QTLS - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status

QTLS is a Professional Status recognised in the Education sector, which is gained after successfully completing a six-month period of Professional Formation and maintained through membership to the Society for Education and Training (SET).

The Professional Formation programme enables you to show your progression and commitment to excellence within the Further Education and Skills sector. Once you achieve QTLS, you’ll be added to the professional register where future employers can check your status.

More than 26,000 professionals have achieved QTLS since its introduction in 2008.

The application window is currently closed.

Is it right for me?

Are you a teacher or trainer working in the Further Education and Skills sector and have you completed your initial teacher training? If the answer is yes, then QTLS could be for you. Learn more below.

You must ensure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying.

You can take a look at our handy interactive guide to help you discover if you are ready to undertake QTLS.

You can also learn more about the benefits of QTLS for employers with our interactive brochure.


What’s involved?

Prior to starting the programme, SET members are required to submit an application to confirm that they are in a suitable position to begin their Professional Formation journey. This requires you to upload certificates and a teaching timetable, get a confirmation of teaching employment and an endorsement from a ‘supporter’. This information can take a few days to gather, so we recommend that you allow five working days to complete your application and submit it by the deadline (30 November).

Unlike a qualification or course, teachers and trainers who successfully apply will then undertake a self-guided and forward-looking period of Professional Formation, before submitting their portfolio to be considered for QTLS.

This requires you to complete an online portfolio that demonstrates how you continue to develop your values, knowledge and skills after you have gained your initial teacher training qualification.

The Professional Formation process takes twelve months (one academic year). 

Application (August-December):  

  1. About you 
  2. Qualifications 
  3. Roles and responsibilities 
  4. Supporting statement (endorsement) submission

The six sections of the Professional Formation Process (January-August): 

  1. Self-Assessment 
  2. Professional Development Plan 
  3. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Record 
  4. Critical reflection on impact 
  5. Final action plan 
  6. Final supporting statement submission 
Student And Teacher In An Art Class

Am I eligible?

To undertake Professional Formation, leading to QTLS status, you must first apply to undertake the programme. To build a successful application you must evidence the following criteria:

  • be an active member of the Society for Education and Training (SET) 
  • hold an eligible FE and Training teaching qualification at Level 5 or above  
  • hold an eligible level 2 maths qualification 
  • hold an eligible level 2 English qualification  
  • hold a level 3+ subject specific qualification 
  • hold a level 3+ qualification in subjects that you teach for 5 or more hours per week 
  • hold a level 2 or above SEND qualification (related to an FE setting) if you work in a SEND/SEMH setting/department 
  • 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  
  • have identified a suitable supporter 

The eligibility criteria for the QTLS January 2024 cohort was updated and published in June 2023.

Further QTLS eligibility guidance

How much does it cost?

Initially, you will pay a £50 application fee (non-refundable). 

Then, the Professional Formation programme, leading to QTLS, is priced at £520.

You can pay this programme fee in full, or pay a deposit of £160 followed by three further monthly direct debit payments of £120. 

When can I apply?

The application window is now closed.

The next application window opens on 1 August 2024.

How do I apply?

If you are a member of SET and meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply during an application window. 

Still image form QTLS video

The QTLS processYour six steps to QTLS

The first thing you need to do is make sure you meet the criteria to undertake QTLS. Luckily we have a handy online suitability to apply tool to help you check if you are in a suitable position to apply. Whilst this does not cover all of the criteria, it will help you understand if you meet the core criteria. Once you’ve checked your suitability to apply and you are confirmed as ‘being in a suitable position you can go ahead and register to apply, when the next registration window is open.

If you aren’t already a member, you’ll need to join. Professional Formation leading to QTLS is only open to current SET members.

Once the Professional Formation application window is open you can register and pay £50 to start an application. The application will ask you to upload certificates and complete narrative about your suitability to undertake the programme. View the application timeline.

Ideally, your supporter will be someone with whom you have worked closely and who will have observed your teaching and learning practice. They must also hold a level 5+ teaching qualification.

If you successfully apply and are awarded a place on the Professional Formation programme, you’ll then be invited to set up your payment plan. Once we have received a deposit, the online Professional Formation portfolio will be made available on the start date of the programme. The last step is to complete and submit your online portfolio with your supporter's guidance, within the time frame. Your portfolio will then be considered for the Professional Status, QTLS.

Audience member at an event speakign with microphone

Further QTLS help Got questions about QTLS?

Can my employer pay for my QTLS?
If your employer has agreed to pay the fees, we can issue an invoice. When applying, select 'invoice my employer'.

Can I apply for QTLS if my membership has lapsed?
No, you must be an active member of SET to be able to undertake QTLS.

Is QTLS a qualification?
No. QTLS is a badge of professionalism you achieve after completing the Professional Formation process.



Guidance on completing your application

Resources and tools to help you to complete your application for QTLS:

Online suitability to apply tool

Use our handy online tool to find out if you are in a suitable position to apply for QTLS.

Complete the QTLS suitability to apply tool

QTLS eligibility guidance

Read the full eligibility criteria for applying for QTLS.

QTLS eligibility guidance

QTLS Stories

Learn more about the QTLS process from previous participants.

Read our members' QTLS stories


Still have questions? Browse our QTLS Help section with top tips and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).


QTLS and QTS parity

QTLS is recognised, by law, to hold parity with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

QTLS and QTS Parity


Does your organisation provide training for the Initial Teacher Qualification? Find out how we help organisations to support their student teachers.


QTLS guidance for ITE