What is the Difference Between QTS & QTLS?
QTS and QTLS are two different licences related to teaching in the UK. If you're considering becoming a teacher or trainer, it's important to understand the difference between Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and which one may be the better option for you. QTS allows you to teach in any type of school, while QTLS allows you to teach adult learners; some schools and sixth form colleges also accept teachers with QTLS.
What does QTS mean?
Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) is for people serious about teaching in schools as a career. You must have an undergraduate degree in any subject of your choice before applying for the PGCE programme. There are various ways of gaining the QTS, but the most common way is through the PGCE or Bachelors in Education offered by various UK universities.
What are the Routes to QTS?
- Universities charge thousands for their PGCE programmes, but it does not guarantee gaining QTS status. Once accepted, candidates must complete a year of full-time study on campus to receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) certificate called the Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).
- After completing the academic part of PGCE, candidates must find a school to hire them based on their NQT status.
- Obtaining QTS is important because salaries for NQT and QTS teachers are significantly different.
- Candidates can choose the School Direct or salaried route to QTS, which allows them to train on the job while studying for PGCE.
How Can I Apply for QTS?
To apply for QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, there are four pathways available:
- Undergraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training ITT
- Assessment Only (AO) Initial Teacher Training
- Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP)
Each pathway has its own eligibility criteria and application process. Applicants can find more information on the Department for Education website or through UCAS Teacher Training.
What is QTLS?
QTLS stands for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skill status. QTLS is a teaching licence issued to teachers who complete the teaching qualifications approved to teach or train in the Further Education (FE) or Higher Education (HE) institutions.
What is the Route to QTLS
You must have a level 5 teaching qualification for your QTLS status. The teaching qualification should be one of the following:
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET / DTLLS)
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE FE)
- Afterwards, you can apply for professional formation, which is the process of proving you have the knowledge and abilities necessary to be a teacher, once you have finished the course. Your QTLS status will be granted if you are successful.
Is QTLS worth it?
QTLS is the best choice for anyone teaching in Further Education or vocational institutes. Whether you are new to teaching and want to get initial teacher education, or are an experienced teacher in the post 16 sector, gaining the QTLS is the right choice for you. It is a journey of professional formation which is highly esteemed in the UK and beyond so definitely worth considering.
Am I eligible for QTLS?
The eligibility criteria to apply for the QTLS is straightforward. You must possess a recognised Level 5 teaching qualification or above from the post 16 sector among other requirements. You can check your eligibility before you register for QTLS on the Society for Education and Training’s (SET) website.
QTLS eligibility requires 100 hrs of teaching practice out of which 8 should be observed and assessed. Both the L5 DET and the PGCE FE are 120 credit qualifications and fulfil the said requirement for QTLS
Can QTLS be used to teach in primary and secondary schools?
QTLS is mostly suitable for individuals teaching and training in the FE or vocational sector, i.e teaching learners above the sixth form (aged 16+). As mentioned in the first paragraph above, those who teach learners below the sixth form in schools should undertake QTS instead.
Is QTLS Recognised Abroad
QTLS is nationally recognised within the UK and abroad. It is widely accepted by employers in the education and training sector. You can become a UK-qualified teacher as an international student for example from India or the Middle East.
You can then register for the QTLS only if you satisfy the eligibility criteria on the SET website.
Which teaching course leads to QTLS?
The Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, previously known as the DTLLS course, is a 2-year programme that leads to QTLS. The requirements for the L5 DET course are as follows:
- Candidate must be 19+ years of age
- Access to 100 hours of teaching (students aged 16+) of which 8 hours must be observed and assessed
The advantages of QTLS through L5 DET / DTLLS are discussed in detail in our QTLS Online Course blog.
How can I apply for QTLS?
You can register for QTLS only after you’ve received your initial teacher training certification i.e, PGCE FE or the Level 5 DET qualification. For full eligibility requirements please refer to the SET website.