Are you a teacher or planning to apply as a teacher? If so, then you should know all about the Teachers’ Licensing System (TLS), which requires all teachers, principals, vice-principals, and school managers to have an educational professions license while working in the UAE.
Launched by the Ministry of Education (MoE), the system enables teachers to work in public and private schools in the UAE. The following article discusses the requirements, procedures, and other important matters regarding the TLS teaching license.
- A. What is the Teachers’ Licensing System?
- B. Requirements to be a Teacher in the UAE
- C. Steps to Get a Teaching License in the UAE
- D. Frequently Asked Questions on the Teaching License
A. What is the Teachers’ Licensing System?
The pilot phase of the Teachers’ Licensing System (TLS) began in 2017. By the end of 2020, the TLS teaching license became a requirement for all education professionals in the UAE. To obtain the license, an applicant must pass two tests: a pedagogy test, and another test based on his/her subject specialisation.
The TLS was developed by the Ministry of Education (MoE), in coordination with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education Training (ACTVET), the National Qualifications Authority (NQA), and the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).
B. Requirements to be a Teacher in the UAE
In order to become a teacher in the UAE, you must have a bachelor’s degree or a 4-year university degree as the minimum qualification. This applies to government/public schools as well as private schools in the country. Aside from this, you also need to have:
- A criminal clearance record;
- A medical fitness report;
- Original transcripts of records/education certificates; and
- Attested certificates (if you graduated from a university outside the UAE). These certificates must be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and your home country’s embassy in the UAE.
C. Steps to Get a Teaching License in the UAE
To apply for a teaching license in the UAE, simply follow these steps:
- Go to the TLS official website.
- Enter your basic information, qualifications, references, contact details, English language test score, and other required data.
- Upload your Emirates ID, passport, resume, transcript of records, certificates, good conduct certificate, residency visa, and references.
- Click “Submit Information.”
- You will receive an email from the Ministry of Education (MoE), informing you about the date, time, and other details on the tests you need to take. There are two tests: the pedagogy test/proficiency assessment, which usually takes place in September, and the specialisation test, which takes place in April.
- Once you pass the tests, you will receive your teaching license. This will be valid for one year or three years, depending on your test scores, expertise, and teaching experience.
D. Frequently Asked Questions on the Teaching License
Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about the UAE teaching license:
1. What happens if I fail the test?
If you fail to meet the test criteria, you will be given 2 more chances to take the test within a 24-month period. Most likely, you will be advised to retake the test after 3 months. You can use this time to prepare by taking TLS training courses. These will be customised based on your particular needs and the exam results, with courses ranging from 1 month to 6 months.
If you fail the test after taking it 3 times, your case will be raised to a special committee for further review.
2. Are there different statuses of the teaching license?
Yes, there is the Transitional License, and a Certified License.
The Transitional License is a temporary permit issued by the Ministry of Education if you meet some requirements of the teaching license. This will enable you to practice your profession, even as you try to complete all the requirements for a teaching license.
On the other hand, Certified License is full permit issued by the Ministry of Education after you meet all requirements of the teaching license. It enables you to practice your profession in the UAE, either in a public school or in a private educational institution.
3. Are there different types of educational professions license?
Yes, there are actually 3 types of educational professions license in the UAE: Teacher License, School Professions License, and School Leadership License.
If you are a teacher of regular subjects (e.g. Math, English, Science, etc.), you need to apply for a Teacher License. On the other hand, if you are a librarian, laboratory instructor, or special needs teacher, your category falls under the School Professions License. And finally, if you are a school principal or hold other school leadership positions, your category would fall under the School Leadership License.
In any case, the Ministry of Education will inform you about the tests you need to take, based on the type of license, your expertise, and your subject specialisation.
4. What if I already have a teaching license in my home country?
At present, the Ministry of Education is looking into finding “equivalencies” for those who already have a teaching license in their home countries. For now, however, all teachers will have to apply for a UAE teaching license.
5. Where can I apply to teach in the UAE?
Once you have obtained your teaching license, you can begin looking for a job in the UAE. If you would like to teach in a government/public school, you can search for jobs and apply through the Ministry of Education’s job portal.
On the other hand, if you plan to teach in a private school, you can apply directly at the school itself. The school will be the one to forward your documents to the Ministry of Education (or to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority if you’re in Dubai) for the necessary tests and final approval.
Similarly, if you are based in the capital, your application will be processed through the Department of Education and Knowledge, which receives teachers’ applications and processes appointments in Abu Dhabi-registered schools.
DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for information-sharing purposes only. To know more about the Teachers’ Licensing System, requirements, procedures, and other important details, please visit the official website of the Ministry of Education as well as the UAE Government Portal.
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