Assessment Only (AO) route to qualified teacher status – QTS – QTS


Why study this course?

This Assessment Only route to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) provides you with a unique opportunity to gain a QTS qualification. It’s designed for those who are already working in a school as an unqualified teacher. Successfully pass this 12-week programme and you’ll be recommended for QTS accreditation.

More about this course

If you have two years’ experience in schools and are working in a teaching role, then this programme could be for you.

As this is ‘assessment only’, it does not provide any training. Therefore, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You will need to have passed a degree at 2:2 or above. For secondary subjects the degree would normally be in a subject relevant to that which you are teaching. For primary applicants the degree can be in any subject.
  • You will need GCSE Maths and English at grade 4/C (and for primary teachers you will also need a GCSE in a science subject.
  • You need at least two years’ experience of working in schools.
  • Have worked as an unqualified class teacher in two different key stages.
  • Be employed in a school or children’s centre that is willing to support the process of your assessment.

You will undertake a rigorous assessment prior to acceptance on the programme, to ensure that you will be able to demonstrate that you are meeting the Teacher Standards by the end of the 12 weeks. 

Once the programme has started, you will build evidence on our online portfolio system, including reflections on your practice and a case study. You will receive support and guidance from a university tutor (all of whom are very experienced classroom practitioners). You will also receive support in your place of work from a more experienced member of staff acting as a mentor. Please see the Assessment section for further information.


Assessment for this course is divided into the pre-assessment phase and the formal assessment phase.

To complete the pre-assessment, you must prepare an audit of your teaching experience against the Teaching Standards (2012). You’ll then attend an initial assessment meeting to fully evaluate your experience and identify areas for development during the formal assessment phase. Please note that you’ll only proceed to the formal assessment phase if the tutor considers that you can achieve the standards for QTS within the available time frame.

The formal assessment phase will then take place over a 12-week block, which will be triggered following a successful first assessment visit from the university tutor.

To pass the formal assessment phase, you must present portfolio evidence that demonstrates you’ve achieved the teaching standards across two key stages. Your university mentor will make a further two assessment visits to your school placement during this phase. They will be responsible for training and ensuring that the Teaching Standards are being correctly assessed.

At the end of this phase, your mentor will complete a final assessment and you will present a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that you have consistently met the teaching standards across two key stages. University tutors will then consider the evidence. If you’re successful, you’ll be recommended to the Teaching Regulation Agency for the award of QTS.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course.

Modular structure

As this is an assessment only route to QTS, there are no specific modules. Please refer to the Assessment section for information on how you will progress to your QTS accreditation.

Where this course can take you

Teachers who attend this assessment-only route have gone on to increase their earnings and responsibilities in their careers, thanks to the QTS accreditation.