Higher level teaching assistant (HLTA): qualification requirements

Learn what qualification requirements you should use when hiring an HLTA, and how you can support a TA to step up.

Last reviewed on 21 December 2021
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 8620
  1. What qualifications are needed?
  2. Who sets qualification requirements?
  3. Support a TA to gain HLTA status
  4. Use the HLTA professional standards
  5. Find out more

What qualifications are needed?

No statutory criteria for HLTAs

The government no longer requires teaching assistants (TA) to take an external assessment to become higher level teaching assistants (HLTA). Instead, employers and schools can decide whether a candidate is competent and qualified enough to be an HLTA.

Their requirements may include:

  • Level 2 and level 3 qualifications
  • Externally assessed HLTA status
  • That a candidate is judged to be meeting the HLTA professional standards

See more on these in the sections below.


If the HLTA is to be the manager of the setting, they will require an approved level 3 qualification or above. This is in