Teacher Reference Number (TRN) FAQs

Yes, once allocated a TRN, you keep your number indefinitely. To maintain your QTLS status you need to be an active SET member, you will be listed on SET’s Professional Status Register and the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers, managed by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). If your SET membership lapses or is resigned, your entry on SET’s Professional Status Register will be removed. Your record on the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers remains but will reflect that you are not a qualified teacher. 

Active SET members who have achieved Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status and who have been allocated a TRN will be recognised as qualified teachers in England. This recognition does not extend to other parts of the UK. 

No, it is not; in order to receive a TRN, you must be added to the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers. It includes every person with a TRN, and indicates whether they are, or are not, a qualified teacher.  

Please note, if you do opt out, employers using DfE services will not be able to confirm you are a qualified teacher due to being an active SET member with QTLS. 

If you do not want to appear on DfE records, you will need to notify SET by emailing dataprotection@etfoundation.co.uk. We will then ensure your data is not shared with the TRA and you will not be allocated a TRN.  

Having a TRN is not in itself evidence of being a qualified teacher nor does its configuration indicate whether someone is, or is not, a qualified teacher. A teacher only ever has one TRN, and that number is retained indefinitely. If you already have a TRN, you should not therefore be allocated a new one. You can find out more about TRNs at on the government's TRN webpage. 

Yes, in order to maintain your QTLS status and appear on SET’s Professional Status Register you must be an active SET member. If your membership lapses, you will no longer appear on SET’s Professional Status Register and your record in the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers will reflect that you are not a qualified teacher. You will however retain your TRN. 

Yes, if you achieve QTLS in the future, and you maintain an active SET membership, and you consent to data sharing with the DfE, then your record on the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers will reflect that you are a qualified teacher. The DfE make this information available to relevant stakeholders through their digital services. 

We are aiming to notify members by email that their TRN has been allocated at the start of the new academic year, i.e. September 2024. Your TRN will also appear in your MySET online dashboard.  

TRNs will begin to be allocated for active SET members with QTLS from September 2024. 

If you have QTLS and your SET membership lapses prior to the data share, your data will not be added to the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers, and a TRN will not be issued. 

If you have QTLS and your SET membership lapses after a TRN has been allocated, your record on SET’s Professional Status Register will be deleted. Your TRN and your record on the DfE’s central record of qualified teachers remains but will reflect that you are not a qualified teacher due to your SET membership having lapsed.  

If you have QTLS and reactivate your SET membership from September, your record on SET’s Professional Status Register will be reinstated and if you have not had a TRN issued, with your consent, your details will be shared with the DfE to enable a TRN to be allocated. This will appear in your MySET online dashboard. Please allow up to five working days. The DfE’s central record of qualified teachers will reflect that you are a qualified teacher as long as SET membership is maintained. 

If you reactivate your SET membership at any time after a TRN has been allocated due to having QTLS, then your DfE record will update to reflect that you are a qualified teacher. 

With the SET member’s permission, the following data will be shared with the DfE, this will facilitate the issue of a TRN for individuals, who have achieved QTLS, and are maintaining this professional status through SET membership.   

  • Name (first name and last name) 
  • Email address 
  • Date of birth 
  • Current date you have held both QTLS and consistent active SET membership from 

Your email address, date of birth and the date QTLS status was awarded will not be shared on SET’s Professional Status Register.  

The DfE’s central record of qualified teachers will not share your email address, but will share your name, date of birth and the date QTLS was awarded and consistent active SET membership from, where they use that date to determine you are a qualified teacher. All data will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and in compliance with SET’s Privacy Policy, the DfE’s privacy policy, and General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).