidence and then when it has been completed, you share it with your mentor and then SET to be reviewed.

29. What sort of evidence will I need to provide in the workbook?

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. Participants will need to be able to demonstrate that they have developed deep expertise in both the theory and practice of teaching during the process and this will be explored in the viva interview. 

30. What counts as CPD?

CPD does not necessarily need to involve attending courses or one day events. Some suggestions for types of CPD activity can be found on the SET website.

31. Are there set deadlines during the process?

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.

32. Who should my mentor be?

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, SET may be able to help arrange this.

33. How much time will my mentor need to support me during the process?

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.

34. When can expect to hear whether I have passed or not?

Your workbook 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 workbook.

35. What happens if I’m not successful? Can I re-submit my workbook?

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

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