Do you have considerable experience working in education but still need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)? We offer a flexible, convenient pathway to help you realise your ambitions and progress your teaching career.
Our Assessment Only Route to QTS could be ideal if you are:
- Working as an unqualified teacher – paid or unpaid – or if you have extensive recent experience of teaching in a school or college.
- A cover supervisor, Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) or supply teacher
- An experienced Further Education lecturer now working in a school and keen to gain QTS
- An overseas trained teacher who does not automatically qualify for QTS or who did not gain QTS within the four-year limit.
- The Assessment Only Route is open to colleagues in Independent Schools, Academies, Special Schools, PRUs
Don’t let the lack of QTS restrict your career prospects. If you’re an experienced teacher with a degree, this route is your chance to demonstrate that you already meet all the standards for QTS – without the need for further training.
A fast-track route to qualification
The Assessment Only Route enables you to become formally qualified within a short space of time while you continue to teach. It takes 12 weeks of assessment to secure QTS and you can start at any time of the year.
You are required to demonstrate that you are a reflective practitioner who has met the Teachers’ Standards and can apply your skills, knowledge and understanding effectively in a wide range of school settings. In addition, you need to show that you can relate theory to practice and to evaluate critically the fundamental aims and values of education.
As part of your route to QTS, you will be assessed while you are teaching by staff from both your school and the University.
During the assessment period, your supporting school will need to ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to meet the Teachers' Standards. You will need to comply with National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) requirements, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and meeting ‘Fitness to Teach’ regulations, plus any other relevant current legislation relating to the Teaching Profession.
You should normally be teaching at a school within two hours travel time from the University of Derby and your school must not be in Special Measures.
Support and inspiration
We have a rich heritage in training and assessing successful, confident and forward-thinking teachers. Your University assessor will come from our highly competent, experienced team and will offer you personalised support at every stage of theAssessment Only Route.
We offer potential candidates and their school advice and guidance prior to application and strongly recommend that we make an advisory visit to meet you in your school prior to the application process.
The maximum period for the Assessment Only Route is 12 weeks.
The Assessment Only Route is not suitable for candidates who require training in order to meet the Teachers’ Standards. Candidates who require training are advised to consider the PGCE Primary, PGCE Primary (School Direct) or PGCE Secondary (School Direct) routes.
Supporting schools need to provide candidates with sufficient opportunity to meet the Teachers’ Standards during the 12 weeks of assessment.
Although there is no formal training linked to the Assessment Only Route, it is expected that you will continue to develop professionally as a teacher and, in particular, further develop your subject knowledge and teaching skills during the assessment period. You will be expected to have a professional mentor in school who will meet with you on a regular basis and also co-ordinate regular lesson observations and constructive feedback.
How you are assessed
Assessment is made via the production of a portfolio of evidence measured against the Teachers’ Standards, the observation of successful teaching by school and University staff, a subject knowledge assessment and a final viva voce. You will have been observed teaching by your sponsoring school and your teaching must have been regularly graded as 'good' or 'outstanding'.
You will need to provide a variety of high quality evidence to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards across two or more consecutive age ranges, and also evidence of having taught in two schools.
You will need to:
- hold a good Honours Degree (preferably 2.1 classification). For secondary Assessment Only, we would expect that at least 50% of the degree is in the subject being taught
- hold GCSE grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language or equivalent. For primary teaching, you will also need GCSE grade C or above in Science. Please note that Key Skills qualifications, Equivalence Tests and OCR Level 2 Adult Literacy and Numeracy are not acceptable alternatives
- successfully complete the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy before you start the course. We offer Skills Test preparation days to help you to gain the knowledge to successfully complete the tests.
- be working as an unqualified teacher (paid or unpaid). The school needs to have a proven track record in Initial Teacher Training and must not be in Special Measures
- have been observed teaching by the sponsoring school and have your teaching graded as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’
- be able to demonstrate that you have experience teaching in two or more schools/colleges, including the school you are currently working at. The experience should be relevant and recent (within the last 5 years) and across two consecutive age phases. The minimum teaching time requirement across the two or more schools is two years
- provide evidence of a DBS check.
Entry to this course is very competitive and the selection process includes:
- completion of an application form with a supporting statement from your school
- submission of an initial portfolio of evidence against the Teachers' Standards
- a self-assessment of your teaching experience
- a formal interview.
2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)
The assessment fee for the assessment only route to QTS is £1,950 and can be paid either by the candidate or their sponsoring school.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out more
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out more
The application pack is available here:
Please return your completed application form, partnership agreement and standards self-assessment documents via email AO@derby.ac.uk or to:
Assessment Only Route to QTS
Institute of Education
Business Services Support
University of Derby
Please also provide us with a copy of your GCSE and degree certificates.
You will receive confirmation of your application for the Assessment Only route from the University. You will need to take this as proof when you register for the QTS Skills Tests.
With Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be able to advance in one of the most satisfying and important careers of all. The qualification opens doors to greater responsibilities, more senior roles and progression up the pay scale.
You could also consider taking your skills and knowledge to the next level. Our MA Education is an excellent option, especially if you have your sights set on more senior roles such as head teacher or deputy head teacher.
“The Assessment Only Route was the perfect route for me to gain my qualification. From the very start, I felt well supported by the University. I found the course to be really flexible in terms of timings of observation and interviews. This was invaluable to me because of my role in school. My assessor offered me excellent advice and resources to support the development of my teaching practice and my school-based mentor was involved at every stage of the process.”
† Additional information about your studies
You may start at any time during the year.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.