Eligibility explained

The Society for Education and Training (SET) is committed to driving professionalism and improving teaching and learning in the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector.  The eligibility criteria have been designed in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) and the FE and Skills sector and is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains fit for purpose and meets the needs of the sector. 

To assist your understanding of the eligibility criteria, and to see if you are suitable to apply, please use our eligibility checklist, before you start your application. 

Please note that we can only confirm your eligibility once we have reviewed your completed application. Please ensure you have read and understood the criteria before applying.   


Qualification certificates 

You will be required to evidence all qualifications achieved by submitting relevant certificates. Certificates must be dated before the application portfolio submission deadline: 31 October 2024. 

If your qualification was awarded outside the UK, the UK ENIC statement of comparability is required, in addition to the qualification certificate, transcript and certified translation. 


Last updated May 2024  

The criteria on this page is applicable to the August-October 2024 application window only.  

Eligibility criteria

To be in a suitable position to apply, you need to:

Be a current member of the Society for Education and Training (SET)  

  • Your membership grade must be MSET (Member) or FSET (Fellow).
  • If you are not yet a member, you will need to join. 
  • Professional formation leading to QTLS is only open to individuals with SET membership.  


Be employed in a salaried capacity in a FE and Skills setting teaching groups of post-14 learners  

Eligible setting examples: 

  • General further education colleges 
  • Independent training providers 
  • Adult education providers 
  • Offender learning 
  • Sixth form colleges 
  • MoD/Armed Services training providers 
  • NHS training providers 

Settings and roles not eligible: 

  • Primary schools – you should undertake QTS, as this is specifically designed for teachers in schools 
  • Secondary schools – you should undertake QTS, as this is specifically designed for teachers in schools 
  • Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) 
  • Voluntary teaching placements 
  • Higher Education Institutes  
  • Teaching assistant roles 
  • Cover supervisor roles 
  • Private tutoring 

Exceptional circumstances: 

  • Secondary school settings where you teach post-14 learners, delivering one or more accepted technical or vocational subjects for a minimum of 230 hours across the 6-month professional formation period. 
  • Sixth form centres within a school where you teach post-16 learners, delivering one or more accepted technical or vocational subjects and/or maths and/or English for a minimum of 230 hours across the 6-month professional formation period.  


Be teaching/training groups of five or more post-14 learners for a minimum of 230 hours over 6 months  

  • You must be in regular teaching practice for the duration of the professional formation period.  
  • You need to be in the role of main classroom teacher/trainer with all the responsibilities of planning, delivery, assessment and classroom management.  
  • Voluntary teaching hours and tutorial sessions, including group tutorial sessions, cannot be accepted as part of the 230 teaching hours.  


Have identified a suitable qualified supporter  

Your supporter should be appropriately qualified to pass judgements on the evidence you collate, for example, a line manager or head of department. Your supporter should be a qualified and experienced teacher. Ideally, your supporter should be a member of SET, but this may not be possible in all cases.  Find out more about who can be your supporter. 


Hold an accepted FE and Skills teaching qualification at Level 5 or above  

  • View the list of accepted ITE qualifications
  • If you have not received your official teacher training certificate before the application submission deadline, we will accept your transcript/Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) report on the basis that you can provide the official certificate. We will review your application and will invite you to supply the certificate (and any other incomplete or missing evidence as part of the resubmission window). The resubmission deadline is 5pm, 2 January 2025. 
  • The official teacher training certificate must be dated before 01 January 2025.  
  • All other certificates must be dated before 31 October 2024.  


Hold an accepted Level 2 maths qualification  


Hold an eligible Level 2 English qualification  


Hold a Level 3+ qualification in subjects that you teach for five or more hours per week  

  • If you teach all your subjects for fewer than five hours per week, at least one Level 3 or above subject-specific qualification is required. This must be in one of the subjects you are teaching.  
  • If you are teaching in a technical/vocational setting, we may accept a Level 2 qualification if you have significant vocational experience in industry (five or more years) prior to teaching, evidenced via a current CV.   
  • If you deliver teacher training programmes for five or more hours per week, in addition to a subject specific qualification, you must also demonstrate that you have a minimum of five years' teaching experience within FE and Skills, evidenced via a current CV.   
  • If you teach in a SEND setting within FE and Skills, you must evidence a minimum of a Level 3 or above subject specific qualification in any subject. A regulated level 3+ SEND qualification may be acceptable. During professional formation, you will be required to develop Professional Standard 11 (PS11) as part of your professional development plan and CPD activities. 


Learn more about the QTLS process from previous participants.



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

QTLS help


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
close up image of someone using a computer keyboard

View the QTLS Terms and Conditions

View the full professional formation leading to QTLS T&Cs

Terms and Conditions January 2025

The QTLS process

Your five steps to QTLS : 

1. Check your suitability to apply for QTLS
  • Make sure you meet the criteria to undertake QTLS.  
  • Once you’ve checked your suitability, you can apply when the next application window is open.  
2. Join SET
  • If you aren’t already a member, you’ll need to join before you can start the application process.  
  • Your membership grade must be MSET (Member) or FSET (Fellow).
  • Professional formation leading to QTLS is only open to individuals who have a SET membership.  
3. Application and payment
  • Once the application window is open, the first stage, Stage 1, is to pay the £50 non-refundable application fee. 
  • This will give you access to Stage 2, the application portfolio.  You will need to upload certificates and provide information about your suitability to undertake the professional formation programme. Please allow up to five days to complete this part of the application.   
  • If you are awarded a place on the professional formation programme, you’ll need to set up your payment plan.  
  • View the application timeline.
4. Nominate a supporter
5. Complete your online portfolio
  • The professional formation portfolio will be made available to all successful applicants on Monday 20 January 2025
  • The portfolio needs to be completed and submitted for review by 5:00pm on Monday 30 June 2025.  

Further QTLS help

Got questions about QTLS? View our help page.