The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Your Professional Context

We have collated specific information for different categories of GTCS registrant. Please select the category which is most relevant to you:

In preparation for the national roll out of Professional Update, GTC Scotland validated local authority Professional Review and Development schemes to ensure that they met the principles of Professional Update. The validation criteria for local authorities can be viewed at:

The system of recording professional learning that registrants will use will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are working in a local authority, you will receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable recording of professional learning and completion of the Professional Update sign-off. Where your local authority has an existing system in place, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information on the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS. When you access the professional learning record on MyGTCS, information about whether or not your local authority expects you to use the MyGTCS professional learning record for the purposes of Professional Update will be displayed.

Since August 2014, registrants have been required to complete the Professional Update sign-off process on a 5-yearly cycle as follows:

  • 2014/15 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x9xxxx and x4xxxx
  • 2015/16 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x0xxxx and x5xxxx
  • 2016/17 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x1xxxx and x6xxxx
  • 2017/18 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x2xxxx and x7xxxx
  • 2018/19 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x3xxxx and x8xxxx

Registrants who have participated in the pilot programmes of Professional Update in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 and completed the Professional Update sign-off will not be required to repeat the sign-off process for a further five years following that initial sign-off.

GTC Scotland expects you to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process by the end of the academic session in which you are required to do so, normally by 1 July.

However, we realise that, due to unforeseen circumstances, completion of this process can sometimes be delayed until the start of the next academic session. Therefore, at the start of the next academic session, registrants who have not yet completed the Professional Update sign-off process will be reminded of the immediate requirement to do so by no later than 31 October. Local authorities will also be notified of the details of registrants in their employment who have still to complete the Professional Update sign-off process at that point.

The development of Professional Update has been premised on all registrants having to meet the requirements of the process. It is recognised that not all registrants are involved in day-to-day teaching, although some retain a direct engagement with teaching and learning and/ or a responsibility for the assurance of its quality. GTC Scotland believes that those working in such roles, e.g. Quality Improvement Officers, Education Officers, Directors of Education and registrants working in national bodies such as Education Scotland and who are eligible for registration should be encouraged to maintain their registration as a commitment to the important role they play in maintaining and enhancing the standards set for the teaching profession as a whole. The Professional Update process for registrants in such roles will enable them to confirm their continued understanding of relevant aspects of the Professional Standards and engagement in appropriate professional learning. It will not, however, be necessary for those registrants to confirm this by active service in the classroom.

GTC Scotland has validated local authority Professional Review and Development schemes to ensure that they meet the principles of Professional Update. The validation process in local authorities seeks to establish arrangements regarding registered teachers employed centrally, including those who participate in corporate PRD schemes. However, GTC Scotland will not seek to validate local authority corporate PRD schemes as part of the validation process. The validation criteria for local authorities can be viewed at:

The system of recording professional learning that registrants will use will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are a registrant working centrally in a local authority, you will receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable recording of professional learning and completion of the Professional Update sign-off. Where your local authority has an existing system in place, or if you are using a corporate system, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information on the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS. When you access the professional learning record on MyGTCS information about whether or not your local authority expects you to use the MyGTCS professional learning record for the purposes of Professional Update will be displayed.

Since August 2014, registrants have been required to complete the Professional Update sign-off process on a 5-yearly cycle as follows:

  • 2014/15 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x9xxxx and x4xxxx
  • 2015/16 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x0xxxx and x5xxxx
  • 2016/17 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x1xxxx and x6xxxx
  • 2017/18 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x2xxxx and x7xxxx
  • 2018/19 – registrants with a GTCS registration number of x3xxxx and x8xxxx

Registrant working centrally in local authorities who have participated in the pilot programmes of Professional Update in 2012/13 and 2013/14 and completed the Professional Update sign-off will not be required to repeat the sign-off process for a further five years following that initial sign-off.

