GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Professional Update in the Independent Sector

In August 2014, Professional Update was introduced for all those individuals who are registered with GTC Scotland. In taking this process forward it is recognised that registrants are working in a number of fields. This includes those registered teachers who are working within the Independent or Education through Care sectors.

The requirements of Professional Update are no different for registered teachers in these sectors.

The key purposes of Professional Update for teachers are:

  • to maintain and improve the quality of our teachers as outlined in the appropriate professional standard and to enhance the impact that they have on pupils' learning.
  • to support, maintain and enhance teachers' continued professionalism and the reputation of the teaching profession in Scotland.

The key requirements of Professional Update are:

  • On an ongoing basis:
    Self-evaluation against the appropriate GTCS
    Engagement in ongoing Professional Learning
    Maintaining a reflective professional learning record and associated evidence of impact
    Engagement in the Professional Review and Development process
  • On an annual basis: updating your details held on the GTCS register including checking your personal and employment details are up to date
  • On a 5-yearly basis: signing off to confirm engagement in the process with GTCS (individual and line manager)

It is recognised that as a result of the independent and individual nature of schools within both these sectors, the process of Professional Update may vary depending on specific school circumstances and needs. However we have engaged with each sector in terms of validating the various approaches to professional review and development as part of Professional Update. Information and details of the validation process can be viewed below:

Schools in the Independent and Education through Care sectors have a choice of one of two options - Option A or Option B based on their individual set of circumstances, see diagram below.

For those schools that belong to the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) work has been undertaken by SCIS to provide a framework for schools which outlines the key principles and practices in Professional Update. This framework has been validated by GTCS.

Independent schools that have chosen not to belong to SCIS will be required to opt for Option B and go through a full validation process.

Validation flowchart for the SCIS PRD Framework

Schools discuss and agree how teachers would wish to maintain a record of their professional learning, reflective thinking and evidence of impact. We have developed a recording system for these purposes called MyGTCS. Schools however may choose to use a recording system which best suits their needs.

Working within the independent sector may mean that in terms of line management the direct line manager may not be a registered teacher or indeed may not be in the first instance from an education background. A process has been developed to address such a situation where non-registered managers can be recorded as a reviewer on MyGTCS for sign off purposes. Please contact:

A number of schools in the independent sector have chosen to use the MyGTCS system for all of their teaching staff. For more information regarding this process, please contact:


For further information about Professional Update, contact:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000