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Assessment Only programme

If you are already teaching as a qualified teacher, or have one working within your school, then we can accredit QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) through our ‘Assessment Only’ programme. This allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS without having to do further training.

Programme structure 

This is a work-based pathway to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There is no training/ face-to-face teaching element on this programme. The programme is solely an assessment of a range of evidence to support achievement of the Teachers’ Standards.

The AO route is for experienced unqualified teachers without QTS and is designed to meet the AO requirements as specified by DfE/TRA. The programme will be regularly inspected for compliance and is included within external moderation samples.

The route is designed to assess the ability of AO candidates to teach across the assessed age range and demonstrate that they have met the Teachers’ Standards. The assessment period does not typically exceed 3 calendar months (SSF operate a 12 week assessment window).

Assessment can take place in an independent, mainstream or special school.

AO candidates recommended for the award of QTS will have been assessed as meeting the Teachers’ Standards for QTS across one of the following age ranges:

Ages 3 – 11 (primary) - typically 3 – 7, 3 – 9, 5 – 11 or 7 - 11

Ages 7 – 14 (middle)

Ages 11 - 18 (secondary) - typically 11 – 16 or 11 - 18

AO Eligibility Criteria

SSF will ensure that all of the following entry criteria are met before accepting an AO candidate onto the programme:

  • That all entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C (grade 4) in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics, and that those who intend to train to teach pupils aged 3 - 11 additionally have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C (grade 4) in the GCSE examination in a science subject. Information regarding equivalency testing can be found here
  • That all candidates hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • That all candidates meet the expectations of SSF at interview:
  •  Suitability to teach
  •  Ability to demonstrate meeting all of the Teachers’ Standards without the need for any further training
  • Passed the Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy (still required for this route - until April 2020)
  • That all candidates have secure subject knowledge, can communicate clearly and accurately in standard English, possess intellectual and academic capacities
  • That all candidates have taught and been accountable for children’s learning for at least two years (or part-time equivalent) in at least two schools or early years setting. It is not sufficient for candidates only to have had experience of two schools. Practical teaching experience is not restricted to schools in the UK
  • That all candidates have taught children from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and across their chosen age range
  • That all candidates have been subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure / pre-employment and safeguarding checks by their employing school
  • That all candidates have met the Secretary of State’s requirement for health and physical capacity to teach

To achieve QTS you’ll need to:

  • Demonstrate secure subject knowledge (including competency in the Fundamental Skills for English and mathematics)
  • Present detailed evidence that you meet the Teacher' Standards
  • Be observed at frequent intervals over a 12 week assessment period by our team of assessors

What does it cost?

The cost of the 'Assessment Only' Route is £2,500. It is worth discussing this with your employing school as they may cover or contribute towards this cost.

How do I apply?

Applications are made directly to Surrey South Farnham SCITT and there is no need to apply through UCAS. Our application form can be found below. This contains a very useful eligibility checklist for you to use.

Privacy Notice

Please find the SSF Assessment Only Privacy Notice below (within application form)


Surrey South Farnham SCITT is committed to safer recruitment, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young children.