The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Previous service in lieu of probation

A satisfactory reference covering your most recent teaching service is an essential requirement of registration.

We can also consider references towards the probationary period in Scotland - for teachers and lecturers qualified outside Scotland this is normally 270 days (190 days for Further Education).

We are able to consider previous teaching service given outside Scotland (or in independent schools in Scotland) towards the period of probation provided that it:

  • was satisfactory
  • was in the relevant subject and sector
  • was given after the award of an acceptable degree and teaching qualification

Please note that we are only able to consider relevant teaching service from the last 5 years, including continuous periods of service which may include service outwith the 5 year period (e.g. a period of service that began 10 years ago and ended four years ago - all 10 years would be taken into consideration, not just the one year of service given with the last five years).

You may have given relevant teaching service in more than one school during the last five years. If this is the case you can nominate additional referees who can comment on this service. The application form gives room for details to be given of one additional referee, but you may attach details of more referees on a separate sheet of paper if you so wish.

Important: Please note we will only write to referees nominated in your application and you may not nominate any additional referees once you have submitted your application.

Below we answer your most frequently asked questions:

What evidence is required?

We will require satisfactory referee reports covering this service.

Will I need to complete a period of probation even if I have already taught for 270 days?

If you have not given enough teaching service (that meets all of the criteria listed above) to be considered in lieu of the period of probation, or referee reports cannot be obtained on this service, you will be offered Provisional Registration and advised of the number of days of probation that you will be required to complete.


If you qualified outside Scotland and wish to discuss any part of the application process, you should contact:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000