The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965


Professional Standards

GTCS maintains a suite of Professional Standards which are underpinned by the themes of values, sustainability and leadership. Professional values are at the core of the Standards.

The current standards came into effect on 1 August 2013 and were revised in light of changing contexts within education and society. Teachers in the 21st century need to be critically informed with professional values, knowledge and actions that ensure positive impact on learners and learning.

The Standards for Registration provide a gate-keeping function for entry into teaching in Scotland and it should be noted that Full Registration continues to be the baseline Professional Standard for Competence.

The Standards

How do I engage with the Standards?

In this section you will find some useful information to help you engage with the GTCS Professional Standards:

Self-evaluation and the Standards

Self-evaluation and using the Standards as part of this process, is an integral part of the Professional Update process. But what does self evaluation look like? In this section you will find detailed advice and guidance on self-evaluation and using the Standards. A wide range of support resources are provided.

Professional values into action

The professional values are at the core of the Standards. This section provides advice on ways individuals might think about the values and how these are reflected in professional actions.

Learning for Sustainability

Learning for Sustainability is embedded throughout the Professional Standards. It is a whole-school, system wide commitment that focuses on developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and practices needed to take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable future in a just and equitable world. In this section we look at 3 key aspects:

  • What is learning for sustainability?
  • Why should learning for sustainability be embedded in teachers practice?
  • What does it mean for me?

Download the Standards

Word versions of the Standards are available upon request to:


For further information about our Professional Standards, contact:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000


Support Resources

Key resources that you can use to help you engage or support others as they engage with the Standards and self-evaluate.

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Glossary of Terms

This glossary of terms will help define terms and abbreviations used throughout our Professional Standards.

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Find further reading on our Professional Standards including links to ebooks and articles.

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Academic Journals

We provide all registrants with free online access to articles and books through the Education Source - EBSCO package and the Leadership & Management Learning Centre.

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