Professional Review and Development (PRD) is an integral aspect of Professional Update (PU).  PRD provides teachers with ongoing opportunities to reflect on their practice and personal learning through professional learning conversations supported by an annual review meeting.

When set within a culture of professional trust and positive relationships, high-quality PRD enables teachers, whether they are reviewers or reviewees, to be leaders ‘of and for’ learning.

All teachers should engage in their entitlement to PRD every year. When this is the case, the PU sign off year is simply the usual PRD process with an additional pressing of a few buttons on the keyboard to ‘sign-off’ and confirm the teacher’s engagement in ongoing professional learning.

Areas for development

These are identified and agreed with your reviewer through the PRD discussion and should reflect your current context. Circumstances during the previous session may have changed e.g. change of post or long-term absence and the previously agreed areas for development may not have been completed or deemed relevant. Perhaps the professional learning undertaken has been so interesting and stimulating that decisions are made to continue with the same area for development into the next school session. As long as professional learning is meaningful and is having a positive impact there is no requirement to change areas for development. Again, local policies will ultimately determine the expectations in their local authority/ schools.

Professional learning should be meaningful and relevant to teachers in their context. This may mean that some, or even all, of the professional learning undertaken will come directly from the school improvement plan, but it may also derive from specific circumstances arising that require you to focus on more personalised professional learning.  Professional learning should be impactful on learning and teaching or leadership and should help teachers to continually develop their practice. Through discussions with reviewers, teachers’ next steps in professional learning can be identified and discussed to best meet the reviewee’s needs.


Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT) agreements and policies for your local authority will give guidance around any documentation that is required. GTC Scotland have expressed that the process should not be overly bureaucratic and there should be no duplication required across systems. Reviewees may wish to self-reflect using a coaching wheel, or other model, and may use this to support and direct the professional learning conversation and support the identification of any potential next steps. The quality of the professional learning conversation is not the paperwork. The records are there only as an aide memoire, nothing else, and concise, reflective entries should be recorded for significant activities only.

Each local authority/ employer has locally agreed policies that determine what their teachers should be doing. It is always wise to be familiar with local policies to fully understand what is expected. GTC Scotland advocates that only significant pieces of professional learning are recorded, where due consideration is given to the impact of that learning through evidence gathered. Teachers should be trusted by their line managers to be engaged in all compulsory training, and as a result of ongoing professional dialogue throughout the year, be familiar with the professional learning that their colleagues are undertaking.

Your learning and teaching should not be judged during your PRD/ PU. If line managers have concerns about learning and teaching then these should be addressed through other support mechanisms, conversations and perhaps ultimately HR processes. The focus of PRD and PU is the teacher’s commitment to ongoing professional learning.

Supply Teachers

All local authorities have arrangements in place to support supply teachers with PU and PRD. Supply teachers have the responsibility to ensure they access PRDs and should contact their local authority/ school PU Lead Officer for advice on who they should approach. This can be challenging when a supply teacher works across numerous local authorities. Equally, it would be perfectly reasonable and appropriate to ask a member of the senior leadership team in a school with whom they frequently carry out supply work, to support them in their PRD conversations. Every effort should be made to engage in PRD on an annual basis.

This engagement helps teachers to meet their own learning needs, the needs of their learners and contribute to school improvement.

There are no expectations from GTC Scotland to the amount of information recorded in professional learning records.

GTC Scotland does not stipulate a specific time of year that PRD and PU should take place. Most local authorities and employers undertake PRD near the end of the school year. Some local authorities undertake their PRDs at the start of the school year to inform their wider professional learning opportunities. Local authorities and employers should review local agreements to ensure the timings of both PRD and PU are supportive to the contextual needs of their schools and teachers.

GTC Scotland encourages PRD and PU to be carried out at varying times throughout the school session.

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