GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Accreditation of Programmes Leading to Professional Recognition

GTC Scotland recognises the need for high-quality professional learning and development programmes to ensure that teacher professionalism is maintained and enhanced and that learning experiences are professionally recognised and valued.

We welcome submissions from providers who wish to have their professional learning and development programmes accredited with the award of Professional Recognition if they meet with the required guidelines for accreditation.

We define accreditation as the process of ascertaining the professional acceptability of a learning and development programme leading to the award of Professional Recognition for course participants.

There are specific features required to achieve Professional Recognition accreditation that must be embedded within a programme for it to be successfully accredited.

The specific features include:

  • A clearly articulated rationale for the programme
  • Alignment with the national Professional Learning Model   
  • Enquiry and research and the dispositions required for this as outlined in the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning or other appropriate Standard
  • Alignment to features of enquiry at SCQF level 11
  • Focus on the individual's personal and professional learning and development, linked to the particular area of expertise. This includes a personal self-evaluation process
  • Enhanced academic and professional knowledge of the subject/ topic/ issue
  • Enhanced professional actions within the specific educational context and/ or the wider educational community
  • Critical reflection on the learning and development within the area of expertise
  • Clear understanding and analysis of the impact of this learning and development on self/ learners/colleagues' professional practice
  • Evidence of collaborative practice
  • Professional discussion with line manager as an integral part of Professional Review and Development (PRD) discussions
  • An opportunity for participants to evidence their professional learning as part of the programme

Professional Recognition Accreditation Panels are convened each month. Prior to bringing a programme forward to panel, GTCS will offer a support meeting with a GTCS Officer who will guide you through the process.

Upcoming Professional Recognition panel dates

28 April 2021
27 May 2021
28 June 2021
31 August 2021
23 September 2021
28 October 2021
24 November 2021
9 December 2021

Programmes are accredited with Professional Recognition for five years with an interim evaluation highlighting any developments and/or enhancements to the content, nature, duration, staffing or structure of the programme.

During this period the accredited programme provider submits to GTCS the lists of candidates who have completed the programme and who wish to be awarded with Professional Recognition. The Certificates can then be either sent directly from GTCS to the teachers or the programme providers, should they wish to organise an event to celebrate with the teachers.

Programme providers can make use of the GTCSProfessional Recognition quality mark. They will also be invited to become part of our list of accredited providers for Professional Recognition and to send us a paragraph for inclusion on our website, please see:

The programme providers must notify GTCS if there are any significant changes in staffing and/or to the structure of the programme during the five-year period covered by accreditation. 

Professional Recognition - Renewal

At the end of each five-year period, re-accreditation is required. The process is very similar and programme providers are asked as part of the application form to give an overarching statement giving an update on the programme across the period of the award, including any changes and developments made.

The panel process is set out in section 4 of the Professional Recognition guidance with one notable difference, the programme provider starts the panel by giving an overview of the Professional Recognised programme across the last 5 years, drawing attention to the impact to this award and any relevant changes and developments. This does not have to be done through a formal presentation

All GTCS accredited programmes are awarded with a Quality Mark, a sample of which can be seen below. The mark may be used for the duration of the accredited period, up to five years, where accredited programmes are permitted to use it on all forms of communications. However, using the Quality mark must always be in clear connection with the accredited learning programme and our terms and conditions must be adhered to.

Professional Recognition - Quality Mark - SAMPLE


To make an initial enquiry about Professional Recognition accreditation contact:

T: +44(0)131 314 6000