What is Fitness to Teach?


Our communities place a high degree of trust in teachers. They rely on teachers to interpret what is right and wrong, keep children safe and be positive role models.

One of GTC Scotland’s core roles as the teaching profession’s independent registration and regulation body is to ensure teaching standards. It is our role to decide if someone should belong to the teaching profession.

It is a legal requirement for all people employed as teachers in local authority and independent schools in Scotland to be registered with GTC Scotland. As part of agreed national terms and conditions of employment, college lecturers must register with us.

We manage the risk a teacher or college lecturer may pose now and in the future by:

  • refusing registration;
  • placing restrictions on registration; or
  • removing registration.

Being fit to teach

Our standards for teachers are set out in documents below. If teachers and college lecturers meet and maintain these standards, this is what we call being fit to teach.

The Fitness to Teach process exists to maintain trust in teachers and teaching. It is about ensuring that teachers and college lecturers have the skills, knowledge and character to teach learners safely and effectively.

Fitness to Teach investigations

We investigate serious concerns about:

  • teachers and college lecturers on our register; and
  • individuals applying to be on our register.

This is our Fitness to Teach process; a process that ensures we have a teaching profession in Scotland that is and remains fit to teach, so that public trust and confidence in lecturers and teachers is maintained and student learning is of a high quality.

When required to be instigated, the process is supportive, fair and proportionate. We investigate referrals about registered lecturers and teachers through our Fitness to Teach policy and procedures and we act only where necessary.

We rely on employers and other partners to help us:  

  • investigate the cases we should as a professional regulator and  
  • ensure that our investigations are as effective as possible.

Related legislation