Routes to Qualified Teacher Status

Qualifying in England and Wales (QTS)

ECTs must have been awarded QTS before commencing induction. Having a Teacher Reference Number does not mean QTS has been awarded.

To check qualified teacher status, please contact the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) on 0207 593 5392 or the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) on 029 20460099. They will need to know the ECT’s last name, date of birth and their Teacher Reference Number.

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

Qualified Teacher learning and Skills (QTLS) is now recognised as being an equivalent qualification to QTS in England. However, it does not confer QTS.

A teacher with QTLS who is in membership of The Society for Education and Training is recognized as qualified to teach children of compulsory school age, and is also exempt from induction. Further information may be found on the education section of GOV.UK and at

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Teachers who successfully complete probation in Scotland or induction in Northern Ireland or Wales, and have full recognition from the General Teaching Council of that country, will be exempt from undertaking induction in England.

If probation/induction has not previously been completed, the ECT will first need to be assessed for QTS by the TRA before beginning induction in England. (QTS gained in Wales is automatically awarded in England.)

QTS forms for teachers trained in Scotland or Northern Ireland can be downloaded from the education section of GOV.UK or from the General Teaching Council for Wales website.

Overseas Teachers

European Economic Area

Teachers who have either;

  1. completed a course of post-secondary higher education and training of at least three years’ duration which leads to full recognition as a teacher in an EEA member state or Switzerland;
  2. completed a shorter or lower-level course which allows full recognition as a school teacher in an EEA member state or Switzerland; or
  3. trained outside of the EEA, but have been recognised as a qualified teacher by an EEA member state or Switzerland, and have at least three years’ professional experience within that state;

are exempt from induction in England or Wales.

To apply for QTS (and exemption from induction), please download and complete the relevant form from the education section of GOV.UK and return to the TRA.

Please note: all education or training certificates will need a certified English translation.

Outside the European Economic Area

From April 2012, teachers who qualified in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA are eligible to apply to be awarded QTS, and will be exempt from induction in England.

Teachers who trained outside of the EEA and who are not nationals of an EEA member state can work for up to four years as a temporary, unqualified teacher before gaining QTS in England, and for up to two years in Wales.

Teaching qualifications from outside of the EEA do not automatically lead to QTS. Further training such as the Overseas Trained Teacher Programme may be required, although such teachers can present themselves for assessment against the Teachers’ Standards.

Further details may be found in the education section of GOV.UK.

Important note: before applying for a route to QTS, non-teaching qualifications will need to be verified by NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre). They can be contacted on 0871 330 7033. Any education or training certificates will need a certified English translation.

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