The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Professional Update - Associate and General Status

In order to recognise the range of circumstances of teachers registered with us, two statuses of registration have been introduced.

Fully Registered (General)

The default status for all currently Fully Registered teachers is that of Fully Registered (General) and this is what will be required to teach in schools and for posts which involve judging the quality of schools or teachers.

In terms of Professional Update, the status of Fully Registered (General) requires the following:

  • On an annual basis:
    Updating your details held on the GTCS register including checking that your personal and employment details are up to date.
  • On a 5-yearly basis
    Signing off to confirm engagement in the process with GTC Scotland (by the individual and their line manager)

Fully Registered (Associate)

The  Fully Registered (Associate) status option is for those holding full registration who do not wish to remain in the General category because of circumstances. Anyone considering this option may choose to contact us to discuss their specific circumstances if they are unsure if Associate Status is right for them.

Associate Status could be appropriate for those who wish to remain on our Register and:

  • have retired from education and will not engage in any further teaching
  • are not currently working or not working in an educational "front line" context
  • are working outwith Scotland with no intention of returning to teach in Scotland

Teachers with Associate Status will be exempt from the five yearly sign off process for Professional Update. As they remain on the GTC Scotland Register, registrants with Associate status are required to update their details annually and to act appropriately in terms of the Professional Values and Personal Commitment section of the Standards. Although not required, those with Associate status may, if they wish, participate in ongoing professional development, record their professional learning and associated evidence of impact, and use the Standards. The MyGTCS system is available for those who wish to use it for these purposes, and other systems may be in place which support the individual's specific set of circumstances if they are in other types of employment.

In summary registrants with Fully Registered (Associate) status requires:

  • On an annual basis:
    • to update their details held on the GTCS register through their MyGTCS account
  • On an ongoing basis:
    • to maintain the appropriate Professional Values and Personal Commitment set out in the Standards

Importantly like all other teachers they will continue to be subject to Fitness to Teach requirements.

It will be open to the individual to seek return to the Fully Registered General status at any time following the guidelines as set by GTC Scotland.

A teacher who opts for Associate status may transfer to General status as follows:

  • Less than five years since becoming Associate: at any time by contacting GTC Scotland.
  • Between five and 10 years: by meeting a quality threshold through agreeing a professional learning plan with an employer, seeking confirmation of the change from Associate to General (after a minimum of 20 days teaching) and then contacting GTC Scotland.
  • More than 10 years: by meeting a quality threshold through undertaking an accredited return to teaching course or equivalent, seeking confirmation of the change from Associate to General (after a minimum of 20 days teaching) and then contacting GTC Scotland.

These quality thresholds will apply no earlier than 2016. In the first instance they will apply only to those without active engagement in teaching for more than seven years, and this limit will fall to five years but not before 2019.

General Status
Full (Retired)
General Status
Up to 5y supply work
Associate Status
Details on Register

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Formal staff review process

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Use of Standards

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Maintain SFR and engage with other Standards as appropriate Maintain values
Engaging in PL

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As required by supply post  
Recording impact of PL

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For further information about Professional Update, contact:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000