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Education and Training

What Is QTLS and How To Get One


Lead Academy

6 Mins Read

As you intend to progress your career as a teacher, you need to achieve certain teaching qualifications and undertake training courses. If you are thinking of increasing your flexibility to teach at all levels or aspire to teach in a further education setting, you need to achieve QTLS.

This blog elaborately describes what is QTLS and the route to get QTLS. Let’s jump into the details.

What is QTLS?

The term QTLS stands for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status. This is a teacher training course which, upon completion, gives the eligibility to teach at the sixth-form level and above.

As per Wikipedia, “Since 1 April 2012, teachers with Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status have also been recognised as qualified to teach in schools. Holders of QTLS who are members of the Society for Education & Training (SET) may be appointed to permanent positions as qualified teachers, without any further induction requirements.”

Holding a QTLS status gives teachers the flexibility to teach at all levels. However, this course particularly enhances one’s competency to teach in a further education setting.

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If you are an aspiring teacher who wants to advance their career in teaching, enrol in the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training offered by Lead Academy. This course will provide you with the necessary training to teach and equip you with the skills to ace your teaching journey.

A teacher having QTLS can teach in a wide range of academic settings, including-

  • Primary and nursery education
  • Secondary education
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Universities
  • Support needs educationAdult education centres

You can watch the following video to get a detailed overview of what QTLS is.

How to get QTLS?

The most common and fastest way to gain QTLS is to complete a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET), previously known as DTLLS. This diploma course involves online assessment with one-on-one tutor support. You can complete DET alongside your work as it is completely online and gives you full flexibility.

DET does not require any internship or apprenticeship. You just need to have 100 hours of log, out of which only 8 is observed and assessed.

Apart from the Level 5 diploma in education and training course, there are some other Level 5 teaching qualifications that lead to the QTLS. Those are as follows-

  1. Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) — Level 5
  2. Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (English ESOL) — Level 5
  3. General Teacher Training Practice (GTTP)
  4. General Professional Recognition Learning & Skills
  5. Postgraduate Certificate in ESOL Teaching
  6. Post Graduate Diploma in Education

A female teacher going through online training using a laptop

Another route to gain the QTLS qualification is through the Society for Education and Training (SET). SET is an independent professional membership body that promotes excellence in education and works for the professional interests of teachers, educators and trainers in the UK.

The very first step to earning QTLS through SET would be to become a member of this professional body. The advantage of being a member of SET is that it provides access to resources, support, and professional development opportunities.

Next, the interested teachers should check their eligibility criteria. You must have a relevant degree and have a minimum of grade C or 4 in English and Mathematics.

The candidates then need to undertake Professional Formation. This is a structured assessment route that evaluates an individual’s skills, knowledge, and experience as a teacher. Candidates have to compile a portfolio of evidence to showcase their teaching practice, professional development, and contributions in the education community.

The portfolio needs to be submitted to SET for assessment where an appointed assessor evaluates it. If the portfolio meets the required standards, the candidate is awarded the Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status.

How to apply for QTLS?

As mentioned above, to apply for QTLS, you first need to complete the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training. After the completion of the Level 5 diploma course, you will become eligible to apply for professional formation.
Your professional formation is to demonstrate that you possess the required knowledge and skills to be a teacher. If you can demonstrate your proficiency successfully, you will be awarded QTLS. You should submit your application for the QTLS through the Society of Education and Training (SET).

What is the Eligibility Criteria to apply for QTLS?

A young modern teacher preparing for the lecture in classroom

In order to apply for professional formation that leads to QTLS, you should meet the following eligibility criteria-

  • Must be an active member of the Society for Education and Training (SET)
  • Have a Further Education (FE) and Training teaching qualification at Level 5 or above
  • Have a level 2 Maths and English qualification
  • Have a level 3+ subject specific qualification
  • Have a level 3+ qualification in subjects that you teach for 5 or more hours per week
  • Be in teaching training groups of five or more post-14 learners in a FE and Training setting for a minimum of ten hours a week, throughout the Professional Formation programme


What does QTLS stand for?

QTLS stands for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status.

How long does it take to get QTLS?

It usually takes six months to get QTLS through the process of professional formation.

Are QTS and QTLS the same?

QTS and QTLS are both training courses for teachers. While QTS is required to teach at the primary level, QTLS is accepted for teaching in higher education institutions.

Do I need both QTS and QTLS to work as a teacher in the UK?

While QTLS is not mandatory, you must hold QTS if you want to teach in the UK. Some of the institutions ask for QTS to the QTLS holders as a prerequisite. You only need a QTLS if you intend to work in the post 16 education sector.

What is the quickest way to get QTLS?

The quickest way to get QTLS is through a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training. This education course can be done without attending Level 3 or 4 and is fully online.


QTLS is one of the most important teacher training courses if you are pursuing a teaching career in the UK. Holding a QTLS status broadens the opportunity to teach in the advanced levels. By following the above mentioned routes of this skill training, you can also gain the QTLS status in no time.

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