The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Professional Review and Development

At the heart of Professional Update is the PRD (Professional Review and Development) process. PRD as part of Professional Update should be an ongoing process. The formal PRD meeting provides a valuable opportunity for a focussed professional dialogue between reviewee and reviewer. This professional dialogue will be supported by consideration of your reflections, your professional learning and the evidence of impact which you have been recording on an on-going basis. There should be opportunities throughout the year to discuss your professional learning. There may be informal and/or formal meetings with your reviewer/line manager.

The PRD discussion provides a valuable opportunity for you to consider the impact of your professional learning. The purpose of recording your reflections of your professional learning experience and associated evidence of impact is not to prove what you have done but rather to help you, prompt you and support you in your discussions with your line manager and to inform your own development and future professional learning.

It is important that both the reviewee and the reviewer involved in a PRD meeting has taken the time to prepare and has all the necessary information in advance.

Adopting a coaching approach in the course of a PRD meeting allows the reviewee to genuinely consider and identify their professional development for themselves and consequently to develop a greater sense of confidence and empowerment. You can view more information on coaching and mentoring at:

The following key questions can prove to be a useful focus for PRD professional dialogue. These may be questions your reviewer uses to prompt discussion or for you to direct the focus of the dialogue:

  • How has my (your) Professional Learning deepened my knowledge and developed my practice?
  • What changes have I (you) made in my practice this year?
  • How do I (you) know?

Features of Effective PRD

The revised national guidance on PRD is designed to support effective PRD processes. It identifies six key features of effective PRD:

  • Entitlement and responsibility of all as part of commitment to Professional Learning.
  • Positive impact on planning and engagement in Professional Learning and practice within ethos of collegiality.
  • Ongoing process that is supportive and challenging.
  • Founded on robust, evidence-based self-evaluation.
  • Focussed professional dialogue, based on coaching approaches.
  • Maintained reflective record of Professional Learning and associated evidence of impact.

Some questions to consider when preparing for the PRD:

Reviewee Reviewer
  Consider the balance of support that is required and opportunity to provide constructive challenge and opportunity for thinking about practice.
Have I shared which Standard(s) I have chosen to self-evaluate against?
Do I know why I am focusing on these aspects and how this relates to my PL?
Have I made myself familiar with the Standards to be discussed?
Have I shared the relevant aspects from my reflective record of professional learning?

Have I familiarised myself with all of the information shared?

Have I prepared any key questions to prompt discussion and enhance/probe thinking? 

Have I used evidence to help me know the ‘so what?’ factor of my professional learning?
Have I shared my evidence of impact/key messages I have learned from the evidence?
Am I clear that I need to focus on discussing impact on them as well as pupils and not on what has been done?
Is the use of evidence robust and valuable (fit for purpose) or would some further critical consideration be helpful?
Have I given my reviewer sufficient time to prepare? Have I taken the time to prepare and consider a coaching approach?
Have I considered my potential areas for development?
Do I know why these may be important and how they connect with the standards, School Improvement Plan, other targets?
Is it clear why the reviewee is choosing to focus on these areas for development?
How might this relate/contribute to other priorities?
Can I offer any support in this area?
Have I reflected against the Standard(s) in terms of the focus of my professional learning? Have I considered how I can offer support and take a coaching approach to identifying the next steps in learning?
Have I considered what approaches to my PL may be most relevant and why? Am I familiar with range of different ways PL may be supported and types of PL that may be useful? (this could include: supporting the individual in taking forward practitioner enquiry; suggesting professional reading; collaborative group to explore a particular issue, as well as possible courses and events)