Post Edit: The IfL will be ceasing to exist according to this https://www.ifl.ac.uk/news-and-events/ifl-press-releases/ifl-advisory-council-votes-for-closure-and-legacy-proposals/ and so it might be a good idea to hold back and wait to see how professional registration and QTLS (if it even exists anymore) will be achieved. Keep an eye on this website as the new professional development body for teachers from September 2014 http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/
The IfL informed me today that you can still register and the registration will be transferred to the new body but not sure yet what will happen with QTLS. I think I’m going to wait. It’s a bit of a dilemma as it would perhaps look better to have it on applications right now that not have it but then do you want to pay out for something that is seen as ‘worthless in a few months’? I’m going to wait I think until I know what’s going on and hope the new body will not charge more and make registration more complex.
I’ve been toying with the idea of ‘professionalising’ myself in the sense that it might be a good move to become a member or affiliate at least of the IfL. I’ve heard of it on my course and done some digging and question asking and lots of reading and I think it’s definitely something that can’t do any harm. Lots of FE applications ask for your IfL registration number and it’s good to have something to put in there, it just feels more like you’re the full package. That’s my take anyway.
Don’t make the mistake that you need to have finished your teaching qualification or that you have to have NQTS to be IfL registered because you don’t. I was of the impression initially that I had to be teaching or have NQTS before I could apply and didn’t realise (until recently) that I could have joined as an affiliate while I was a teaching student (so if you feel it may be useful or you have some funds slopping about it might be worth considering now if you are heading into training especially as it is cheaper for students). I would have found membership really useful as a student teacher but that’s up to the individual. I’m not pushing it just knowing this blog is followed by a fair few trainees or about to become trainees I wanted to share my findings as ever.
But anyway you don’t have to be teaching or have NQTS to be a member/affiliate but you do have to be a member/affiliate to apply for NQTS or AQTS so you may as well get yourself ready for that if it is your intention to apply for N or A QTS when you are able.
It’s easy to do and gives you access to lots of info and resources and useful CPD ‘stuff’. Everything can be done on the website but if you are applying for a concessionary fee (well worth it if you qualify for a concession due to student status, unemployment, low income etc knocks it down to £27) you do have to give them a ring. The membership fee is also payable by monthly direct debit now too so you don’t have to lay out all in one go if you would find it easier to break the fee down. Lots of info on the website to help you make your mind up if it’s for you or not, or if it’s something you might want to do in the future: IfL Website
It also explains all you need to know about achieving NQTS on that website.
It’s worth doing some reading about it and making sure that what you are reading is right up to date as you might come across references to FE teachers using LSIS for professional development as an alternative to IfL but LSIS doesn’t exist anymore and many of the LSIS web pages are government archives from 2013 and can be pretty misleading as they remain interactive giving the impression that the body is still in operation. There is also talk of IfL disbanding later this year so keep an eye out and an ear to the ground.