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The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has a statutory function to accredit providers of initial teacher training (ITT) who can demonstrate that they will satisfy the Secretary of State for Education's criteria for ITT.
Any potential provider of ITT is required to secure accreditation in order to deliver courses that lead to a recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS).
Currently NCTL will only consider for accreditation potential new providers led by a school that holds an Ofsted Section 5 grade of 'good' or 'outstanding'.
The first step in the accreditation process is for an institution interested in becoming an accredited provider to attend one of the monthly briefing events held for all potential new providers (PNPs) of ITT. To book a place at one of these meetings, PNPs should contact the NCTL accreditation team.
Following the briefing the PNP will submit a business case to the NCTL, setting out the rationale for the proposed new provision. Once this has been approved, the PNP will prepare and submit detailed documentation against the NCTL’s assessment criteria. These are currently under review.
The NCTL will scrutinise a PNP's proposal and, when it is satisfied that all of the assessment criteria have been met, will recommend accreditation to the NCTL’s chief executive.
In order to be accredited, a provider must design training which meets the Secretary of State for Education's ITT criteria. All ITT providers need to ensure that all programmes of ITT comply with the ITT criteria. Ofsted inspects providers for compliance with the criteria. The ITT criteria also include criteria for the withdrawal of accreditation.
Only those trainee teachers who have met all of the standards for QTS can be recommended for the award of QTS. The new Teachers' Standards came into effect on 1 September 2012. All accredited ITT providers must ensure that all trainees are assessed against these standards.
The NCTL has clear criteria for withdrawing a provider’s accreditation, and a process for this. The process has recently been updated and this new version came into effect on 1 September 2013, replacing the current version.
In exceptional circumstances, accredited providers may wish to seek the migration of their accreditation to another legal entity. NCTL will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. NCTL has developed a process for the migration of accreditation, details of which can be downloaded from this page.
NCTL Accreditation Team
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PDF, 174 Kb
Document describing the process for the withdrawal of accreditation for initial teacher training providers 2012.
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Document describing the process for the withdrawal of accreditation for initial teacher training providers 2013.
PDF, 240 Kb
The process by which the NCTL consider and enact requests from ITT providers to migrate their accreditation to another legal entity.
The criteria for the delivery of initial teacher training from September 2012
The Ofsted handbook for inspection of initial teacher training providers
The standards for qualified teacher status, effective from 1 September 2012