Professional Recognition

Professional Recognition provides the opportunity for all those who have completed one year of professional practice after gaining full registration with GTC Scotland to focus on and develop their professional learning in particular areas of interest and/ or expertise and gain recognition for enhancing their knowledge, understanding and practice.

Professional Recognition offers the opportunity to be recognised as you develop as a reflective, accomplished and enquiring professional, continually enhancing your practice at all stages of your career. Professional Recognition aligns primarily with the Standard for Career-long Professional Learning. However, applicants may choose to reflect against the Standards for Leadership and Management and for those in Further Education the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges (Scottish Government 2011).

The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning describes the advanced professional knowledge and pedagogical expertise that registered teachers will develop and maintain as they continue to progress in teaching and the education profession.

The standard provides an opportunity for teachers to progress, enrich, develop and enhance their practice, expertise, knowledge, skills and professional values. It will support teachers as they develop as reflective, accomplished, and enquiring professionals who are able to engage with the complexities of teaching and learning, the changing contemporary world of their learners, and the world beyond the profession and its institutions, in order to enhance the learning experiences for all learners.

In order to achieve Professional Recognition you are required to adopt an enquiring approach to investigate and evidence how you have engaged in enhanced, significant and sustained professional learning to develop professional knowledge and understanding and how this has impacted on your skills and abilities and on learners and learning. You should demonstrate this in relation to one or more of the key areas of career-long professional learning as outlined in the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning.

  • Pedagogy, learning and subject knowledge
  • Curriculum and subject knowledge
  • Enquiry and research
  • Educational contexts and current debates in policy, education and practice
  • Sustaining and developing professional learning
  • Learning for sustainability

Areas of expertise/ accomplishment you can gain Professional Recognition in

There are many areas in which registered teachers/ lecturers in all sectors can gain Professional Recognition. The list below gives some examples of areas of expertise in which others have applied for Professional Recognition. As this professional expertise develops and grows these categories continue to be adapted to recognise the specific claims submitted for recognition.

  • Teaching and learning
  • ICT
  • Numeracy
  • Learning for Sustainability
  • Supporting Pupil Learning
  • Supporting Teacher Learning
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Assessment
  • Research
  • Creative Learning
  • Project Leadership
  • Supporting Probationer teachers


You must:

  1. Have gained full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
  2. Have completed one year of professional practice after gaining full registration

Evidence required?

You are expected to maintain a Professional Portfolio which will include evidence of how you have developed and shared your knowledge, understanding and pedagogical expertise within the area(s) of your professional practice in which you are seeking Professional Recognition. This will include a critical discussion and analysis of evidence of the impact of your work on your professional practice, your learners and colleagues.

This portfolio should be discussed with your line manager as part of the ongoing PRD process. It is not necessary to send this to GTC Scotland with your application; however, you are required to retain the portfolio for one year as we will conduct a sampling of successful applications twice a year to ensure consistency of standards as part of the assessment process. An evaluation of the sampling process will be circulated to the Education Committee at GTC Scotland. We will retain the evidence provided for sampling.

Professional Recognition time limit

Professional Recognition awards are valid for a period of five years, after which a new submission will be required.


To discuss any aspect of Professional Recognition contact:

Professional Learning and Development Department

T: +44(0)131 314 6000