Male and female teacher talking in a staff room.

International qualified teacher status (iQTS)

Introducing iQTS

International qualified teacher status (iQTS) is a new teaching qualification backed by England’s Department for Education (DfE). iQTS is equivalent to English qualified teacher status(opens in new window) (QTS). You can train where you live and work, with no need to visit the UK.

Need to know

  1. Apply now for courses starting September 2022
  2. Train over the course of an academic year
  3. Learn via remote technology and at a school in your region
  4. Fees for iQTS vary – check with participating iQTS training providers
  5. Gain a professional teaching qualification recognised as equivalent to QTS

Six reasons to apply for iQTS

  1. Gain the skills, experience and knowledge to become an excellent teacher, with an internationally transferable qualification backed by the UK government

  2. Apply from anywhere in the world, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria

  3. Train to teach where you live or work, with no need to visit the UK

  4. Learn from world-class English teacher training providers, with in-school support from a trained mentor

  5. Meet the same rigorous Teachers’ Standards(opens in new window) that are set for QTS, and open doors at international schools and other employers around the world

  6. Complete iQTS, and you’ll be eligible to apply for QTS with no further fees or training, and qualified to teach in all schools in England

Learn who iQTS is for

iQTS is a teaching qualification designed for UK and non-UK citizens living outside the UK. If you’re living in England, you should apply for teacher training in England.

iQTS is for you if:

  • you have no previous teaching qualifications or experience, and would like to gain a professional teaching qualification equivalent to QTS

  • you have some experience teaching, and would benefit from training and mentoring leading to a professional teaching qualification equivalent to QTS

  • you are already a teacher, and you wish to develop professionally and enhance your global employability with an internationally recognised teaching qualification

  • you are already a teacher, and would benefit from a professional teaching qualification allowing you to teach in all schools in England

Apply for iQTS, step by step

To apply for iQTS you will need to have:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a UK or non-UK university (or other institution)

  • a maths qualification equivalent to GCSE grade 4

  • for teaching children aged 3 to 11, a science qualification equivalent to GCSE grade 4

  • excellent written and verbal English language skills

You do not need any teaching experience or to be working in a school to apply for iQTS.

More about qualifications

A GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is an academic qualification awarded for exams in England, usually taken at age 16.

If you’re not sure of the status of your degree in England, or whether your science qualification is equivalent to an English GCSE grade 4, visit UK ENIC(opens in new window), the UK National Information Centre for global qualifications and skills.

To show you meet the required standard in the English language, you’ll need one of the following:

  • an IELTS(opens in new window) score of 6.5 or higher

  • the equivalent score in another English language testing system

  • to have completed some of your education in English, for example, a degree studied in English

Fees for iQTS vary – check with participating iQTS training providers

If you are already employed in a school, you can discuss with your training provider whether you can continue working in that school while you complete your iQTS studies.

You might be able to get a salary for your work in a placement school – this will vary between schools and between providers.

To learn more, contact your chosen iQTS provider directly.

iQTS is currently offered by the following training providers:

Over time, iQTS will become more widely available.

All iQTS training providers offer:

  • 1 academic year of training, including at least 120 days in a placement school and further academic tuition delivered using remote working technology or in person

  • teaching and assessment from an experienced, UK government-approved English teacher training provider

  • face-to-face mentoring at your placement school

  • regular feedback and rigorous quality control

To learn more, visit participating iQTS training provider websites.

Your placement school

Some iQTS training providers will be able to match you with a placement school in your region. However, others will ask you to find a school as a condition of entry to their course. For more info, check participating iQTS training provider websites.

To apply for iQTS, visit participating iQTS training provider websites, where you’ll be able to complete your application.

Your iQTS provider will assess you throughout your training to check you meet iQTS Teachers’ Standards(opens in new window). Passing your training provider’s assessment gives you international qualified teacher status. If you wish, you can then apply to England’s Department for Education for qualified teacher status (QTS). You can apply for QTS even if you don’t want to teach in England.

Apply for QTS

When you have successfully completed your iQTS training, you can apply to England’s Department for Education for QTS. You can do this without further fees or training.

Apply for your teaching job and visa

You can apply for teaching jobs in England using the Teaching Vacancies(opens in new window) service.

To work in England you’ll also need a visa. You will usually need to find a job before you apply for a visa. Learn more about applying for the correct visa to teach in England(opens in new window).

Complete your induction

As a newly qualified teacher, you’ll find some schools in England will require you to complete a 2-year induction period. During this time you’ll work and earn a salary as a teacher, and be assessed as part of DfE’s Early Career Framework(opens in new window). You’ll be expected to show you meet English Teachers’ Standards(opens in new window) and you’ll also benefit from training and mentoring.

You can complete your induction in a relevant school in England (see Induction for early career teachers (England), para 2.1(opens in new window)) or a DfE-accredited British School Overseas(opens in new window).

Further information

Learn more about iQTS policy(opens in new window) and Teachers’ Standards(opens in new window).

Learn more about other routes to qualified teacher status (QTS) and teaching in England(opens in new window).

Come to England to teach if you’re a teacher from outside the UK gives information and advice to international teachers who’d like to teach in England.

If you already live in the UK, you should consider applying for teacher training leading to QTS in England.

This guidance relates to teaching in England. Different rules apply to teaching in Wales(opens in new window), Scotland(opens in new window) and Northern Ireland(opens in new window).


For help applying for iQTS or more information, contact us on

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