Teacher Education

Route to QTS Assessment Only

Year of entry

Since January 2012, we have been able to offer the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) without the need for extensive training for suitably qualified and experienced candidates. This is an employment-route to QTS for those with a minimum of two years of recent teaching experience as an unqualified teacher with at least 6 months in their current school setting. This route is designed for those with this level of experience who are already meeting the Teachers' Standards at a good or high level and would therefore not need to undertake a full training route in order to achieve QTS.

This is not a training course, but a route to QTS for those who are already meeting the Teachers' Standards. Those who are successful in gaining an offer of a place on this route through the recruitment process will have an initial visit from a Canterbury Christ Church University Tutor who will carry out lesson observations and have discussions with you (the candidate) and the School’s Assessment Only Coordinator. When it is agreed that you are ready to start this route you will be registered with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and an initial development plan will be produced. You will develop and maintain a Record of Development and Record of Pathway evidencing how you have met and are continuing to meet the Teachers' Standards.

Once registered with the NCTL you will have up to 12 weeks to complete your Record of Development and Record of Pathway to show that you are meeting the standards and to carry out any recommendations following the initial visit that will be outlined in the Initial Development plan. With the support of the School’s Assessment Only Coordinator, you will complete your Record of Pathway and the Canterbury Christ Church University Tutor will return to complete a final assessment which will involve further lesson observations and a check of the Record of Development and the Record of Pathway. Those who are successful in this final assessment would be recommended for QTS.

The fees for the Assessment Only Pathway to QTS are £3,800.

All costs must be met by the employing school and/or the applicant.

On successful completion of the Assessment Only route you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You must have substantial Experience within your chosen age phase, which must include experience in a second school

You must have a minimum of two years recent teaching experience as an unqualified teacher; at least six months of this time must be in your current school and at least six weeks in a block must be in a second school. The requirement is that you must have been teaching a full timetable which meets the age phase requirements for this period unless you have worked for longer as a part-time member of staff. Time spent as a cover supervisor or learning support assistant unfortunately cannot count towards this requirement.  You must already be meeting, and are continuing to meet the Teacher’s Standards at a good or high level and have the evidence to support this.

You must be already meeting the standards for QTS within your chosen age phase

You must have strong evidence that you have taught and met the standards across the full age and ability range within either the Primary or Secondary Phase. Typically, primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, 5-11, or 7-11 age ranges. Secondary, assessment will typically take place across the 11-16 or 14-19 age ranges.

You must have had sole responsibility for planning, teaching and assessing pupil progress across the curriculum in your chosen age range. Your timetable must reflect this. This might be evidence from a school in which you have previously been employed, or your current employing school, or during teaching in a second school.  You will not be accepted onto the Pathway until you have met this requirement.

You must have evidence of good subject knowledge

Primary candidates must be experienced in planning, teaching and assessing the full range of subjects within the primary curriculum for their chosen age range.

Secondary candidates must be able to demonstrate a good level of subject knowledge in the subject in which you will be assessed (see ‘Secondary subjects available’). A substantial amount of your degree study should be in the subject you are teaching. We would expect at least 50% of the degree content to be in a related subject area. Where you do not have the minimum of 50% you must have considerable additional supporting evidence.

Other Requirements

All candidates must have successfully completed the Government’s numeracy and literacy skills tests prior to application and will need to hold a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. Your employing school must have undertaken checks to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach.

Your school will need to support your application and have a designated Assessment Only Coordinator who is experienced in initial teacher training and staff development. You must have an experienced and trained Mentor working with you. The school must have the capacity to undertake its responsibilities in relation to the requirements of the Assessment Only route. Ideally we would expect that the school would already be working in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University.

You must have taught across the full age range in which phase you are applying for. Typically primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, or 7-11 age ranges. This means either Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, or Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Secondary Assessment will be in either Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

Primary applicants must be actively planning, teaching and assessing the full primary curriculum. Secondary applicants must be actively planning, teaching and assessing their specialist subject and will be assessed in one subject only.

You will need to be able to deliver the national curriculum requirements for your phase and/or subject in order to meet the Teacher’s Standards.

The Canterbury Christ Church University Tutor will complete a Final Assessment which will involve lesson observations and a check of the Record of Development and Record of Pathway. The Final Assessment by the tutor will determine whether you have fully evidenced that you have met and are continuing to meet the Teachers’ Standards and whether they are confident that you would be able to teach in any school setting.

NCTL Requirement:
Extract from the “Assessment Only: Criteria Supporting Advice” (August 2016 National College of Teaching and Leadership)

Criterion A1.5 States:  
That all candidates have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings. 


The aim of this criterion is to ensure that candidates can demonstrate sufficient breadth and variety of experience by having taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings prior to acceptance onto the route.

Candidates need breadth and variety of experience in schools or other settings to enable them to meet all the standards for QTS. They need to have taught children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range and in their chosen age ranges, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management.  

