Guidance

Teacher reference number (TRN)

Find out what a teacher reference number (TRN) is, what it's for and how teachers can get a reminder of their TRN.

Applies to England

What is a teacher reference number (TRN)

A TRN is a 7 digit number that uniquely identifies you in the education sector in England.

You will only have one TRN – it stays with you throughout your career. If you already have a TRN you do not need a new one if you change roles or start a new period of training.

Your TRN is personal to you – only disclose your TRN to your employer or an official.

What to do if you’ve forgotten your TRN

If you’ve forgotten your TRN, you can:

1. Check your payslip, pension statement or teacher training records

Your TRN is sometimes on your payslip, pension statement or teacher training records.

2. Use the Find a lost TRN service

You’ll be asked for your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number

If there’s a match, you’ll get your TRN straight away.

If there’s no match, or you don’t have a National Insurance number, it might take up to 5 days to find your TRN.

3. Request a reminder by phone

Teaching Regulation Agency

Telephone 020 7593 5394

Lines are open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and on Friday from 9am to 4:30pm (except public holidays).

Make sure you have your National Insurance number ready before you call.


Who gets a TRN

You will have a TRN if you:

  • hold qualified teacher status (QTS) in England or Wales
  • are working towards QTS
  • hold early years teacher status (EYTS) in England
  • are working towards EYTS
  • hold a national professional qualification (NPQ)
  • are working towards an NPQ
  • contribute to the Teachers’ Pensions scheme in England or Wales
  • have a relevant restriction in relation to teaching in England

If you have qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status, you will not necessarily have a TRN. You will be allocated a TRN if you join the Teachers’ Pensions scheme.

How to get a TRN

If you’re eligible for a TRN in England, you should be allocated one automatically by the Teaching Regulation Agency or Capita Teachers’ Pensions.

If you do not have a TRN but need one to do a national professional qualification, you should get instructions about how to request one. If you do not receive these instructions, email:

Qualified teacher status

What a TRN is for

You need to know your TRN to:

  • view your record with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), check your record is accurate and download professional certificates in the Teacher self service portal
  • give to employers so they can complete mandatory teacher status checks
  • to manage records of your contributions to the Teachers’ Pensions scheme
  • give to the Department for Education (DfE) when you have been awarded QTS so you can begin your early career teacher induction and access your early career framework induction training programme
Published 21 December 2020
Last updated 4 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. New find a lost TRN service added.

  2. First published.