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QTLS FAQs

QTLS FAQs

Professional Formation Frequently Asked Questions

A)  Registering and applying for QTLS

1. What is meant by QTLS?

2. What is meant by professional formation?

3. How do I register for QTLS?

4. When is the next opportunity to register for QTLS?

5. Why are there specified timescales for QTLS registration?

6. How much does it cost?

7. How long does it take?

8. What qualifications do I need to be able to undertake QTLS?

9. What counts as a Level 2 maths and English?

10. What happens if I don’t have one of these numeracy qualifications?  Is there another way I can evidence these?

11. I am currently completing my Initial Teacher Education programme.  How soon can I register for QTLS?

12. What is the relationship between QTLS and QTS and can I teach in primary and secondary schools if I have QTLS?

13. What has happened to ATLS?   Can I still apply for ATLS?

14. I have an overseas teaching qualification.  Am I still eligible to apply?

15. If I have Level 2 maths and English qualifications from a country outside the UK, are these acceptable as evidence?

16. Do I have to remain a member to keep my QTLS status?

17. What if I don’t have an initial teacher training qualification.  Can I still apply for QTLS?

18. What does the Recognition Route involve?

19. How much does the Recognition Route cost?

20. Can I complete the Recognition Route and Professional Formation leading to QTLS in the same cycle?

21. I have QTLS and am now working in a school.  My school has asked for a Teaching Agency Reference Number.  How do I go about getting this?

22How do I get my QTS number?

B)  Completing the online workbook

23. What do I have to do to complete my application?

24. Do I have to complete my application online?  Is there another format I can use?

25. How much do I have to write?

26. Are there any completed examples that I can see to help me?

27. What sort of evidence do I need to provide?

28. How is the online workbook structured?

29. What happens if I have problems using My QTLS workbook?

30. What happens when I’ve completed my workbook?

 

C)  Submitting your online workbook

31. Who should the supporter be?

32.  How is my workbook assessed?

33.  Who will assess my workbook?

34. What happens if I miss the deadline?

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

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

37. Is there a cost for re-submitting my workbook?

38.What happens if I am not awarded QTLS? What happens if I disagree with this decision?

 

 

A)  Registering and applying for QTLS

 

1. What is meant by QTLS?

QTLS is the badge of professionalism for post-16 education and training, helping practitioners advance in their careers and demonstrate their expertise and experience to colleagues, employers and learners. SET members can gain QTLS by successfully completing professional formation.

Visit the What is QTLS page.

2. What is meant by professional formation?

Professional formation is a post-qualification process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge gained in your initial teacher training qualification and applied  in your current  professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS.

Visit the Professional formation page.

3. How do I register for QTLS?

In order to register for, gain and retain QTLS, you first need to be registered as a member of the Society for Education and Training (SET).  You then need to register your interest during one of the three available periods each year and make an initial payment of £100 (non-refundable).  Once you have made this payment, you will have access to your professional formation online workbook. In registering for QTLS, you are agreeing to follow our terms and conditions for those undertaking professional formation leading to QTLS. 

Register for QTLS.

4. When is the next opportunity to register for QTLS?

There are three cycles in the year.  The three registration ‘windows’ are normally open during the following months: September - October, December – January, April - May.  

Find out when you can register an interest in Professional Formation.

5. Why are there specified timescales for QTLS registration

SET recognises the need to allow all members the opportunity to gain QTLS in their chosen timeframe.  To help us achieve this, we ask that all members who wish to begin the professional formation process let us know in advance when they require QTLS.  This enables us to prepare the right number of reviewers, moderators and other resources to offer those members the best possible support. 

6. How much does it cost?

There is a charge of £485 and this can be paid in two instalments, enabling you to spread the cost across a number of months. The first is an initial payment of £100 (non-refundable) that you pay when you register for professional formation. When you have paid this, you will be issued with the specially designed workbook in My QTLS. The second instalment is the balance of £385, which should be paid when you have completed collecting your evidence in your workbook and you are ready to share it with SET to be reviewed.

7. How long does it take?

The time you take to complete professional formation and achieve QTLS status will be determined by your circumstances, for example length of experience, whether you are in a full-time or part-time role.  SET has therefore taken a flexible approach to professional formation. Although there is no recommended timescale for undertaking professional formation, members must allow at least four to six months to prepare and submit their application, since the process has been designed to enable practitioners to reflect on their practice and demonstrate how they have developed their knowledge and skills during the process of professional formation.

8. What qualifications do I need to be able to apply for QTLS?

You need a recognised Level 5 initial teacher training qualification equivalent to the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) or Diploma in Education and Training (DET); eg PGCE, Certificate in Education, Certificate in FE Teaching Stages 1-3.  You also need evidence of Level 2 in maths and English. If you teach maths or English (numeracy, GCSE or Functional Skills) in the FE and skills sector, 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.