GTC Scotland expects you to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process by the end of the academic session in which you are required to do so, normally by 1 July. However, we realise that, due to unforeseen circumstances, completion of this process can sometimes be delayed until the start of the next academic session. Therefore, at the start of the next academic session, registrant working centrally who have not yet completed the Professional Update sign-off process will be reminded of the immediate requirement to do so by no later than 31 October. Local authorities will also be notified of the details of registrant in their employment who have still to complete the Professional Update sign-off process at that point.

In preparation for the national roll out of Professional Update, GTC Scotland has validated local authority Professional Review and Development (PRD) schemes to ensure that they meet the principles of Professional Update. This validation process includes specific reference to arrangements which enable supply teachers to engage in the PRD process. The validation criteria for local authorities can be viewed at:

We recognise that some supply teachers can have difficulty accessing aspects of professional learning and the PRD process and have published additional guidance for supply teachers which can be viewed below:

Supply Teachers

The system of recording that teachers will use to record their professional learning will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are a supply teacher working in a local authority, you should receive further information from your employer about the systems in place for supply teachers to record their professional learning and to complete the Professional Update sign-off process. This will include information about designated staff who will have responsibility for confirming your engagement in the Professional Update process.

Where your local authority has an existing system in place, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information as part of the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS. From August 2014, when you access the professional learning record on MyGTCS information about whether or not your local authority expects you to use the MyGTCS professional learning record for the purposes of Professional Update will be displayed.

Supply teachers with no access to a local authority system and supply teachers working across a number of local authorities using different systems can record their professional learning on the on-line profile available through MyGTCS.

Login to MyGTCS

If you do not have access to a designated line manager at the point where you are required to complete the Professional Update sign-off, you can submit your professional learning record and confirmation of engagement in Professional Update directly to GTC Scotland using the MyGTCS online profile system.

From August 2014 registered teachers will normally be required to complete the Professional Update sign-off process on a 5-yearly cycle as follows:

  • 2014/2015 – teachers with registration years ending in a 9 or 4
  • 2015/2016 – teachers with registration years ending in 0 and 5
  • 2016/2017 – teachers with registration years ending in a 6 or 1
  • 2017/2018 – teachers with registration years ending in 7 and 2
  • 2018/2019 – teachers with registration years ending in 8 or 3 etc

Supply teachers who have participated in the pilot programmes of Professional Update in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 and completed the Professional Update sign-off will not be required to repeat the sign-off process for a further five years following that initial sign-off.

GTC Scotland expects you to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process by the end of the academic session in which you are required to do so, normally by 1 July. However, we realise that, due to unforeseen circumstances, completion of this process can sometimes be delayed until the start of the next academic session. Therefore, at the start of the next academic session, registered supply teachers who have not yet completed the Professional Update sign-off process will be reminded of the immediate requirement to do so by no later than 31 October. Local authorities will also be notified of the details of supply teachers in their employment who have still to complete the Professional Update sign-off process at that point.

In preparation for the national roll out of Professional Update, GTC Scotland has validated the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)’ and Education through Care Schools (EtCS)’ Professional Review and Development (PRD) and Professional Update frameworks to ensure that these meets the principles of Professional Update. SCIS members can access this information on the members-only section of the SCIS website. Independent Schools not using either of these frameworks are able to submit their individual PRD systems to GTC Scotland for validation. The validation criteria for schools in the independent sector can be viewed below:

The system of recording that teachers will use to record their professional learning will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are a registered teacher working in an independent school, you will receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable you to record your professional learning and complete of the Professional Update sign-off process. Where an independent school has an existing system in place, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information as part of the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS.

