From education to employment

Society for Education and Training ambitious for sector

SET has given me that ability to challenge myself and it has allowed me to change my practice. It is all about support for ongoing development.

I think having a professional body like SET is extremely important to the sector. I’m lucky in that my employer reimburses my membership fee.  But even if they didn’t, I’d still think SET worth paying for.”

Michelle Pointer senior training consultant at Focus Training Group

In May 2015 we launched the Society for Education and Training (SET), the professional home for teachers and trainers working in the post-16 sector. 

We’ve had a very busy, exciting and successful 12 months since then, building SET to 14,000 members.  Our ambition is to reach 20,000 members in the next year.

These are challenging times for the sector, but we’re optimistic about our position as a body of teaching and training experts.  At its heart, SET is an active statement of commitment, expertise and experience, rather than relying as our predecessors did on obligatory membership.

Central to this is our commitment to supporting our members’ professional status, and helping them develop their career. We provide a range of CPD support through events, networks, publications, online content, and access to research.  We also provide discounts on hundreds of CPD courses and events provided by the Education and Training Foundation.  Our goal is for SET to improve members’ professional recognition, and to demonstrate to their colleagues and employers their commitment to teaching excellence.

It is important that SET continues to reach into colleges, independent providers, local authorities, offender learning and the third sector.  We are also open to employers’ in-house trainers.  An exciting development has been the increasing numbers of education providers, including employers, recognising the value of membership for their staff and offering membership to their staff as a benefit.


QTLS made me look for development opportunities in a systematic way. I realised I hadn’t been challenging myself enough up to that point.I had previously gone for jobs against candidates who had QTLS. Now I’m hoping to benefit from QTLS in my next career move.”

Anette Hiley – academic mentor to students with disabilities at Edge Hill University and a sessional Functional Skills English teacher at Bolton College.

SET awards Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, which has legal parity with QTS. QTLS has evolved to suit a deregulated FE and skills environment, as a voluntary career step to demonstrate practical expertise gained from real–life teaching experience.  We awarded QTLS to almost 2,000 practitioners in the past year, and expect to grow this number further in the coming 12 months. 

In recent improvements we have linked QTLS more closely to the sector Professional Standards and we are making the QTLS professional formation a stronger developmental process.  We will shortly be announcing further changes to strengthen QTLS, and to increase its value for practitioners and its impact on learners.


[As a member of SET] “it feels like I’m part of a strong professional network. I share a lot of stuff with colleagues in my work and am in touch with fellow members in the greater Manchester area.

If people got involved with professional standards and SET then they would come on as teachers.”

Gillian Mattocks – organisational quality development manager at Proco Training, Wigan

The sector has to meet new challenges around maths and English provision; new standards and increased volumes of Apprenticeships; or wider institutional transformation with Area Reviews.   Practitioners need support and advice to develop their practice and to keep raising their game. Membership of SET provides a constant stream of practical support and professional development amidst an evolving, uncertain landscape.

From the beginning we have worked through constant dialogue with our members to see how they want SET to develop and improve.  To continue our success, we know that we need to keep on introducing new ways to support the sector, while always improving our existing service. 

Tim Weiss

Director of Membership, SET and the Education and Training Foundation

Existing benefits for SET members include:

Free or discounted CPD; a dedicated members’ magazine InTuition and monthly news updates by email; support for research including bursaries and a research supplement; free legal advice.

New benefits for 2016-2017

My SET, the new easy-to-use online dashboard will allow members to personalise content according to their interests and keep an online record of their CPD.  An online self-assessment tool to create a professional development plan.  Local networks where members can meet face-to-face and share best practice

Related Articles

Promises, Possibilities & Political Futures…

Tristan Arnison discusses the main UK parties’ education policies for the upcoming election. While specifics vary, common themes emerge around curriculum reform, skills training, and…