The framing of teaching standards within restrictive managerial or collaborative democratic ideologies impacts significantly on initial teacher education. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore teacher educators’ (n = 13) perspectives on beginning teacher standards for physical education teacher education in Ireland. Teacher educators favoured a standards-based approach to support consensus within the profession and clear expectations for beginning teachers. They suggested that provision of quality assurance through increased accountability and regulation could enhance the status of the profession based on a democratic ideology of teacher professionalism. The potential of standards to foreground a particular ideology of teacher professionalism is discussed.