Department of Education

Assessment-only route to QTS

If you already have significant teaching experience and meet the criteria for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) assessment, you could achieve QTS via the Assessment-only Route to QTS.

This is not a training programme. Places are for experienced but unqualified teachers. The route is NOT suitable - nor an alternative - for those unable to secure a place on an Initial Teacher Education (PGCE/School Direct) course. The Assessment-only Route to QTS is suitable for any teacher who has taught in at least two schools across a minimum of two consecutive age ranges – meaning two Key Stages. At Primary, this means significant experience in both Key Stages 1 and 2. In Secondary, Key Stages 3 & 4, Key Stages 4 & 5, or Key Stages 3, 4 & 5. 

Assessment is tailored to the individual and must be completed within 12 weeks. It can begin at any point in the year, as long as good quality teaching experience can be guaranteed. Applicants are expected to be working in a school during the period of assessment. The University acts as a guide, with a final assessor providing quality assurance.

Entry requirements

  • A GCSE in Maths and English Language  (plus Science for Primary applicants) at Grade C or above
  • A first degree, usually at Grade 2.2 or above (equivalent qualifications from overseas will need NARIC certification)
  • Significant teaching experience (typically 2-3 years) in a UK school or college in at least two different institutions and across two Key Stages
  • Evidence that the standard of your teaching to date is 'good' or 'outstanding'
  • A reference recommending the Assessment-only route from the headteacher/principal of the school in which you are currently teaching, plus a reference from a previous school
  • Have been subject to and passed the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check
  • Have completed  a Fitness to Work assessment at your school
  • Evidence of progress against QTS standards/criteria in the form of a portfolio (commentary plus supporting evidence). For general information on the government's standards for teachers practising in the UK, see the Teacher's Standards: Department for Education
  • Be able to show that you have the appropriate intellectual and academic capabilities and personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  • Have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English
  • Be able to show that your numeracy is of a level to perform one's duties as a teacher

See more in the Assessment Only Route: Requirements and Guidance document.

Check your eligibility: Assessment Only Route: Self Assessment 2020/21.

Fees and Application

This route costs £2,490.

To apply to join the 'Assessment-only Route' you will need to complete an Expression of Interest form:

Once received, we will contact you and ask you to complete the Assessment-only Route: Application Form 2020.

If you meet all relevant criteria for the Assessment-only Route to QTS, you will be invited to attend an interview at the school where you work. At the interview you will need to present a portfolio of evidence showing that you meet the Standards and will be observed teaching.

Successful applicants will:

  • complete an Assessment Action Plan with the help of in-school mentors which will be approved by Initial Teacher Education tutors within the Department of Education
  • be observed and mentored regularly by in-school staff.

On completion of the Route, you will have earned Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and will be required to undertake an induction period of one year if working full time.

Information and contacts

Course Leader: Lucy Harknett

Course Coordinator: Adam Stewart