What happens after you qualify as a teacher – Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and induction
Registering as a teacher is often required by law. It also indicates to schools, parents and children that you meet a national standard of teaching.
The rules for registering are different depending on the country you qualified in, hope to practise in, or where you come from. We outline the registration information for each UK country below.
To gain full professional recognition, all recently qualified teachers will need to pass an induction year.
Information on induction
You will need Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the majority of teaching posts in England and Wales. QTS is essential for teaching at:
- maintained primary, secondary or special schools, or
- non-maintained special schools.
Having QTS means you’ll usually be paid according to the school teachers' pay scale.
Professional skills tests
To be recommended for QTS you must pass numeracy and literacy professional skills tests. This is not applicable if you train in Wales.
The tests assess to see if you have the core skills and knowledge required to carry out a professional teaching role. They do not assess your specific subject knowledge.
- Numeracy skills test There are two sections: mental arithmetic, and written arithmetic and data. It lasts 48 minutes and has 28 questions.
- Literacy skills test There are four sections: spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. It lasts 45 minutes.
You can book your test with learndirect and take it at a test centre in England or Wales. The first three attempts are free of charge. You have unlimited attempts to pass the tests.
See the Department for Education for information and advice on how to prepare.
How to get QTS if you trained in England or Wales
Completion of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in England or Wales leads to QTS.
As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) you’ll need to complete an induction year to gain full professional status. You’ll fully register with the Department for Education (DFE) if you trained in England, or the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) if you trained in Wales. See information about induction.
How to get QTS if you trained in Scotland or Northern Ireland
You’ll need QTS to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England or Wales. You can apply via the online form. If you are fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland or Northern Ireland you are likely to be given QTS in England and Wales. Applications are usually processed within two to four weeks. See information about induction.
How to get QTS as a European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA national
You can apply for QTS – see detailed information on the UK government website.
If you practice in a Scottish state school you must be registered with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS), Scotland’s independent regulatory body for the teaching profession.
How to register if you trained in Scotland
If you have qualified to teach in a Scottish institution you will be provisionally registered with the GTCS. You’ll gain full registration after completing a probation year.
How to register in Scotland if you trained elsewhere in the UK or outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)/European Union (EU)
If you trained as a teacher in another UK country or any other country outside the EEA you’ll need to apply for registration with the GTCS to teach in Scotland. If you're a primary or secondary applicant you must have:
- Completed sufficient teacher education
- A qualification which is equal or above Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework level 9
- A UK degree or equivalent.
See full eligibility requirements and more information from the GTCS.
Further education lecturers must have a teaching qualification of equal or above Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework level 9.
How to become registered in Scotland if you trained in a EEA/EU state (not UK), including Switzerland
If you’re a EEA/EU or Swiss national recognised as a teacher in your country, you may be eligible for registration with the GTCS under European law.
You should only apply if you can meet the following criteria:
- You are a national of an EEA/EU member state or Swiss national
- You are a fully qualified teacher in an EEA/EU member state, or Switzerland
- Your qualification in that state is related to a teaching category available in Scotland.
See information about induction.
If you’re hoping to practise in a state-funded school in Northern Ireland you must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), Northern Ireland’s independent regulatory body for the profession.
How to register if you’re taking a course of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Northern Ireland
GTCNI’s registration team will visit your institution and collect completed registration forms. When you complete the ITE and a probation year you'll automatically register with the GTCNI.
How to register in Northern Ireland if you qualified elsewhere in the UK
If you’re a recognised teacher in England, Scotland or Wales you are eligible to apply for registration with the GTCNI. The relevant registration form is downloadable on the GTCNI website.
How to register in Northern Ireland if you trained in another European Economic Area (EEA)/European Union (EU) member state or Switzerland
If you’re an EEA/EU or Swiss national recognised as a teacher in your country you may be eligible for registration with the GTCNI under European Union law. The relevant registration form is downloadable on the GTCNI website.
If you trained outside the EEA/EU or Switzerland
If you trained outside the EEA/EU or Switzerland you may be eligible for registration with the GTCNI if your teaching qualification is recognised by the council. The relevant registration form is downloadable on the GTCNI website.
As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) you must complete an induction/probation year or programme to become fully registered with your country’s teaching profession regulatory body.
NQT induction in England and Wales
You must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) before beginning the induction year.
Location Your induction can take place in almost any state school, academy, free school, or independent school. Schools underperforming and with 'special measures' imposed are not able to host NQTs on an induction year.
Length The induction period must take place across three school terms, either on a full- or part-time basis. Periods of supply teaching can count towards your induction year.
Content Induction includes a personalised programme of development support, overseen by an induction tutor. Content is assessed against the professional teaching standards as set out by the Department for Education.
Assessment As an NQT undergoing your induction year you are regularly observed and assessed. After your final assessment, your headteacher will report to the relevant body stating whether you have made satisfactory progress towards meeting the professional standards.
Completion The relevant body will decide whether you meet the professional requirements of a teacher. If you do, you will receive full professional status.
NQT induction in Scotland
If you trained in Scotland you are provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS). You'll be known as a probation teacher. To fully register with the GTCS all probation teachers must complete an induction year. There are two routes:
- Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS), which provides a guaranteed one-year training post to every eligible student who qualified at a Scottish university
- Flexible Route where you can complete the induction period if you decide against the TIS, are ineligible for it, are unable to commit to a full one-year post, or are not practising in a Scottish state school.
Your induction year will follow a structured process where you’ll develop your 'probation profile'. This is to prove that you meet the standard for full registration. There are supporter meetings and observed lessons which assess for meeting the standard for full registration.
You submit your profile to the GTCS for approval. Once the GTCS is satisfied you can become fully registered. Full registration must take place no later than five years after the date of gaining provisional registration.
If you trained and are practising outside of Scotland you must complete the induction year to fully register with the GTCS. Find out more about registering with the GTCS.
Induction and Early Professional Development Programme in Northern Ireland
If you complete your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Northern Ireland you are provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council Northern Ireland (GTCNI). You will be known as a Beginning Teacher.
To become fully registered, all Beginning Teachers must complete the Northern Ireland Induction and Early Professional Development Programme, which includes:
Induction This takes one year to complete. You'll engage with competency-based professional development, and present a portfolio as evidence of meeting the professional competencies set out by the GTCNI.
Early Professional Development This takes two years to complete and changes focus from teaching to learning. You’ll have support throughout so that you achieve best practice. You’ll continue to engage with professional competency development and will present evidence via a portfolio.
- Head back to the How to become a teacher section for more information and advice