Mandatory qualifications: specialist teachers

Mandatory qualifications for specialist teachers of pupils with hearing impairment, vision impairment or multi-sensory impairment.


To teach a class of pupils with hearing impairment (HI), vision impairment (VI), or multi-sensory impairment (MSI), a teacher must hold a mandatory qualification. This qualification is required in addition to qualified teacher status.


The following providers are approved to offer courses leading to the mandatory qualification, against the updated specifications from September 2016.

Provider Specialism Link to course details or contact
University of Birmingham VI, HI and MSI vision impairment, hearing impairment, multisensory impairment
University of Leeds HI hearing impairment
University of Manchester HI hearing impairment
Mary Hare School / University of Hertfordshire HI hearing impairment
University of Edinburgh VI vision impairment
Liverpool John Moores University / St Vincent’s special school VI vision impairment

Specifications for mandatory qualifications


We reviewed the mandatory qualification, to ensure that it:

  • reflects the changing landscape
  • meets the needs of the profession and children and young people with sensory impairment
  • meets Department for Education priorities to ensure schools, higher education institutions and others across the sector are working together to develop and provide training

A summary of responses to the consultation and the government’s response can be found on the consultation page.

Published 10 November 2014
Last updated 3 October 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated Mandatory Qualification provider list

  2. Updates to specifications for Mandatory Qualifications for Sensory Impairment for courses starting September 2016.

  3. Consultation information updated and a new call for providers.

  4. Consultation has closed.

  5. First published.