UPS 1 Progression - Threshold

After one year’s service on Point 6 of the Main Pay Scale, teachers are eligible for consideration for progression to UPS1 in accordance with the agreed threshold arrangements.

From 1 September 2007, there has been no external assessment of threshold applications. Applications will be assessed by the Principal.

It is recommended that the Principal holds an induction meeting with eligible staff as soon as possible. They should issue application forms and supporting information to them.

In making decisions, the Principal will take account of the teacher’s performance in the four threshold standards and the two most recent Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) review statements. It is not an automatic process. Successful teachers will move to point 1 of the Upper Pay Scale from 1 September of the year of the application.

The process is voluntary. Teachers who chose not to apply in the previous year are eligible to apply the following year. Teachers are responsible for making the application themselves.

Applications must be made on a specific application form (available from the Principal) and submitted by early October in the school year when the teacher wishes to be placed on UPS1.  

Threshold standards (see Threshold Assessment Northern Ireland Handbook available on the appropriate ELB website).

A teacher must demonstrate that they have met all four standards to ‘cross the threshold’ (to move onto UPS1).

The standards relate directly to teaching and learning:

  • core values, understanding of the curriculum and professional knowledge;
  • teaching and assessment of learning;
  • contribution to raising standards through pupil achievement;
  • effective professional development.

Appeal Process

In the case of unsuccessful applicants, Principals should give written feedback on the reasons for the outcome of the application, standard by standard, within 20 working days of their decision on the application.

Teachers who, after feedback from the Principal, believe that they have been wrongly assessed have the right to appeal against the decision under the appeals mechanism within the school’s salary appeal.

The Grievance Procedure should not be used for such appeals.

Questions and Answers

Q. I was off on maternity leave for the whole of my M6 year.  Can I still apply for UPS1 in the October following that M6 year?

A. Yes. The Principal should make a professional judgement that if you had been in school that year, you would have been successful/unsuccessful in accessing UPS1. Should they make the judgement wrongly, there is the possibility that their actions could be deemed to be discriminatory.

Movement from UPS1 to UPS2 and from UPS2 to UPS3

  • After 2 years' service on UPS1, teachers are eligible for consideration for progression to UPS2.
  • Two consecutive successful PRSD review statements are required from the two years.
  • The Principal is responsible for approving the movement of the teacher – the decision being based solely on the basis of two successful PRSD review statements.
  • No application form is required.

Unsuccessful teachers can appeal under the appeals mechanism within their school’s salary policy.


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