Assessment Only route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)


If you’re an unqualified teacher, teaching in a school and with at least two years' experience, Assessment Only (AO) provides an efficient route to qualified teacher status (QTS).

The AO route doesn’t include any training – it is not a course as such.  The AO route was developed by the Department for Education for very experienced teachers who can demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS without teacher training.

Man in education

To complete this route, you will have taught for two years or more, taught in at least two schools, and have substantial experience in two consecutive age phases.  You will have demonstrated the ability to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support pupils with special educational needs and pupils who speak English as an additional language.


On completion of this route you will be recommended for QTS. From this point schools will employ you as a qualified teacher.

To complete this route, you’ll need to demonstrate that you meet all the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2011).

Teaching and learning

Entry requirements

Before we can accept you onto the route you will:

  • have provided sufficient evidence of your capacity to meet the Teachers’ Standards without any additional training
  • have taught in at least two schools with responsibility for continuous planning, teaching and assessment
  • have achieved a standard equivalent to a level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) in GCSE English, mathematics and (for primary teachers) a science subject
  • hold a first degree or equivalent qualification
  • have passed the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy (for applications received before 1st April 2020). From April 2020, this is no longer a requirement
  • provide evidence of a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) record
  • provide evidence of having the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm

How to apply

If you are interested in this route to QTS and would like to discuss further, please contact us at Once we have established that this is an appropriate route for you, we will send you an application form and a template to be completed by the headteacher of your employing school, confirming the school's support.

Prepare to start

Fees and funding

Fees for entrants into the 2020 cohort are as follows;

£750 - Pre-entry assessment including initial application, portfolio assessment and interview (non-refundable once pre-entry underway)
£1600 - Assessment in school and recommendation for QTS

Please note that bursaries are not currently available for this Assessment Only route.

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 160 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Fee status

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

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Contact information

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