Published date: 30 September 2022

Last edited date: 30 September 2022

Closed early engagement

Closing date: 30 November 2022

Contract summary


  • System quality assurance assessment and review services - 72225000

  • Administrative educational services - 75121000

  • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract

Any region

Procurement reference


Published date

30 September 2022

Closing date

30 November 2022

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



This is not an invitation to bid. The purpose of this Prior Information Notice (PIN) is to invite organisations to participate in market engagement.
International qualified teacher status (iQTS) is a new teacher training qualification backed by the Department of Education (DfE) and the UK government. It is in pilot, with plans underway to open iQTS to increasing numbers of iQTS providers and applicants in academic year 2023/24 and 2024/25 before its full launch to the market.
DfE will soon be inviting applications from organisations with experience in quality assuring domestic and overseas education provision to become iQTS inspectorates for the iQTS inspection pilot. The pilot programme will run from January 2023 to autumn 2024. Those delivering successful pilot inspections may later be approved to inspect iQTS provision.
The inspection framework(s) and inspection documentation will be developed from January 2023 to summer 2023 and published in autumn 2023. The inspection visits will take place from January 2024 to July 2024.

DfE's International qualified teacher status (iQTS): inspection policy sets out the iQTS inspection regime. Inspection of iQTS provision must ensure that iQTS is delivered in line with the core documents:
- iQTS inspection criteria (setting out the standards iQTS providers will be graded on by the inspectorate will be published with the tender documentation)
- iQTS Teacher's Standards
- Initial teacher training core content framework for iQTS
- iQTS: citeria for providers
The inspection regime will also ensure iQTS meets the needs of candidates, iQTS providers, the quality control standards set by DfE at the overall goals, as set out in 'Introducing international qualified teacher status (iQTS)' link below.

iQTS inspections will be hybrid in nature, with evidence and data provided both in person and via remote technology. You will be expected to visit one school overseas from the provider cohort to speak to the trainees, their mentors and school leaders.
Following the inspection, the iQTS provision will be given a grade from 1 to 4, with 1 being the highest rating and 4 the lowest.
DfE's International qualified teacher status (iQTS): inspection policy gives more detail.

Aims of the iQTS inspection pilot
DfE intends to appoint a number of independent organisations to quality assure the iQTS training programmes delivered by 6 iQTS providers in academic year 2023/24.
What we learn from the inspection pilot will allow us to successfully roll out the inspection regime for iQTS over the academic year 2024/25.

Please note there is no DfE funding available for iQTS inspections or the development of the deliverables listed below. iQTS providers set their own course fees and as part of this course fee they will cover the cost of their iQTS inspection.

Organisations submitting an application for the iQTS inspectorate do so at their own risk.

More information

Previous notice about this procurement

PIN- iQTS inspection regime, appointment of inspectorates

  • Early engagement
  • Published 30 September 2022


Additional text

As part of the application process to become an iQTS inspectorate, you must confirm:
- You are independent from English ITT providers and all overseas schools
- have relevant expertise and experience of similar quality assurance work in the UK or overseas (for example, working with British Schools Overseas)
- have appropriate knowledge and understanding of initial teacher training, and if not, confirm you would be prepared to attend training to increase your knowledge and commit to being able to demonstrate this by the point of inspection
- have sufficient capacity to design and deliver a high quality inspection framework in line with DfE's inspection policy and iQTS inspection criteria in time for inspections to commence in January 2024
- have an international presence that means you can easily conduct 'in person' inspections, or have overseas connections to facilitate this
- have existing international relationships and/or partnerships to assist in the development of your iQTS inspection framework
- can evidence you can deploy both your staff and technological resources to meet the ambitions of the hybrid approach to the iQTS inspection policy
- will work with DfE and other appointed inspectorates from January 2023 to Summer 2023 to develop the iQTS inspection framework, the iQTS inspection code of conduct and supporting inspection documentation
- will work with DfE and iQTS providers from January 2024 to June 2024 to deliver the iQTS inspection pilot
- agree to DfE quality assurance of pilot iQTS inspectorates and the direct costs associated with it

Key Deliverables
In the year prior to the iQTS inspections, inspectorates must:
- Attend DfE training to ensure up to date knowledge and understanding of teacher training and iQTS
- Produce an iQTS inspection framework (final version by August 2023).
- Meet every 2 months with DfE to discuss progress on the development of the inspection framework, producing drafts for review at two points in the year (April 2023 and June 2023).
- Once the inspection programme is underway, meet with DfE:
o to review draft inspection reports if a provider raises a challenge or complaint during the inspection
o to review the post-inspection feedback report

Market engagement - Identical information webinars will be held on Thursday 6th October at 2pm and Thursday 13th at 11am and will cover, what iQTS is, what iQTS inspection looks like, who can apply and what being an iQTS approved inspectorate requires. Open to all organisations who are interested and are able to deliver and becoming an iQTS appointed inspectorate.

This notice is for information only and is not a call for competition. The Department reserves the right not to enter a formal procurement process and not proceed with award. Accordingly, the Department will not be liable for any bid cost, expenditure, work or effort incurred by any school or other organisation in acting on the basis of this Prior Information Notice.

About the buyer


Department for Education 20 Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT