About the Assessment Only (AO) route

Assessment Only is an alternative route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) that allows you to be independently assessed against the English Teachers’ Standards and on successful completion, be awarded QTS.

This route is aimed at school staff with a degree and significant teaching experience who can demonstrate that they already meet the English Teachers’ Standards without the need for any additional preparation. The Assessment Only route can take as little as 12 weeks to complete and gives you the opportunity to become a qualified teacher without leaving your current school.

If you need some additional preparation before undertaking the Assessment Only process, you might want to consider our Straight to Teaching programme.

Course Delivery

You will need to allow approximately 12 weeks to complete the Assessment Only route.

As an approved Assessment Only provider, Tes Institute will assess you in your current school where you will need to present detailed evidence that demonstrates your teaching meets the Teachers’ Standards.

A Tes Institute Pathway Tutor will visit you in school, performing lesson observations and reviewing your portfolio of evidence in order to verify that you meet the criteria before recommending you for QTS assessment.

At the assessment, the independent assessor will observe lessons and scrutinise your portfolio of evidence and, if you’re successful, recommend you for QTS. The DfE will award QTS based on our assessor’s recommendation. 

Entry Criteria for Assessment Only

Tes Institute currently offers Assessment Only in:

  • Primary (age ranges 3-7, 5-11 and 7-11)
  • All main secondary subjects (age ranges 11-16, 11-18 or 14-19)
  • Other subjects may be available on request

To achieve QTS via the Assessment Only route, you’ll need to:

  • Be employed in a school in a teaching role by the time you start the programme
  • Hold GCSEs at a grade C or above in English and Maths, also Science if wanting to teach in primary 
  • Hold a degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • Have undertaken at least two years teaching experience that includes evidence of planning, marking, assessing and reporting on pupils’ work
  • Have complied a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that you meet the English Teachers’ Standards
  • Provide supporting evidence of having taught in at least two contrasting schools
  • Evidence that you meet the QTS Standards across a minimum of two consecutive age ranges for your chosen teaching specialism
  • Be able to demonstrate that you have the appropriate intellectual and academic capabilities and personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  • Have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English
  • Have been subject to and passed the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal/other records check
  • Have completed a Health and Fitness declaration  
  • Have taken and passed the professional skills test in literacy and numeracy

To complete your application you’ll need to provide:

  • Photographic ID (ie, passport or driving licence)
  • A copy of your original degree certificate and NARIC/translation, if applicable
  • A copy of your original GCSE maths and English certificate, and science if you’re applying for Primary QTS, and NARIC/translation if applicable or equivalency tests. Provisional statements of results or records of achievement are not accepted
  • Confirmation of passing the professional skills tests for literacy and numeracy
  • Testimonies from schools to evidence two years teaching from both your current main school and a second school placement. Please use the template provided on the portal
  • Fitness to work form – we will provide this form once you receive your portal log in details

Programme start dates

Application deadline Start date
16th September 2019 7th October 2019
7th October 2019 4th November 2019
11th November 2019 2nd December 2019
2nd December 2019 6th January 2020
13th January 2020 3rd February 2020
3rd February 2020 2nd March 2020
3rd March 2020 30th March 2020
16th March 2020 20th April 2020
13th April 2020 5th May 2020

We strongly recommend that you submit your completed application as soon as possible to secure your preferred start date. Applications received after the deadlines above will be pushed into the next available start date.

Programme fees

Programme Total fee Fee without VAT
Assessment Only £3,600 £3,000


Assessment Only fees can be paid for by the candidate or the school, either in full at the start of the programme or in instalments. VAT will be chargeable at the rate of 20 per cent. Where the school, rather than the individual agrees to pay all or part of the tuition fee they may be able to recover VAT. Schools may consider meeting the tuition fee and making their own arrangements, if they wish to do so, with the individual concerned.

Get in touch

Our enrolment team will need to speak to you to discuss your experience and eligibility for joining the programme before you can apply. They’ll be able to talk you through the programme in more detail and provide advice based on your current teaching experience.

Submit an enquiry form by clicking 'Get Advice' and we’ll contact you to discuss the programme further.