Probationer teachers

Resources for Flexible Route Probationers – the Virtual School

These resources are designed to help Flexible Route probationers in their journey towards meeting the Standard for Full Registration.

Resources include guides to using the Flexible Route Profile, engaging with the Professional Standards, and Professional Reading. We’ve also answered some Frequently Asked Questions.

Glossary of Terms / Jargon buster

We often use abbreviations and terminology, which can sometimes be confusing when you are starting out on the Flexible Route. Listed below are some of the abbreviations, words and phrases that are used regularly in schools and other forums. 

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  • ATQ – Additional Teaching Qualification
  • ASN – Additional Support Needs
  • Academy – a term for a Secondary Education level school (also known as Secondary Schools and High Schools)


  • BEd – Bachelor of Education (University Qualification)


  • CfE – Curriculum for Excellence, the Scottish curriculum taught at all stages. More information on CfE can be found here.
  • CTC – Catholic Teaching Certificate, a requirement to teach in a Catholic School. Read more about the CTC.
  • Cancellation – An unsatisfactory probation period can lead to a Recommendation for Cancellation (or ‘Removal from the Register).
  • CC – Cause for Concern. If your school believes your teaching is a Cause for Concern, they will inform you at the earliest point of your probation period. This will allow you to evidence improvements in their areas for concern and move towards a satisfactory recommendation. A case for concern can also be raised when you need further support due to health-related issues.


  • DS – Disclosure Scotland, the organisation which administrated the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. Membership of the PVG Scheme is required to work with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Dual Subjects – A Secondary education student teacher can choose to complete their Initial Teacher Education in two related subjects, and complete probation in two subjects to become dual registered.


  • ES Education Scotland is a Scottish Government executive agency responsible for supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education.
  • ECT – Early Career Team. This GTC Scotland team is dedicated to students, probationer teachers and post-probationers. ECT also support teachers who qualified outside Scotland and have provisional registration with GTC Scotland, and teachers with full registration who are adding a subject or sector to their existing registration.
  • EPVG – Existing Protection of Vulnerable Groups. Each time you move to a new employer, you need to complete an EPVG application.
  • E&D – Equality and Diversity, a key theme of the Professional Standards.
  • Extension – A school may recommend that you are awarded an extension on health or competence grounds.
  • EYC – Early Years Centre, also called a Nursery, are for 3-4-year-old children and can be attached to a primary school.


  • FR – Flexible Route.
  • FTE – Full-Time Equivalent.


  • GIRFEC – Getting it right for every child is the Scottish Government’s approach to supporting children and young people. It is intended as a framework that will allow organisations that work on behalf of the country’s children and their families to provide a consistent, supportive approach for all.
  • GTCS / GTC Scotland – The General Teaching Council for Scotland


  • HEI – Higher Education Institution – universities and education providers who can certify higher education programmes.
  • HWB – Health and Wellbeing.
  • High School – A Secondary Education level school (also Academies and Secondary Schools)


  • ITE – Initial Teacher Education – the university programmes taken prior to entering the teaching profession.
  • IPDAP – Initial Professional Development Action Plan.
  • IRF – Initial Registration Fee.


  • KS & AfD – Key Strengths and Areas for Development.


  • LA – Local Authority. There are 32 local authorities in Scotland. These are local government / public administration, responsible for a range of services, including education.
  • LfS – Learning for Sustainability.
  • LOPS – Letter of Professional Standing.


  • MyGTCS – an online system where probationer teachers can access their profile and update their personal details.
  • MEd – Masters in Education
  • NQT – Newly Qualified Teacher, usually applies to probationer teacher, some local authorities have different definitions.


  • Observation – every probationer teacher needs to have their teaching observed by their supporter. Observations also take place once fully qualified as part of school Quality Assurance processes. 


  • PM – Probation Manager – every local authority has a dedicated officer who works with probationers, supporting their progress and providing local professional learning. 
  • PLD – Professional Learning and Development – dedicated to supporting teachers working towards full registration either in their sector area or by adding additional subjects to registration. 
  • PU – Professional Update – a five-yearly process that takes place to validate your ongoing professional learning once you have gained full registration. 
  • PGDE – Postgraduate Diploma in Education – can be either in Primary or Secondary Education. 
  • P1, P2, P3, etc. – Primary 1, Primary 2, etc., are names of primary classes offered by schools within Scotland. 
  • PVGProtection of Vulnerable Groups scheme 


  • QA – Quality Assurance of learning and teaching within a school.


  • RAF – Registration Administration Fee 
  • RTS – Record of Teaching Service 


  • Satisfactory – recommendation made in support of full recommendation 
  • SCES – The Scottish Catholic Education Service   
  • SCIS – The Scottish Council of Independent Schools   
  • SCIS TIS – Scottish Council of Independent Schools Teacher Induction Scheme 
  • SCH – School 
  • SFR – Standard for Full Registration  
  • SPR – Standard for Provisional Registration   
  • SQA – Scottish Qualification Authority  
  • SSSCScottish Social Service Council  
  • Student portalOnline system where students can access their application 
  • SVQ – Scottish Vocational Qualification 


  • TIS – Teacher Induction Scheme 
  • TQ – Teaching Qualification 
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