Download the list of approved qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

9. What counts as a Level 2 maths and English?

Download the list of approved qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

10. What happens if I don’t have one of these maths qualifications?  Is there another way I can evidence these?

If you don’t have one of the qualifications in the list, we suggest that you take a nationally recognised test and provide the certificate from that or the official test results. 

11. I am currently completing my Initial Teacher Education programme.  How soon can I apply for QTLS?

Once you have received your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) certificate, you can apply for QTLS.  If you complete your ITE programme in June, we usually recommend that you register your intention to undertake professional formation in September, submitting your online workbook either at the end of February or at the end of June, so that you have sufficient time to gather evidence of teaching and learning and have had an opportunity to put into practice what you have learned as part of your ITE programme.

12. What is the relationship between QTLS and QTS and can I teach in primary and secondary schools if I have QTLS?

Since April 2012, teachers and trainers holdng QTLS who are also members of SET have been recognised in legislation as equivalent in status to teachers with QTS in schools.  They are able to teach across all subjects and all ages on equal pay and conditions, opening up career development and wider employment opportunities. 

Find out more about QTLS and QTS.

Implications for QTLS in relation to the Government White Paper ‘Educational excellence everywhere’

On 17 March 2016 the Government released the white paper Educational Excellence Everywhere where Education Secretary Nicky Morgan set out proposals to transform England’s schools. Included in this proposal is the Government's plan to replace qualified teacher status (QTS) with a new, tougher accreditation in a bid to ‘raise the bar’. Understandably, there have been questions about the impact of this on QTLS.

Read the latest government policy updates.

13. What has happened to ATLS? Can I still apply for ATLS?

Although currently not on offer during this current transition phase, we will be reviewing the case for making this opportunity available for members in due course.

14. I have an overseas teaching qualification. Am I still eligible to apply?

If you hold an initial teacher training qualification that is recognised in the country where you are teaching, then you would be eligible to apply for QTLS following the overseas route to QTLS. If your initial teacher training qualification was gained overseas, you would normally need to provide some additional evidence as part of your workbook, which would involve mapping your teaching experience to the 2014 Professional Standards.

Find out more on SET's recognising overseas qualifications page.

15. If I have Level 2 maths and English qualifications from a country outside the UK, are these acceptable as evidence?

Not necessarily.  You will need to obtain a letter of authentication that your qualifications are equivalent to GCSE Grades A to C in English and Mathematics from UK NARIC (the National Recognition Information Centre at www.naric.org.uk ).

16. Do I have to remain a member to keep my QTLS status current?

Yes. After completing professional formation, as a SET member you can keep your QTLS current and up-to-date by remaining in good professional standing, completing effective CPD, and adhering to our Code of Practice.

As a SET member who holds QTLS, your name will be included on our Professional Register, as a way of proving to prospective employers your qualified status and ongoing commitment to professional development. Alternatively you can use your QTLS certificate and up-to-date SET membership card as evidence of your current QTLS status. SET members holding QTLS status are also eligible to teach in schools on the same terms and conditions as those holding QTS.

Former SET members can still retain their QTLS certificate; however, their details will no longer appear on the Professional Register and they will not be legally qualified to teach in schools. 

Read more about the parity between QTS and QTLS.

17. What if I don’t have an initial teacher training qualification.  Can I still apply for QTLS?

If you don’t have an initial teaching qualification, but you have at least five years’ teaching experience and your employment commenced before 2007 in the further education (FE) and post 14 skills sector in the UK, we recommend you use the Recognition Route.  If your employment commenced after 2007, when teaching qualifications were required for all new teachers, you cannot use this route.

Find out more about the Recognition Route.

18. What does the Recognition Route involve?

This Recognition Route requires you to demonstrate that your skills and experience are equivalent to an initial teacher training qualification. You will need to show your knowledge and understanding of the professional standards and to demonstrate how you are addressing each of the 2014 professional standards within your own teaching practice and experience. This is because all ITE qualifications for further education teachers make reference to the professional standards.  You would then need to complete professional formation in order to achieve full QTLS status. 

19. How much does the Recognition Route cost?

You would need to pay an initial instalment of £100 (non-refundable) and then £349 on completion of your workbook, making a total of £449.

20. Can I complete the Recognition Route and Professional Formation leading to QTLS in the same cycle?

Yes, you can. If you choose to submit two workbooks, you only need to pay one instalment of £100 (non-refundable), so the total for both would be £834 rather than £934, meaning a saving of £100. We would suggest that you begin with collecting evidence for the Recognition Route first, as being eligible to gain QTLS would depend on your successful achievement of this and it is possible that you would be able to make links to the evidence you have collected for Recognition for use in your professional formation application, thus avoiding duplication. 

21. I have QTLS and am now working in a school.  My school has asked for a Teaching Agency Reference Number.  How do I go about getting this?

