Department of Education

Assessment Only Route to QTS

• Do you have significant teaching experience in UK schools?
• Would you meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS?
• Are you currently employed as a teacher in a UK school?

If so, the Assessment Only Route to QTS could be for you!


The Assessment Only Route to QTS 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. For middle school applicants, you would need experience in both Key Stages 2 and 3. In Secondary, experience is required in Key Stages 3 and 4, Key Stages 4 and 5, or Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

Assessment is tailored to the individual and must be completed within 3 calendar months. It can begin at any point in the year – preferably at the start of a term - as long as a good quality teaching experience can be guaranteed. The University acts as a guide, supporting the candidate, their mentor and school to secure evidence towards the teachers’ standards. We also provide quality assurance via observations, reviewing the collected evidence and a final assessment.

Entry requirements

Successful candidates require:

  • A GCSE in Maths and English Language (plus Science for Primary applicants) at Grade C / Grade 4 or above.
  • A university degree (or overseas equivalent), or a Masters degree demonstrating breadth and depth of academic engagement.
  • Significant teaching experience (at least 2 years) in at least two different institutions and across two Key Stages.
  • Evidence that the standard of your teaching to date is strong. This would normally be provided in the form of two recent in-school observations.
  • A reference recommending suitability for the Assessment Only Route from the headteacher of your current school - plus a reference from a previous school.
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check AND criminal records check.
  • A 'Fitness to Work' assessment at your school.
  • A portfolio of evidence against each of the Teachers’ Standards (commentary plus supporting evidence). For general information on the Government's standards for teachers practising in the UK, see the Department for Education's 'Teachers' Standards'.
  • Evidence that you have the appropriate intellectual and academic capabilities and personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English.
  • A sufficient level of numeracy to perform your duties as a teacher.

Application and Fees

There are three stages to applying:

  1. Assessment Only Route Eligibility Checker: 2023
    This enables you to identify your suitability for the Assessment Only Route and highlight any gaps in your experience.
  2. Assessment Only Route Expression of Interest: 2023
    This short form enables the Assessment Only Route course tutor to assess whether you are likely to fulfil the requirements for the route to QTS.
  3. Assessment Only Route Application Form: 2023 
    Assessment Only Route Candidate Compliance: 2023
    This is the full application form which requires the attaching of evidence, a personal statement and references.

If you meet all 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 demonstrating that you meet the Teachers’ Standards. You will also be observed teaching.

This route costs £2,750 and is payable following successful application and interview. If, in the unlikely event that following submission of your eligibility documentation and undertaking an interview, it is deemed taht you are not yet ready for the Assessment Only Route to QTS, a fee of £500 will be payable. This amount will be discounted from a later successful application.

Successful applicants will:

  • be observed and mentored regularly by in-school staff.
  • continue to work on areas for development highlighted in observations
  • collect evidence to supplement this initial portfolio and demonstrate meeting all of the teachers’ standards.

On completion of the Assessment Only Route, you will have earned Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and will therefore be required to undertake an induction period of two years as an Early Career Teacher (ECT).

Information and contacts

Further details can be found in the Assessment Only Route Requirements & Guidance: 2023 document.

Course Leader: Mike Lambert

Senior Course Coordinator: Diane Carr