About GTC Scotland

Who we are, what we do

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) is the independent regulator for teachers in Scotland. We work in the public interest to enhance trust in teachers by setting, upholding and promoting high standards.


It is a legal requirement for all teachers employed in Scottish schools to be registered, and part of the agreed national terms and conditions for college lecturers employed in Scottish colleges; we administer that register. We set the qualifications and suitability criteria to join the Register, including for those who qualified outside of Scotland.

A requirement of registration is ongoing professional learning through our Professional Update process. This contributes to improving the quality of teaching and learning.


We set and uphold the standards for entering and remaining in the teaching profession and outline the conduct expected of teachers and college lecturers.

We also investigate and determine serious concerns about the conduct or professional competence of teachers through our Fitness to Teach process.


GTC Scotland is responsible for accrediting programmes of Initial Teacher Education and setting the minimum entry requirements for these programmes.

Influencing others

Our work allows us to use our voice to speak up for high standards in the teaching profession and to influence policy development in the public interest, providing the Scottish Government and others with advice and evidence to support decision-making in relation to education, regulatory and wider social policy affecting teaching standards.

We also engage with national and international partners to discuss global developments in professional regulation with the aim of promoting teaching standards and influencing teacher growth in Scotland.

Our story

GTC Scotland was set up in 1965. It was created following calls from teachers for a body to ensure teacher standards and was one of the first teaching councils in the world.

In 2012, it became the world’s first independent professional and regulatory body for teaching.

Read more about the history of GTC Scotland in Milestones and Minefields by Ian Matheson.

How we are funded

We are independent from government and receive no funding for our core role of registration and regulation. This work is funded by the fees teachers and college lecturers pay.

Our governing legislation