Before stating the difference, it’s essential to have an understanding of both QTS and QTLS.

Let’s start with QTS; it is an acronym for Qualified Teacher Status. Without a QTS, you cannot teach at a state maintained school in England and Wales. A QTS is required to practice as an educator in a primary, secondary and special school. Achieving this status allows you to practice and be paid according to the school teachers pay scale.

As for QTLS, it is a status conferred on anyone who has completed the Post-14 Education and Training (PGCE). The Qualified Teacher in Learning and Status (QTLS) is a criterion required by law for anyone who strives to teach in the FE and Skills sector.

The difference between the two is in the area of entry requirements, awarding and length of training. Firstly, those who are aiming for QTS are Initial Teacher Education Trainees and Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs). While for QTLS, they are Newly Qualified Teachers and those with ample teaching experience.


To be awarded a QTS, it must be after the successful completion of the ITE qualification, the undertaking of a statutory induction period of one academic year. It is important to note that the ITE must be from an NCTL approved provider. For QTLS, it only takes completion of a four-month professional formation. QTLS is a professional status and not a qualification like QTS.

Entry requirement into an ITE course that is needed for QTS is a degree with a Minimum of 2.2 and a Grade B GCSE in English and Maths. For QTLS, the entry requirement is entirely different and numerous; Level 2 Maths and English, ITE Qualification at Level 5, and must be a member of SET.

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