Nick Chadwick

QTLS or Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills is often regarded as the golden standard for anyone who has completed the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training qualification. It demonstrates a show of intent for any teaching practitioner focused on continuous professional development.

It is seen as a direct pathway into teaching within the primary, secondary and special education schools under local authority control, allowing more employment opportunities and a chance to enhance teaching practice within different sectors.

Since April 2012, teachers and trainers holding QTLS who are also members of SET (Society for Education & Training) have been recognised in legislation as equivalent in status to teachers with QTS in schools. They are able to teach across all subjects and all ages on equal pay and conditions, opening up career development and wider employment opportunities.

Coming from a background of teaching within Sixth Form Colleges I knew this was an excellent opportunity to increase my teaching prospects and enhance my skills further. I realised due to the forever-changing sector of further education that QTLS status would enable me to seek different opportunities if and when they arose.

The process of achieving QTLS for me was a simple one. Once I had joined the Society for Education and Training, I was provided with an individual online workbook called ‘My QTLS’, which is an online learning space for QTLS applications. Once I had been issued the workbook I began to collect and upload any relevant evidence which would assist me in gaining QTLS status such as lessons plans, schemes of work, observation records, minutes of meetings and any CPD courses I had attended.

The workbook itself is divided into seven different sections:

Section 1: About you - where you upload copies of your qualifications, where you describe your route into teaching or training and the context in which you teach

Section 2: Your career to date and current role

Section 3: Self- Assessment

Section 4: Professional development plan

Section 5: CPD Record

Section 6: Critical Reflection

Section 7: Final Action Plan

Once the workbook has been completed you are then required to share this with a supporter (line manager or colleague) and the SET to be reviewed. In terms of a time frame, there is no recommended timescale for undertaking the professional formation, however I would recommend a minimum of four months in order to collate all of the required information. 

On completion of the QTLS application, you need to ensure that you submit during one of the ‘windows’. Normally open during the following months:

September - October
December - January
April - May

Once submitted you will have to wait until the next available window to see whether you have achieved QTLS status, and on completion you will receive your certificate. If there are any necessary changes to be made to your workbook, an administrator will provide you with feedback, the resubmission process is free of charge.

In my opinion QTLS is an essential process for any teaching professional and one in which can open doors to the range of different opportunities. More information about QTLS can be found on the Society for Education and Training website.

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