About the Assessment Only (AO) route

Assessment Only is an alternative route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) that allows your school staff 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 your staff the opportunity to become a qualified teacher without leaving your current school.

If they 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 your member of staff approximately 12 weeks to complete the Assessment Only route.

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

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

At the assessment, the independent assessor will observe lessons and scrutinise their portfolio of evidence and, if they are successful, recommend them 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, your staff will need to:

  • Be employed in a school in a teaching role during the programme
  • Hold GCSE's 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 they meet the English Teachers’ Standards
  • Provide supporting evidence of having taught in at least two contrasting schools
  • Evidence that they meet the QTS Standards across a minimum of two consecutive age ranges for their chosen teaching specialism
  • Be able to demonstrate that they 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 an application your staff member will need to provide:

  • Photographic ID (ie, passport or driving licence)
  • A copy of their original degree certificate and NARIC/translation, if applicable
  • A copy of their original GCSE maths and English certificate, and science if they are 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 their current main school and a second school placement
  • Fitness to work form (we will provide this form once you receive their portal log in details)

Assessment Only route start dates

Application deadline Start date
26 April 2019 3 June 2019
10 June 9 September 2019

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.


Total fee Fee without VAT
£3,600 £3,000


Assessment Only fees must be paid for by the school, in full at the start of the programme. The school may wish to make arrangements with the candidate to repay the fees in installments. Fees are quoted inclusive of VAT. Subject to exceptions, 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.