Professional Update

Engagement in the Professional Update process is a requirement for registration with GTC Scotland and is a key part to maintaining teacher professionalism. You are required to confirm your Professional Update every 5 years.

Professional Update might be slightly different depending on the context in which you work. Visit My Professional Context for more information.

General and Associate Status

To recognise the range of circumstances of teachers registered with us there are two statuses of full registration. You can opt to:

  1. Maintain Fully Registered (General) status: This will allow you to continue to seek employment but in doing so you must meet all of the requirements of the Professional Update process as outlined below including the sign-off process. Recording of professional learning can be done via MyPL.
  2. Move to Fully Registered (Associate) status: You will not need to meet all the requirements of the Professional Update process. You will be required to update your contact details annually and maintain the appropriate Professional Values and Personal Commitment set out in the appropriate Professional Standards. While holding Associate status, you will not be able to teach in schools, colleges or work in posts which involve judging the quality of school teachers.

Find out more about Associate status

If you do not wish to complete Professional Update, you can also opt to be removed from the GTC Scotland register. If you choose to cancel your registration you will be unable to work in Scottish schools as registration with GTC Scotland is a requirement to work as a teacher. Cancel your registration.

Key elements of the Professional Update process

Professional Update is an ongoing process, which includes the following elements:

On an ongoing basis:

On an annual basis:

  • Updating your details held on the GTC Scotland Register including checking your personal and employment details are up to date. Update your details via MyGTCS.

On a 5-yearly basis:

  • Confirming engagement in the process with GTC Scotland (individual and line manager).
Professional learning as part of Professional Update

Undertaking a wide range of high-quality, sustained professional learning enables teachers and lecturers to provide high-quality teaching and learning experiences and supports practice that is more likely to motivate and inspire learners.

It is important that professional learning provides rich opportunities for education professionals to develop and enhance their professional skills, knowledge and practice, in order to progress the quality of learning and teaching and school improvement.

The Professional Standards have been designed to offer support in identifying, planning and developing professional learning to ensure continuing development of professional knowledge, skills, understanding and practice. This involves asking deep and searching questions about, knowledge, skills understanding and practice.

Further information and guidance relating to professional learning

Discussion of impact of Professional Learning as part of the PRD process

Professional Update is based on effective learning that meets the needs of the teachers, which is sustained and has an impact on learners. Professional dialogue facilitated through Professional Review and Development (PRD) focuses on outcomes for a registrant’s own development as well as aiming to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Professional Review and Development

Maintain a reflective record of Professional Learning and associated evidence of impact

Maintaining a reflective record of professional learning and evidence of impact form an essential part of the Professional Update process.

Many teachers now use MyPL, which can be accessed through MyGTCS. However, some schools and local authorities use different systems. Check with your line manager or local authority to find out which system you should be using.

Using Evidence of Impact and Examples of Professional Learning Journeys

5-yearly confirmation of this engagement to GTC Scotland

Every 5 years, registrants will be required to confirm their engagement in the Professional Update process to maintain their registration. Like the professional learning record, this will be completed in a number of ways depending on the system in place, and usually by 1 July of that academic year. Whatever the agreed system, the registrant is confirming the following:

I confirm that I have engaged in ongoing professional learning and reflected against the appropriate Professional Standards. I have maintained a reflective record of professional learning and evidence of its impact on my thinking and professional actions. I have discussed this with my line manager as part of my Professional Review and Development process.

In addition, your line managers will also be asked to confirm engagement in the process and sign off a similar statement.

I confirm that this teacher has engaged in ongoing professional learning and reflected against the appropriate Professional Standards. They have maintained a reflective record of professional learning and evidence of its impact on their thinking and professional actions. They have discussed this with me as their line manager as part of the Professional Review and Development process.

Direct submission

Teachers who work in certain contexts and work for an employer that is not validated for Professional Update (PU) can maintain full registration through engagement in PU, recording reflective professional learning through MyPL. Five-yearly confirmation can be completed through the Direct Submission (DS) Process.

Find out more about direct submission.

Deferral process

We recognise that there will be a number of circumstances which may make completion of the Professional Update process within the designated timescale difficult, including career breaks, extended illness, maternity/paternity/adoption leave, and occasional supply work.

If you are unable to complete the process in the designated year, you may request a deferral. This deferral request should be made at local authority/employer level. For those who have chosen to use the MyPL system, this will be done via MyPL. Deferrals will normally be granted for 1 year.

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