Since 1 April 2012, further education teachers who have been awarded QTLS by the Institute for Learning (IfL) and are members of the IfL are recognised as qualified teachers in schools. This will allow them to be appointed to permanent posts in state maintained schools in England and they will be paid on the qualified teachers’ pay scale. They will continue to be recognised as qualified school teachers providing they remain a member of the IfL. 

Institute for Learning (IfL)

The IfL is the independent professional body for teachers, tutors, trainers and student teachers in the further education (FE) and skills sector. The role of IfL is to support professional development and excellence. All teachers and trainers working in publicly funded further education and skills provision are required to register as members of IfL, undertake CPD each year and abide by the IfL Code of Professional Practice. Membership of IfL entitles members to a range of benefits that aim to support professional practice and development.

To be recognised as a qualified school teacher, a QTLS holder must maintain their IfL membership.

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status

QTLS is conferred by the IfL through professional formation. Professional formation is the post-qualification process by which a teacher demonstrates, through the evidence of professional practice, the ability to effectively use the skills and knowledge acquired whilst training to be a teacher and the capacity to meet the occupational standards required of a teacher:

The time taken to complete professional formation and achieve QTLS status will be determined by the individual circumstances of the teacher, for example, length of experience, full-time, part-time, fractional or sessional role and in-service training.

Recognising QTLS holders as qualified teachers in schools

A person with QTLS status and membership of the IfL will automatically be recognised as a qualified teacher in schools. There is no need for them to apply to the Teaching Agency for QTS. A certificate from the IfL is sufficient evidence.

FE teachers with other qualifications such as the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Sector, Certificate in Further Education Teaching or the FE Postgraduate Certificate of Education are not recognised as qualified teachers. They can apply to the IfL for QTLS status which, once awarded, would allow them to be recognised as qualified teachers in schools.  Alternatively, they would need to undertake a course of initial teacher training.

Verification of QTLS status

The Institute for Learning holds and maintains the database of all QTLS holders. Schools and local authorities should check with the IfL that a teacher has QTLS status before they are given a job as a qualified teacher.  This is the acceptable evidence that a teacher has QTLS status and IfL membership. Details of QTLS holders are not held by the Teaching Agency. 

From 1st April 2012, schools and local authorities can contact the IfL to check whether an individual holds QTLS status. The contact details for conducting this check are:

Telephone: 0844 815 3202


QTLS holders, as is the case for all holders of QTS, will be allowed to teach both curriculum and non-curriculum subjects in schools and across the breadth of school ages. It will be for schools and local authorities to decide whether a teacher with QTLS is suited for a post and to teach a particular subject.

Statutory induction in schools

QTLS holders will be exempt from serving statutory induction and will not be required to complete a statutory induction period in schools. This is because QTLS holders have already completed a period of teaching and professional formation, verified by the Institute for Learning, which bridges the gap between initial teacher training and employment as a practising teacher.

The regulation of QTLS holders

All QTLS holders in schools are included within the proposed new regulatory system for teachers since 1 April 2012. The scope of these disciplinary arrangements includes any person who carries out a teaching role in a school, academy or sixth form college and will include the independent sector and free schools.


QTLS holders will be paid as qualified teachers, on the qualified teachers’ pay scale as set in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.

Schools and local authorities will advise individual teachers of their point on the pay scale.

Schools with academy status are able to determine their own salary levels for teachers. 


With the exception of teachers who are serving a period of induction and those who are subject to "capability procedures", all teachers in maintained schools have their performance managed in accordance with the relevant regulations – currently the Education (School Teacher Performance Management) (England) Regulations 2006. On 1st September 2012 those regulations will be revoked and replaced with the Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012.

Under the 2012 regulations, the performance of teachers will be assessed against their objectives and against the relevant standards. All teachers except for QTLS holders will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards that were published by the Secretary of State in July 2011. In the case of QTLS teachers, alternative standards may be more appropriate. The regulations therefore give schools and local authorities the flexibility to decide which standards are relevant to QTLS holders. They can assess teachers against the Teachers’ Standards, any other set of standards relating to teachers’ performance published by the Secretary of State for Education, and/or any other relevant professional standards.