The criterion specifies that candidates must have taught in two schools prior to entry to the AO route. It is not sufficient for candidates only to have had experience of two schools. Providers will wish to consider whether a candidate’s prior experience of teaching in school provides enough evidence to allow the provider to confidently count those previous teaching experiences towards the two schools stipulated in this criterion. Providers will need to be clear about the nature and extent of the prior experience, whether it offered candidates the opportunity to teach children and young people and whether, taken together with other experiences, it prepared the candidates sufficiently to meet the standards for QTS. Candidates must show experience of teaching across their chosen age ranges and must be able to demonstrate that they have met all the standards for QTS for these age ranges. Typically, a candidate with fewer than 2 years of teaching experience in schools as an unqualified teacher would be unsuitable for the assessment only route.  Practical teaching experience for the purposes of AO is not restricted to taking place wholly or mainly in England.

The CCCU requirements below have been designed to ensure that the CCCU Assessment Only Pathway meets the scope of this requirement in full.

The Second School Experience must have taken place prior to a candidate’s application to the Assessment Only Pathway. In this short guide the term “Second School” refers to the school that is not the current employing school of the Assessment Only candidate.

Canterbury Christ Church University requirements:

  • The second school experience must be in a school that provides a contrast to the current employing school in some way.
  • The second school must have experienced and trained mentors. Ideally we would expect that the school would already be working in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University.

  • The second school experience must be a minimum of 6 weeks in a block in order to enable the applicant to be able to demonstrate:

    a) breadth and variety of experience in either some or all of: teaching children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range and in their chosen age ranges, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management;

    b) The second school experience must add to the evidence  that the candidate has met all the standards for QTS for their chosen age range(s);

  • Evidence must be provided that the candidate has planned, taught and assessed pupil progress in the second school in either
    • the specialist subject (secondary) within the chosen age range


    • the full primary curriculum within the chosen age range

Required evidence:

(If you are invited to interview you will be required to bring this evidence with you to the interview.)

  • Details of the second school
  • Name of school
  • Name of contact
  • Dates of teaching/ employment
  • Summary of teaching experience there
  • Most recent timetable from the second school
  • Reference/testimonial from the second school
  • At least 6 lesson observations across the age range(s) requested for the AO route:
    • For secondary – within the subject that the candidate wishes to be assessed in
    • For primary – across the range of the Primary Curriculum
  • Examples of lesson plans and resources whilst teaching in the second school
  • Examples of assessment of pupils and evidence of the pupil progress for the class(es) taught
  • A reflection on the different pastoral systems, school policies, school settings, and use of school data between the second school and employing school.
  • An ‘Impact Statement’ that describes the impact of the Second School experience on the candidate’s practice in their current employing school.

This route is available for the following secondary subjects:

  • Art and Design
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science

If you are confident that you meet all the entry requirements, you will need to complete an Application Form downloaded from this webpage.  You must ensure your school completes the Required Information Form: you will need your School’s full support for your application.

You must ask your employing school to send your completed Application Form and the Required Information with all the required accompanying documentation (as specified on the Application Form) to:

Department of Admissions
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road

or electronically to admissions@canterbury.ac.uk

Please note that incomplete forms, or forms submitted without the necessary supporting documentation will not be considered.

To ensure suitability for this route, successful candidates will be invited to an interview. Their school’s Assessment Only Coordinator must also attend.  If you are successful at interview, an Initial Tutor visit will be offered.  On successful completion of this Initial Tutor visit, you will be enrolled on the Assessment Only Pathway.

The table below shows the deadline by which your complete application with supporting documentation needs to be received in order to be invited to the next interview day (*):

Interview Dates
 Deadline for applications Interview Date Ealiest potential start date 
Term 1 05/07/2019 25/09/2019 Term 2 (04/11/2019)
Term 2 11/10/2019 20/11/2019 Term 3 (06/01/2020)
Term 3 06/12/2019 08/01/2020 Term 4 (02/03/2020)
Term 4 31/01/2020 18/03/2020 Term 5 (14/04/2020)
Term 5 03/04/2020 20/05/2020 Term 6 (01/06/2020)
Term 6 12/06/2020 15/07/2020 Term 1 (31/08/2020)

(* Please note that these dates are correct as of 17/07/2019)

N.B.  Please also read all the guidance and requirements on the website. The Assessment Only route to QTS is only for those unqualified teachers who are already meeting the Teachers’ Standards. It is NOT a training route.

1. Why should I be interested in gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

Gaining QTS will give you parity with other qualified teachers across the country.  It will enable you to teach in any school in the country whether an independent school or a maintained state school. It will also allow you to teach at any level.

2. How much experience of teaching should I have?

CCCU is requiring at least two years recent teaching experience as an unqualified teacher, at least 6 months of which must be in your current employing school. If you do not have this experience you should apply for a training route to QTS, such as PGCE or School Direct. You must already be meeting the Teachers’ Standards at a good or high level. You must be able to demonstrate considerable experience as a teacher in either the primary phase or secondary phase and have fulfilled the whole range of a teacher’s duties. 

3. What is the timescale for gaining QTS?

The amount of time that you will need to spend on the Pathway will depend on your experience, what evidence you already have and your own commitment.  Some people move to final assessment very quickly, others take longer depending on personal circumstances  but most people can expect to gain QTS within 6 -12 weeks after registration. 12 weeks is the maximum time allowed on the Pathway.

