QTLS eligibility

Eligibility for undertaking professional formation leading to QTLS 

To register for QTLS from 1 February 2019 you can now register your interest (without making payment) for QTLS at any time in order to start your workbook in early October:

  • There will be two cohorts a year, one commencing 1 October 2019 and one commencing in early January 2020. This means that all QTLS registrants will be invited to make payment a month before the start date and all online workbooks will be made available on the cohort start date.
  • Payment by direct debit instalments will still be available and the full price of £485 will remain unchanged.

1. A recognised teaching qualification at Level 5 or above

To apply for QTLS, you need an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification with a credit value of 120 at Level 5 or above, for example, equivalent to the Diploma in Education and Training (DET) or Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).

The opportunity to undertake professional formation is principally aimed at teachers or trainers with a DET or PGCE (FE) who are teaching learners aged 14+ in further education and training settings.

However, practitioners with the equivalent qualifications working in a range of other settings are also eligible to apply. Potential applicants who hold qualifications other than a DET or a PGCE should check the equivalence of their teaching qualification prior to registering by contacting professional.formation@etfoundation.co.uk.

Teachers working in schools

If you hold a Further Education ITE qualification and are currently working in either a primary or secondary school, you are eligible to apply for professional formation leading to QTLS. However, you will be required to demonstrate in your application that you are continuing to teach learners aged 14+ years (Years 10, 11 and above), thereby developing skills and knowledge relevant to the further education and skills sector. For example, you could provide the required evidence if your role involves teaching parents or carers engaged in family learning programmes.

Teachers with a PGCE and QTS

If you have trained as a teacher to work in schools and have a PGCE with QTS and you are currently working in the FE and skills sector, you are also eligible to apply. 

If you have trained as a teacher to work in secondary schools and are currently teaching learners aged 14+ and you would like to gain QTLS to work in the FE sector, you can also apply. 

If you have trained as a teacher to work in primary schools, whilst you are eligible to apply, you will be required to demonstrate in your application how you are continuing to teach learners aged 14+ years, thereby developing skills and knowledge relevant to the further education and skills sector.

Teachers with overseas qualifications

If you have an initial teacher education qualification from a country other than England, Wales or Northern Ireland and you are currently employed as a teacher in England, you may be eligible to apply. To check that your overseas qualification can be accepted, please e-mail the professional formation team (professional.formation@etfoundation.co.uk) with a scanned copy of your qualification and UK NARIC statement. The NARIC statement must confirm that your teaching qualification is equivalent to Level 5 and entitles you to teach in your country. Please ensure that you have checked your eligibility with SET before you register for professional formation. Please note, we do not accept the PGCE (i) to register for QTLS.

You will also need to provide some additional evidence as part of your workbook in the self-assessment section. When completing the professional standards self-assessment tool, in addition to including reflective comments for each of the 20 Professional Standards, you will need to provide specific examples of how you meet each of the standards in your current teaching role.

Teachers with significant teaching experience in the FE and skills sector who do not hold an initial teacher education qualification

SET also offers a recognition route to QTLS for teachers who have been teaching in the FE and skills sector in the UK prior to 1 September 2007, but who do not hold a recognised teaching qualification.

Recently qualified teachers

If you are a recently qualified teacher, you must have received your initial teacher education certificate before registering for professional formation. The earliest you can submit your completed workbook to SET is six months following achievement of your ITE qualification. This is because the professional formation process has been designed to enable teachers to demonstrate how they are continuing to develop their practice in their new role following completion of their ITE programmes. Please note, therefore, that we cannot accept any supporting evidence for professional formation from your initial teacher education programme.

2. Level 2 maths and English qualifications

If you are applying for QTLS, you are also required to have maths and English qualifications at (or above) Level 2. View a list of approved qualifications currently acceptable for maths and English at Level 2 and 3.

If your maths and English qualifications were gained overseas, you will need to obtain a letter from UK NARIC that confirms that your qualifications are equivalent to Level 2 (GCSE grades A*–C).

Note: If you hold a schools PGCE qualification or other schools-focused initial teacher education qualification, but have not achieved QTS and you are currently working in a primary or secondary school, in order to register for QTLS, you will be required to demonstrate that you have passed the Professional Skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy.

3. Teachers of maths and English

If you are applying for QTLS and you teach maths or English (numeracy, GCSE, Functional Skills or ESOL) in either the FE and skills sector or in schools, you will also need to hold maths and English qualifications at a minimum of level 3, such as ‘A’ Level Maths or English or Level 3 Award in Mathematics for Numeracy teaching or Level 3 Award in English for Literacy and Language teaching. Please note that if you include observation reports in your portfolio of maths and/or English teaching, then you will need to provide evidence of holding a Level 3 qualification. View a list of approved qualifications currently acceptable for maths and English at Level 2 and 3.

4. Evidence of current practice

You will also be required to provide evidence in your application drawn from current practice from the date of registering for professional formation. No evidence will be acceptable prior to the date of registration, as the professional formation process has been designed as a forward looking CPD opportunity that will take a minimum of four to six months to complete.

If you are recently qualified, you will need to be able to provide evidence of practice generated post qualification, in order to demonstrate how you are continuing to develop the skills and knowledge gained during your ITE programme. If you are not currently employed in a full or part time teaching role, you may want to consider undertaking some teaching in a voluntary capacity, in order to be able to generate the evidence that will be required in your application.

You will need to be teaching for at least two hours a week during the professional formation period, so that you can demonstrate in your portfolio developments in your teaching skills and subject specialist knowledge. If you are teaching in a one-to-one setting, it is possible to use evidence from this practice for professional formation; however, you must be able to produce evidence in your portfolio of at least one observation from a group teaching context (five or more learners). 

5. A supporter

You will be required to identify a ‘Supporter’ or critical friend when you begin completing your workbook, who will be able to support you throughout the process of professional formation. He or she will be a qualified teacher and will need to be able to comment on your practice during the process and complete a statement when you have completed your online workbook. 

6. Membership of SET

If you are applying for professional formation leading to QTLS, your SET membership should be up to date and you must complete and return to us a Declaration of Suitability form.

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