Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers

Everything we do at the Education and Training Foundation is devoted to inspiring teachers and leaders to be the best version of themselves, so together we can change the learner experience for the better in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. 

The Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers have been developed with sector professionals and experts to support and inspire your professional learning and career development. The Standards were introduced in 2014 and have been updated in 2022. 

The three domains of practice

They consist of 20 standards organised into three domains of practice:

Professional standards icons - values

Professional Values and Attributes

Seven standards to help you develop your own judgment of what works and does not work in your teaching and training.

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Professional Knowledge and Understanding

Five standards which highlight the importance of subject knowledge, teaching expertise, knowledge-sharing, supporting learners with educational difficulties, and professional responsibilities.

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Professional Skills

Eight standards which support you to master planning, motivation, coaching and assessment strategies to enable your learners to make excellent progress. 

Explore the 20 Professional Standards

Click to open the boxes below and explore each of the 20 standards.

Professional Values and Attributes

  1. Critically reflect on and evaluate your practices, values, and beliefs to improve learner outcomes.
  2. Promote and embed education for sustainable development (ESD) across learning and working practices.
  3. Inspire, motivate, and raise aspirations of learners by communicating high expectations and a passion for learning.
  4. Support and develop learners’ confidence, autonomy and thinking skills, taking account of their needs and starting points.
  5. Value and champion diversity, equality of opportunity, inclusion and social equity.
  6. Develop collaborative and respectful relationships with learners, colleagues and external stakeholders.
  7. Engage with and promote a culture of continuous learning and quality improvement.

Professional Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Develop and update knowledge of your subject specialism, taking account of new practices, research and/ or industry requirements.
  2. Critically review and apply your knowledge of educational research, pedagogy, and assessment to develop evidence-informed practice.
  3. Share and update knowledge of effective practice with colleagues, networks and/or research communities to support improvement.
  4. Develop and apply your knowledge of special educational needs and disabilities to create inclusive learning experiences.
  5. Understand your teaching role and responsibilities and how these are influenced by legal, regulatory, institutional and ethical contexts.

Professional Skills

  1. Promote and support positive learner behaviour, attitudes and wellbeing.
  2. Apply motivational, coaching and skill development strategies to help learners progress and achieve.
  3. Plan and deliver learning programmes that are safe, inclusive, stretching and relevant to learners’ needs.
  4. Select and use digital technologies safely and effectively to promote learning.
  5. Develop learners’ mathematics, English, digital and wider employability skills.
  6. Provide access to up-to-date information, advice and guidance so that learners can take ownership of their learning and make informed progression choices.
  7. Apply appropriate and fair methods of assessment and provide constructive and timely feedback to support learning and achievement.
  8. Develop enrichment and progression opportunities for learners through collaboration with employers, higher education and/or community groups.

The standards have also been considered against key career stages – early career teacher, experienced teacher and advanced teacher – providing aspirational statements at each stage. This will be available for download (coming soon).

How have the Professional Standards changed since 2014?

In 2021, we reviewed the standards, prompted by the rapid changes to working practices and digital learning seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the emerging sustainability and wellbeing challenges societies are now addressing. We consulted with colleagues across the entire sector over a period of more than six months.

You can download a transcript for the animation.

The original 2014 Professional standards can be viewed for reference.

Why use the Professional Standards?

Benefits of using the Professional Standards are wide ranging. They will: 

  • Help you excel in your teaching practice 
  • Enrich your professional development conversations 
  • Recognise the value of your knowledge-sharing with peers and partners 
  • Support your innovation and creative practices to improve learner outcomes 
  • Encourage you to engage with education for sustainable development 
  • Promote a fair, equitable and respectful learning culture. 

How and when can you use the Professional Standards?

You will naturally want to reflect upon your teaching practice, and the standards will help you to identify areas for your own professional development and provide a national reference point for staff development in the FE and Training sector. 

  • Download our ‘Guide to How to Use the Professional Standards’ (Coming soon)
  • The Professional Standards Self-Assessment Tool (Coming soon)

Professional Standards resources