You will need to ask a representative from the school where you are teaching to contact Capita Teachers' Pensions to request that a teacher reference number is allocated to you. Your employer should know how to do this via the Capita employer portal. Capita will then contact SET to confirm the date when QTLS was awarded to you, so that a reference number can be allocated.

22.  How do I get my QTS number?

If an employer requires a Teacher Reference Number (TRN) for a QTLS qualified teacher, they need to contact Teachers’ Pensions. Please note that the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) only allocates teacher reference numbers to people who commence initial teacher training or applicants who are awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

B)  Completing the online workbook

23. What do I have to do to complete my application when undertaking professional formation?

Undertaking professional formation leading to QTLS is an online process which is done through the SET website in a specially designed workbook in My QTLS, an online personal learning space for QTLS applicants.  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 supporter and SET to be reviewed.

Get more advice and information about completing your workbook.

24. Do I have to complete my application online? Is there another format I can use?

In some cases, we are able to approve submission of evidence through an alternative format to online, but that is only usually approved in cases where members are able to provide evidence of learning difficulties or disabilities or if they work in secure environments such as a prison, without access to online facilities. 

Download the Applying for professional formation form to express intent to apply for QTLS using an alternative format.

25. How much do I have to write?

Where you need add narrative in your workbooks, you will be given recommended word lengths. These range from 200 words to 1500 words in the Critical Reflection section. 

26. Are there any completed examples that I can see to help me?

No, there aren’t any exemplars.  This is because SET consider that every application will be unique to the teacher or trainer who is completing the workbook.  It may be useful to seek guidance from colleagues (or your supporter) who may have completed QTLS, who may be able to provide support.  

27. What sort of evidence do I need to provide?

Find detailed guidance on SET's Completing your workbook page to clarify the kind of evidence you would be expected to provide. Additionally, the Guide for Applicants Registering for Professional Formation September 2016 will help you start preparing the evidence that you would be required to include in your workbook.  Typical evidence will include observation reports of your teaching, with supporting documentation, such as a scheme of work, lesson plan with an evaluation and any resources used during the session.

28. How is the online workbook structured?

There are seven sections to include in your online workbook when completing professional formation.  Section 1: ‘About you’ where you upload copies of your qualifications,  where you describe your route into teaching or training and the context in which you teach; Section 2: ‘Your career to date and current role’; Section 3: ‘Self- Assessment’; Section 4: Professional development plan; Section 5: CPD Record; Section 6: Critical Reflection and Section 7:  Final Action Plan. 

Guidance to completing your workbook.

29. What happens if I have problems using the Reflect workbook?

If you are having problems using your online workbook, contact Membership Enquiries for help. Get more help and technical guidance on SET's Guide for Applicants page.

30. What happens when I’ve completed my workbook?

When you’ve completed your online workbook with all your evidence collated in My QTLS, you need to share it with your supporter.  Your supporter will need to write a short statement endorsing your application and verifying the evidence you have provided of you as a professional teacher.  You will not be able to share your application with the SET until the supporter’s statement has been completed and you have shared it with SET and then your application will  be reviewed so you should ensure that you nominate a supporter early in your application.  There is some helpful information for supporters here.

31. Who should the supporter be?

Your supporter should be a work colleague or line manager, who holds a teaching qualification. Ideally your supporter will be someone with whom you have worked closely and who will have observed your teaching and learning practice in order to comment on this element in your application. They should not be a member of your family or a friend. For more information about please read our Guidance for Supporters page.

 

C)  Submitting your online workbook

32.  How is my workbook assessed?

Rather than being assessed against a set of assessment objectives, your workbook will be reviewed against the criteria of sufficiency, authenticity and relevance.

Find out more information in our Register for QTLS section.

33.  Who will assess my workbook?

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

34. What happens if I miss the deadline?

If you miss the deadline, we can transfer your application and your initial payment to the next cycle. You will need to let us know if you wish to defer your application to the next cycle. Please be aware that if you defer your application more than once, you will need to start a new workbook, and incur an administration fee of £50.

35. 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 within eight weeks of the official submission date.

36. 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.

37. Is there a cost for re-submitting my workbook?

Currently there is no cost for re-submitting your workbook with additional evidence after receiving feedback from your reviewer.

38. What happens if I am not awarded QTLS? What happens if I disagree with this decision?

We provide guidance to candidates on how to add additional evidence to their workbook if this has not met the relevant criteria in the first place. If you are not able to re-submit your workbook with this additional evidence, or your application more fundamentally fails to meet the criteria, we unfortunately will not be able to award QTLS status.

If you disagree with our final decision not to award you QTLS status (or Recognition Route), please refer to our terms and conditions for information on how the appeals process works.

This will be initially considered by our Registrar, Head of QTLS and Director of Membership. If necessary, we will convene an appeals panel involving at least two experienced members of the Society for Education and Training in order to scrutinise the processes we have followed and decisions made, to make sure these have been fair and transparent.