4. What qualifications do I need?

You must hold a degree and have GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English at grade C/grade 4 or above, and Science (if a primary teacher).

For secondary, in order for us to be confident that you have sufficient subject knowledge to enable you to meet the Teachers’ Standards, CCCU would also expect your qualifications and other supporting evidence to reflect suitable expertise in your specialist subject.

5. Are there any other entry requirements?

You must pass the Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy before submitting an application. You must also have taught in two schools across the age range in which you wish to qualify: 3-7, 5-11, 7-11, 11-16 or 14-19. Also see point 15 below.

6. What if I can’t find my original GCSE certificates or do not have the relevant GCSEs?

If you have lost your certificates you can apply to the Examining Board for new copies.  Do make sure you do this straightaway as it can take some time and there will be a fee to pay.  Alternatively, you can sit equivalency tests with Canterbury Christ Church University in Maths, English and Science.  There is a charge for this. The tests take between one and two hours each.  Please note that while these tests are accepted by CCCU as equivalent for its Programmes they may not be recognised by other bodies. For more information, please follow the link http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/courses/equivalencytests/ or phone the University on 01227 782900.  They will be able to help you. 

7. What if my qualifications are from overseas?

You must have original copies of your certificates and a NARIC certificate to show that they are equivalent to the required qualifications in England. Follow the link for details http://www.naric.org.uk/naric/

8. What if I qualified as a teacher in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America (USA)?

You may be recognised as a qualified teacher and can apply for QTS in England without undertaking an additional route to QTS. You will still be required to satisfy any UK Visas and Immigration requirements that may apply to you for the purposes of entering or remaining in the UK to work as a teacher. Follow the link for details https://www.gov.uk/qualified-teacher-status-qts

9. What if I am recognised as a qualified teacher in an EEA member state?

ollow the link for details https://www.gov.uk/qualified-teacher-status-qts

10. What if I have QTLS status?

If you have QTLS status you should automatically be recognised as a qualified teacher in schools in England. You do not necessarily need QTS. Follow the link for details https://www.gov.uk/qualified-teacher-status-qts.

You need to have membership of the Education and Training Foundation

This took over from the Institute for Learning, which closed from November 2014

11. Are there any assessed assignments to be written?

QTS is gained by providing evidence that you have met all of the Teachers’ Standards.  Evidence is gained mainly from the day to day work you do as a teacher and from the written reflections showing how you have met, and are continuing to meet the Teachers’ Standards.

12. How much evidence do I need to present?

You will be asked to compile a Record of Development, to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards. You will also be asked to demonstrate competence in the classroom at a very high level. Your school’s Assessment Only Coordinator will need to complete a Record of Pathway. This will be explained if you are successful at interview.

13. Can I use previous teaching materials as evidence?

You will already have evidence that you are currently meeting the Teachers’ Standards in your teaching and your day-to-day role as a teacher.  Any evidence which you wish to present should be fairly recent.  The University will advise you on this.

14. How often will I be observed by CCCU?

Your CCCU Tutor will observe you teaching as part of their assessment procedures at both the Initial Visit and at Final Assessment.

15. Will I have to do a second school experience?

It is a statutory requirement that you should have taught in at least two schools. This is to ensure that you have gained sufficient breadth and variety of experience. One of these schools should normally be a mainstream National Curriculum School.  If you have not taught in two schools you must do this before submitting an Application Form. It must be a minimum of 6 weeks in a block. Further guidance is on the website.

16. Is there a cost?

Yes. The current cost is £3,800 (2016/17). Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised.

17. I think I meet all the requirements for Assessment Only. What should I do next?

Make sure you have read all the essential information and requirements on the website. If you think you fulfil the criteria, you should complete an Application Form and your school should complete a Required Information Form (RIF) and send them to the Admissions Department. These documents are on the website.

18. I don’t meet the requirements, can you advise me further?

Other options for you at Canterbury Christ Church are explained on our website below: 

Other useful information can be found on the DfE website:

Gaining QTS and becoming a teacher

Assessment Only route to QTS

The Teachers’ Standards https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301107/Teachers__Standards.pdf

CCCU’s equivalency tests for GCSE English, maths and science http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/courses/equivalencytests/  or phone the University on 01227 782900.

NARIC (National Academic Recognition Centre) for overseas qualifications http://www.naric.org.uk/naric/

For those who have qualified as a teacher in  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America (USA), or in an EEA member state https://www.gov.uk/qualified-teacher-status-qts

For those who have QTLS

Skills tests


Providers’ page link

Statutory guidance for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers-nqts

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • Most students complete within 6-12 weeks of registration


  • September 2019 onwards. There are flexible start times throughout the year.

Entry requirements

  • You must be currently employed as an unqualified teacher and have at least two years' experience. You must be a graduate holding an undergraduate degree (2.2 or above) of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent. You must have GCSE Maths, English (for primary and secondary) and Science (for primary) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above (or equivalent) and have passed the government's skills test in literacy and numeracy.


  • Other




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