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Gaining QTLS and ATLS

Gaining QTLS and ATLS

Introduction to QTLS and ATLS status

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) are both professional statuses that you can gain by successfully completing professional formation.

Professional formation is a process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS or ATLS status.

IfL is the only organisation that confers QTLS and ATLS.

What are the benefits of gaining QTLS or ATLS status?

More than 15,000 IfL members have achieved QTLS status since its introduction in 2008:

  • QTLS status is recognised in law as equal to QTS for teaching in schools
  • Career progression: QTLS and ATLS status demonstrates your commitment, skills and knowledge to employers
  • Recognition of your status as a professional teacher or trainer
  • Valuable continuing professional development (CPD) that builds confidence and enhances your skills
  • The opportunity to be listed on IfL's professional status register; a mark of up-to-date experienced professionals
  • Members with QTLS or ATLS can use these initials as a designation.

IfL members talk about the benefits of gaining QTLS or ATLS

Tony Prideaux explores the benefits of QTLS and ATLS in our podcast. He speaks to members who have completed the process and employers who believe that this is valuable CPD for staff. Tony also talks to IfL reviewers about the process of professional formation and what makes a great portfolio. (The podcast runs for 6.24 minutes).

The professional status of QTLS is important to many IfL members. In issue 12 of InTuition (spring 2013), former teaching assistants Kathy Callaghan and Angela Wellington talk about how QTLS has helped their careers.


To apply for QTLS, you need an initial teacher training qualification at Level 5, for example, equivalent to the Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).

To apply for ATLS, you need an initial teacher training qualification at Level 4, for example, equivalent to the Certificate to Teach in the Lifelong Learning (CTLLS).

IfL also offers a recognition route to QTLS for members with substantial teaching experience but who do not hold a recognised teaching qualification.

If you are applying for QTLS or ATLS you are also required to demonstrate numeracy and literacy qualifications at (or above) Level 2.

Individuals' IfL membership should be up to date (valid until March 2015). This includes completing a declaration of suitability when joining IfL or renewing membership.

Costs and commitments

The cost of undertaking professional formation leading to QTLS or ATLS is £485. You can pay this in two instalments of £100 and £385.

We have worked to keep the price down, and considering the value and recognition that QTLS brings, we believe this offers good value to members.

The professional formation process requires you to complete an online workbook in REfLECT+. The time taken to complete this process and achieve QTLS or ATLS status will be determined by your individual circumstances. For example, level of experience or work commitments. Therefore, IfL has taken a flexible approach to profession formation with a number of application windows open each year.

Read on for details on how to apply for QTLS or ATLS.




Events and programmes

Practice-based continuing professional development, MA Education

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IfL Fellowship Research Programme

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Sustaining criticality beyond initial teacher education programme

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