GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Professional Standards - Glossary of Terms

To be used in conjunction with the Guidance on the Standards


  • parent(s) should be understood as including foster carers, residential care staff and carers who are relatives or friends. It should also be understood as referring to one or two (or more) significant adults in the parent role
  • learner is used generically to refer to Nursery, Primary, Special and Secondary school pupils and young people
  • the profession, as used in the Professional Standards, is used to refer to all student teachers and all registered teachers
  • learning community describes staff, parents, groups and other agencies with a formal role in learning
  • wider community refers to other individuals and groups in the community in which learners live and with whom they engage
  • working with colleagues describes the approach taken to enhance the learning opportunities and experiences for learners within and beyond the curriculum as identified in GIRFEC (see below)
  • interdisciplinary learning refers to connecting and teaching across discrete disciplines or subject areas
  • learning for sustainability encompasses such areas as global citizenship, outdoor learning and sustainable development education. Learning for Sustainability is a whole-school commitment that helps the school and its wider community develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and practices needed to take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable future in a just and equitable world.
  • learning across different contexts refers to how, when and where learning will take place
  • partner agencies refers to all those with shared interest in the learners' educational experiences and health and well-being
  • parents’ organisations can be used to describe those organisations and groups (with responsibility for children) who work in partnership to support those providing opportunities for the learners
  • school is used to refer to pre-school centres, nursery schools, primary schools including those with nursery classes, special schools, secondary schools and all-through schools
  • sector refers to Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Special, Further Education and University as appropriate.


  • GTC Scotland – The General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • COPAC – The Code of Professionalism and Conduct
  • UNCRC – The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • GIRFEC – Getting it Right for Every Child
  • PRD – Professional Review and Development
  • PU – Professional Update


  • The Standards for Registration are made up of the Standard for Provisional Registration and the Standard for Full Registration, both mandatory requirements for registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
  • Standards for Registration
  • The Standard for Provisional Registration (SPR) specifies what is expected of a student teacher at the end of Initial Teacher Education who is seeking provisional registration with GTC Scotland. Having gained the SPR, all provisionally registered teachers continue their professional learning journey by moving towards the attainment of the Standard for Full Registration.
  • The Standard for Full Registration (SFR) is the gateway to the profession and the benchmark of teacher competence for all teachers. It must therefore constitute standards of capability in relation to teaching (with such reasonable adjustments as may be required under Equalities Legislation) in which learners, parents, the profession itself and the wider community can have confidence.
  • The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning (SCLPL) supersedes the Standard for Chartered Teacher (GTCS Scotland 2009). Having attained the Standard for Full Registration, teachers will continue to develop their expertise and experience across all areas of their professional practice through appropriate and sustained career-long professional learning. The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning has been developed to support teachers choosing to reflect on this Standard as part of their professional learning.
  • The Standards for Leadership and Management (SLM) supersede the Standard for Headship (Scottish Executive 2005) and include both the Standard for Middle Leadership and the Standard for Headship. These have been developed to support the self-evaluation and professional learning of those in, or aspiring to, formal leadership roles in schools. The Standards for Leadership and Management are designed to be used in conjunction with the Framework for Educational Leadership (Education Scotland, 2012) to support individual self-evaluation and reflection as an integral part of leadership development. It is vital that leadership development is supported by effective and systematic Professional Review and Development and Professional Update processes.



For further information about our Professional Standards, contact:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000