QTLS status

QTLS stands for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills 

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is the badge of professionalism for teachers and trainers in the UK. It is a voluntary process which demonstrates your commitment to being a professional teacher in England.

It is gained through being a member of the professional association the Society for Education and Training (SET) which is part of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). The ETF took over the work of the Institute for Learning (IfL) when they ceased operating.

Gaining QTLS status gives parity with school teachers'  QTS status in England, enabling you to teach in a school or an academy should you wish.

Please scroll to the end of this page for QTLS FAQs.

Thank you to the Education and Training Foundation who's videos are on this page, however, I can take no responsibility for their accuracy or content.

Please note: the ETF and SET websites regularly change their pages, therefore some of the links on this page might not work if they have updated themIf you find a broken link, please contact me to let me know.

To gain QTLS status, you must achieve a relevant teaching qualification to at least level 5 (i.e. the Diploma in Education and Training/DTLLS/Cert Ed/PGCE).

You will need to provide evidence of your literacy and numeracy skills (part of the minimum core) to at least level two.

If you already hold a numeracy/maths and literacy/English qualification such as Key Skills or GCSE grade A-C these should be acceptable. Click here to see details of the approved qualifications.

There is a recognition route for teachers who do not hold a level 5 teaching qualification, but have substantial teaching experience.

If you have any questions about any aspect of QTLS, please contact the SET directly.

The benefits of QTLS

  • It can help you in your career progression, QTLS status demonstrates your commitment to your professional development.
  • It is recognition of your professional status as a teacher or trainer and you can be added to the Society's professional status register.
  • QTLS status is recognised by law as equivalent to QTS for teaching in schools.
  • You can have access to certain benefits as part of staying a member of the SET (see the video at the top of the page).

How to apply for QTLS

Take a look at the video to find out how to apply and whether you are eligible.

You can apply for, and get help completing your QTLS application by clicking here.

You need to be a member of the Society for Education and Training to apply for QTLS status, and must abide by their Code of Professional Practice.

You will need Level 2 or equivalent in English and maths. You can check what is acceptable by clicking here.

You will need to be familiar with the Professional Standards.


1 - Is QTLS the same as QTS?

QTLS status is recognised in law as being equal to QTS status for school teachers. Click here for further information from the GOV.UK website. Click here for guidance for school headteachers from SET.

2 - Is QTLS a qualification?

It's not a qualification, it's a 'status' It's achieved by application to the Society for Education and Training (SET) through a professional formation process. You must have gained a recognised level 5 (or above) teaching qualification, hold at least level 2 (or equivalent) English and maths, and be able to demonstrate your teaching skills. You must remain a member of the SET to keep your QTLS status live.

3 - Can I teach in a school if I have QTLS? 

QTLS status is accepted in schools, however, each school makes their own decision. See question one (above) as it is recognised in law and schools should accept it.

4 - How do I apply and how long does it take to achieve QTLS? 

You can apply by clicking here. It's up to you how long you take. There are windows of dates for making an application. You can complete the online workbook at your own pace.

5 - Why should I achieve QTLS status if it's not a legal requirement as a teacher in the FE and skills sector?

QTLS status is a demonstration of your commitment, skills and knowledge to employers. It shows you are a professional teacher. Also, as a member of the SET you will be able to access professional development opportunities and communicate with other members.

6 - How much does it cost to gain QTLS status? 

You will need to become a member of the SET and then apply. The cost of QTLS is currently £485 but please check with them in case it's increased. The fee can be paid in instalments.

7 - Where can I get help to complete the application and workbook?

You can get help via the SET here. 

8 - Can I use the letters QTLS after my name?

As a member of the SET, you can use various letters after your name, depending upon your membership grade, plus the letters QTLS if you have achieved the status.

If your question is not listed above, please click here for many more FAQs on the SET website.