The Professional Standards for Scotland’s Teachers describe teacher professionalism in Scotland; teachers’ ‘way of being’.

Refreshed and restructured Professional Standards were enacted on 2 August 2021, and can be viewed below.

The Professional Standards support and promote partnership, leadership, enquiry and professional learning and have multiple purposes.

The purpose of the Professional Standards

  • to create a shared language for teaching professionals
  • as a benchmark for professional competency (Standard for Provisional Registration and Standard for Full Registration)
  • to develop and enhance professionalism
  • to support career-long professional growth
  • to provide a framework for Initial Teacher Education, probation and leadership pathways and professional learning programmes
  • support for self-evaluation and reflection for teachers in, and aspiring to, formal leadership roles and contribution to dialogue about leadership and management
  • to inform the process of recruitment and selection
  • to ensure and enhance public trust and confidence in the teaching profession

Being a teacher in Scotland

The Professional Standards 2021 include a new section called ‘Being a teacher in Scotland’, which highlights the professional values of social justice, trust and respect and integrity as central to what it means to be a teacher in Scotland.

This roots the Professional Standards as a framework that supports what it means to become, to be and to grow as a teacher in Scotland.

The strong focus on professional values helps teachers develop their professional identity and underpins a deep commitment to all learners’ cognitive, social and emotional growth and wellbeing.

The Professional Standards are integral to, and demonstrated through, teachers’ professional relationships, thinking and actions in their professional practice.

Commitment to reflecting on the connections between values and actions and career-long professional learning is a critical part of developing teacher professionalism.

Explore the Professional Standards

Learn more about the Professional Standards in these individual knowledge base articles:

The Standard for Provisional Registration

The Standard for Full Registration

The Standard for Additional Support Needs

The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning

The Standard for Middle Leadership

The Standard for Headship

Exploring the Professional Standards learning resource

This PowerPoint presentation is designed to help you to explore the refreshed and restructured Professional Standards:

Exploring the Professional Standards 2021 Learning Resource

Professional Standards comparison tool

Use this tool to compare professional knowledge and understanding, and professional skills and abilities across the Professional Standards.

Professional Standards side-by-side comparison tool

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