Updates to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) Status application process announced

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status is a recognised professional status, gained after successfully completing a six-month period of Professional Formation and maintained through membership of the Society for Education and Training (SET). After considering feedback from our members, changes to the QTLS process are being implemented from August 2023, affecting all applicants.  


New application process 

A new application process is being introduced for the next QTLS intake, which will run until the 30 November 2023. Under the new process, a QTLS application will cost a SET member £50 (non-refundable). Successful applicants will then pay an additional £475 programme fee to undertake Professional Formation.

Initial applications will be completed in a SkillsLogic portfolio – the same platform used for the Professional Formation programme stage of the QTLS process – giving applicants the opportunity to demonstrate their suitability to undertake Professional Formation, which leads to QTLS. All applicants will be given feedback on their submitted application, and unsuccessful applicants will be given a short window in which to resubmit their application for consideration, having addressed the feedback provided.  


Updated eligibility criteria 

As part of the changes to the QTLS process, the eligibility criteria have also been updated, to ensure they best reflect and support the sector. The updated criteria include the following: 

  • hold a teaching qualification at Level 5 or above from our approved list, certificated before the application portfolio issue date 
  • hold a Level 2 (minimum) Maths and English qualification from our approved list – you will need a Level 3 if you teach discrete maths or English 
  • be teaching/training groups of five or more post-14 learners in a Further Education and Training setting for a minimum of ten hours a week, throughout the Professional Formation programme 
  • hold at least one level 3+ subject qualification 
  • hold a level 3+ qualification in subjects that you teach for five or more hours per week 
  • hold all the relevant certificates in advance of starting your application 
  • hold a level 2 or above SEND qualification (related to an FE setting) if you work in a SEND/SEMH setting/department 

More detail on how these criteria apply to different settings and contexts can be found on the QTLS eligibility page. 


One cohort per year 

There will now only be one Professional Formation cohort per year, starting in January each year, and this will only be open to SET members who successfully applied by 30 November. The Professional Formation programme itself will remain largely unchanged, with participants required to log 230 hours of group teaching and be observed on two occasions. 

Once a SET member has completed and successfully submitted their Professional Formation portfolio, they can be considered for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) Status. The award of QTLS status will happen in August each year. Those who are initially unsuccessful at this stage will have an opportunity to resubmit their Professional Formation portfolio to be considered for award.  


The value of QTLS 

More than 26,000 professionals have achieved QTLS since its introduction in 2008. The Professional Formation programme enables professionals to demonstrate their progression and show their commitment to excellence within Further Education and Training sector. Once QTLS is achieved, awardees are added to a professional register where future employers can check their status.  

QTLS alumni have shared their positive experiences of achieving the status and how it has improved their practice. Ellie Gills, QTLS awardee, said: “Achieving QTLS has allowed my confidence in my practice to grow. I feel more inspired to try new activities with my learners, and I believe that my students are more engaged in lessons and are feeling more inspired.” 

To find out more about QTLS and the application process, visit the QTLS webpage on the SET website.