GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Professional Standards and Professional Learning

Professional Update

Teachers maintain their registration through an ongoing process of engagement in professional learning and professional review and development as part of the Professional Update process.

Professional Standards offer a self-evaluation framework that can be used to affirm, inform, shape and guide professional development and practice.

Professional Update is explicitly signposted through the Professional Standards, for example, in the Standard for Full Registration, as below:

 3.3.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise
 Professional Actions As a registered teacher to demonstrate your professional skills and abilities you are required to:
  • commit to lifelong learning, through an ongoing process of professional review and development that impacts on the learning of children and young people;
  • reflect and engage critically in self-evaluation using the relevant professional standard;
  • adopt an enquiring, reflective and critical approach to professional practice;
  • enhance learning and teaching by taking account of feedback from others including children and young people and actively engage in professional learning to support school improvement;
  • work collaboratively to contribute to the professional learning and development of colleagues, including student teachers;
  • maintain a reflective record of evidence of impact of professional learning on self, colleagues and learners; and
  • engage with the Professional Update process.

Professional Learning

Professional Standards both support and inform professional learning and are central within the National Model of Professional Learning. The model places the teacher at the centre as the lead leaner and explores the dynamic relationship between the learning of children, young people and adult learners and the teacher’s professional learning.

The Professional Standards provide a framework to help examine, consider and understand the connections and coherence across our professional practice and sit dynamically with the core aspects of Professional Review and Development:

  • To self-evaluate and engage in critically reflective thinking about practice as part of regular, planned and ongoing professional learning dialogues and development
  • To support professional growth and agency
  • To ask critical questions of self, school or organisation and system
  • As a catalyst for learning
  • To frame to support thinking and practice
  • As a way to signpost and plan learning
  • To challenge and consider beliefs, values and professional actions
  • To explore professional identity