About the TQFE
The Teaching Qualification in Further Education (or TQFE) is the core teaching qualification available to college lecturers in Scotland. It is also one of the three national teaching qualifications defined in Scottish legislation, the other two being the Teaching Qualification in Secondary Education ( TQSE) and the Teaching Qualification in Primary Education ( TQPE).
As such the TQFE is subject to a full approval and accreditation exercise every six years, conducted by the Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council Scotland, with input from invited college sector experts.
As with the other teaching qualifications, the name ' TQFE' is a generic title; the actual qualification which candidates gain depends on the SCQF level at which it is delivered, and the institution delivering it.
Currently, the TQFE is delivered by three Teacher Education Institutes ( TEIs): the University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee and University of Stirling.
Their programmes are delivered at undergraduate ( SCQF Level 9) and / or at postgraduate ( SCQF Level 11) level. All programmes are delivered to candidates who are already college lecturers, although Stirling additionally offers a 'pre-service' TQFE programme for full-time students, which includes teaching placements.
Because the TQFE is predominantly delivered to lecturers who are already employed within a college, it is undertaken at the college on a part-time basis - usually over nine to eighteen months - by lecturers who incorporate the programme into and around their normal lecturing role, with varying levels of study time off granted by the employer college.
Undertaking and completing the TQFE can therefore be very demanding on candidates. Flexibility of delivery, availability of learning and teaching study materials, college support and availability of tutors and mentors are key factors in candidates successfully completing the programme.
Programmes include both academic study and practical learning, including assessed teaching practice. All the programmes also embed, throughout, the core 2006 Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges1.
The Scottish Government expectation is that all new full-time lecturers should be working towards or already undertaking a TQFE, if they do not already hold an equivalent qualification. More detail on these expectations can be found in Promoting Excellence2, the Ministerial response to the recommendations of the Review of Scotland's Colleges.