Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is a sought after status, with over 1800 teachers and trainers being awarded each year. When asked the reasons, applicants say that QTLS provides them professional status and recognition, in a deregulated sector. It has legal parity with QTS, offering them the flexibility to work in both FE and training, as well as in schools.
Since 2015, the Society for Education and Training (SET) has carried out a comprehensive review of QTLS so that it can be strengthened and further developed as a high-status, high-value professional designation. QTLS is only awarded by The Education and Training Foundation through SET, its individual membership organisation.
SET has already implemented a number of the recommendations from the review, including clear referencing to the 2014 professional standards. This led to a significant improvement in the quality of applications. The eligibility criteria were clarified and strengthened and applicants are now much clearer about the entry requirements.
From September 2016, teachers and trainers can register to start working towards an even more valuable QTLS status. SET has consulted widely with members, partners and practitioners to develop a range of improvements to professional formation to make it a richer, more forward looking, and more developmental experience.
This new enhanced professional development opportunity will help practitioners consolidate their existing practice as well as develop new skills and knowledge. By developing an e-portfolio that will form the basis of their CPD, applicants will be able to develop their digital skills and demonstrate to their employer and colleagues the positive impact of the process on their practice, as well as their learners.
What changes have been introduced?
- The process of professional formation has been redesigned so that it is a more forward-looking developmental process, with more opportunities to demonstrate progression.
- It provides an opportunity to plan and record CPD activity, drawing on relevant educational theory and research.
- There will be opportunities for applicants to critically reflect throughout the process and to show the difference this development activity is having on their practice and learners.
- Finally applicants will be able to focus on how they will continue to develop their skills and knowledge, once they have completed professional formation.
Working collaboratively with their supporter and colleagues will form an integral part of new QTLS. SET strongly recommends that applicants nominate their supporter at the beginning of the professional formation process in order that the supporter can provide guidance and feedback throughout. To help supporter develop their mentoring skills, an on-line introduction to mentoring programme will be piloted later in the year.
To support busy teachers and trainers access relevant educational theory and research in relation to their chosen development areas, SET have commissioned a new resource that will highlight relevant reading, as well as audio clips. This will be available on the SET website early in September
What will applicants need to do to complete the process?
Step 1: Self-Assessment Carry out an online self-assessment against the 2014 professional standards to help identify areas for development during professional formation.
Step 2: Professional Development Plan Put together a Professional Development Plan outlining the activities to be undertaking during professional formation to address some of the areas you have highlighted in the self-assessment.
Step 3: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Record Complete a CPD record detailing the CPD that applicants are planning to take during the professional formation process, reflecting on the intended impact of the development activity on their practice and their learners.
Step 4: Critical Reflection on Impact Write a reflective account of the professional development activity undertaken as part of the professional formation process and evaluate the effect it has had on their practice and the outcomes of their learners.
Step 5: Final Action Plan Complete a final action plan that will provide details of professional development that applicants plan to undertake in the future to ensure that they are continuing to develop their practice after they have completed professional formation.
For more information about the new QTLS, see the QTLS pages on the SET website.
The next opportunity to register for QTLS will be from 1 September – 31 October.
SET will be holding a webinar on 2 September that will be an opportunity to hear more about new QTLS. See the SET website for further details.
Tricia Odell, Head of QTLS, Education and Training Foundation