Recognition route to QTLS

Designed by SET to support members in their professional development, the recognition route to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is available to individuals with substantial teaching experience but who do not hold a recognised teaching qualification, which is a requirement for achieving QTLS.

Please note that we will no longer be offering the Recognition Route to QTLS from December 2019, so the final opportunity to register for this route will be for those applicants who start their Recognition Route portfolios in October 2019.

SET's recognition route is a process that enables individuals to demonstrate their experience and receive recognition equivalent to an initial teacher training qualification, such as the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTTLS) or the Diploma in Education and Training (DET). Once successful in completing this process, individuals can then go on to register for QTLS.

Download the Recognition Route Checklist of Mandatory Evidence.


Your eligibility to apply for the SET recognition route will depend upon when your employment in the further education (FE) and post-16 skills sector commenced:

  • If your employment commenced after 2007, when teaching qualifications were required for all new teachers, you cannot use this route.
  • If your employment commenced before 2007 in the further education (FE) and post 16 skills sector, and you have significant teaching experience of at least five years in the UK before 2007, you are likely to be able to use this route.

To apply for the recognition route or the recognition route leading to QTLS, please click on the relevant link in the menu to the right.

Recognition route process

SET recognition status is conferred through a process that allows those who are eligible as described above, and do not have a recognised teaching qualification, to demonstrate that they have the capacity to meet the current professional and occupational standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector.

Members who successfully complete SET's recognition route will receive a certificate of recognition that acknowledges the demonstration of the applicant’s scope, knowledge and practice as the equivalent of a recognised teaching qualification.

How to apply

1. Complete your registration via the link to the right of the screen and pay your deposit of £100.
2. Ensure that your declaration of suitability is up to date when you join SET or renew your membership.
3. Complete an online workbook in My QTLS that demonstrates how you meet the requirements of the 2014 Professional Standards.
4. Provide a supporting testimony; please read our Guidance for Supporters document for more information on this.

Costs and commitments

The time taken to complete SET's recognition route process will be determined by each individual's circumstances (for example, length of experience, full-time, part-time, fractional or sessional role and in-service training). SET has therefore taken a flexible, pragmatic approach to the recognition route.

If you have Recognition Route status (you have been undertaken the Recognition Route and have been awarded) then you can register to undertake the Recognition Route to QTLS. The cost for this is £485.

If you do not have a level 5 Diploma in Education and Training or equivalent, but meet the eligibility criteria for the Recognition Route, then you can register for the combined Recognition Route and Professional Formation route leading to QTLS and complete both portfolios at the same time. The cost for this is £834.

If you prefer, you can undertake the Recognition Route on a standalone basis. The cost for this is £449.

Payment structure for Recognition Route combined with QTLS  

As of 3 April 2018, the payment method for the Recognition Route combined with QTLS registration is changing. This change has been introduced as a response to feedback from SET members who would welcome the opportunity to spread their payments using direct debit. There will be two options for making payment:

1. Pay £834 in full by credit/debit card or by one direct debit payment, or
2. Pay £100 as a deposit by credit/debit card and three further monthly payments of £245, £245 and £244 will be made by direct debit from your bank account.

Read the QTLS Terms and Conditions.

Payment structure for Professional Formation leading to QTLS

There will be two options for making payment of £485:

1. Pay £485 in full by credit/debit card or by one direct debit payment, or
2. Pay £110 as a deposit by credit/debit card and three further monthly payments of £125 will be made by direct debit from your bank account.

For those who have previously registered for QTLS, at any time prior to April 2018, the payment process of £100 deposit paid on registration and £385 paid on submission of the workbook will still be valid.

Read the QTLS Terms and Conditions.

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