From August 2014 registered teachers will normally be required to complete the Professional Update sign-off process on a 5-yearly cycle as follows:

  • 2014/2015 – teachers with registration years ending in a 9 or 4
  • 2015/2016 – teachers with registration years ending in 0 and 5
  • 2016/2017 – teachers with registration years ending in a 6 or 1
  • 2017/2018 – teachers with registration years ending in 7 and 2
  • 2018/2019 – teachers with registration years ending in 8 or 3 etc

Teachers working in the independent sector who have participated in the pilot programmes of Professional Update in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 and completed the Professional Update sign-off will not be required to repeat the sign-off process for a further five years following that initial sign-off.

GTC Scotland expects you to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process by the end of the academic session in which you are required to do so, normally by 1 July.

However, we realise that, due to unforeseen circumstances, completion of this process can sometimes be delayed until the start of the next academic session. Therefore, at the start of the next academic session, registered teachers who have not yet completed the Professional Update sign-off process will be reminded of the immediate requirement to do so by no later than 31 October. Employers will also be notified of the details of teachers in their employment who have still to complete the Professional Update sign-off process at that point.

Engagement in the Professional Update process is a requirement of all fully registered teachers. Completion of the Professional Update sign-off is not a requirement of teachers holding provisional registration with GTC Scotland. However, as teachers holding provisional registration are generally working towards full registration, it is important that, as a provisionally registered teacher, you are engaging in self-evaluation, professional learning and PRD as you work towards achieving the Standard for Full Registration. When you are awarded full registration, you will receive a letter from GTC Scotland outlining the requirements of the Professional Update process.

Engagement in the Professional Update process is a requirement of all fully registered teachers. Completion of the Professional Update sign-off is not a requirement of teachers holding provisional registration with GTC Scotland. However, as teachers holding provisional registration are generally working towards full registration, it is important that, as a provisionally registered teacher, you are engaging in self-evaluation, professional learning and PRD as you work towards achieving the Standard for Full Registration. When you are awarded full registration, you will receive a letter from GTC Scotland outlining the requirements of the Professional Update process.

Professional Update became live for GTCS registered college lecturers in August 2016 following a two-year pilot across three colleges.

This means that college lecturers who are fully registered with us should, in order to maintain their full registration, ensure that they engage in the Professional Update process which includes the following elements:

  • On an ongoing basis:
    Self-evaluation against the appropriate GTCS Professional Standards
    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 important that you keep your personal details including your employer details updated with us. This is a requirement of Professional Update. Please log in to your MyGTCS account and update your employer details.

If you are working in a college, you will receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable recording of professional learning, and college guidance should explain how to complete the Professional Update sign-off process. Some of this guidance is not yet available in colleges, however, many have been validated for Professional Update and others are in the process. Please check with your college HR department if you are unsure. We are currently working with colleges across Scotland to validate their PRD systems for Professional Update.

If you have a query regarding PU, you can get more information by contacting:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

In preparation for the national roll out of Professional Update, GTC Scotland is in the process of validating the aspects of University Professional Review and Development schemes specific to registered teachers to ensure that they meet the principles of Professional Update. The validation criteria for universities can be viewed below:

The system of recording that teachers will use to record their professional learning will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are working in a university, you will receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable recording of professional learning and completion of the Professional Update sign-off. Where your university has an existing system in place, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information on the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS.

From August 2014 registered teachers will normally be required to complete the Professional Update sign-off process on a 5-yearly cycle as follows:

  • 2014/2015 – teachers with registration years ending in a 9 or 4
  • 2015/2016 – teachers with registration years ending in 0 and 5
  • 2016/2017 – teachers with registration years ending in a 6 or 1
  • 2017/2018 – teachers with registration years ending in 7 and 2
  • 2018/2019 – teachers with registration years ending in 8 or 3 etc

Teachers working in the University sector who have participated in the pilot programmes of Professional Update in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 and completed the Professional Update sign-off will not be required to repeat the sign-off process for a further five years following that initial sign-off.

GTC Scotland expects you to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process by the end of the academic session in which you are required to do so, normally by 1 July.

However, we realise that, due to unforeseen circumstances, completion of this process can sometimes be delayed until the start of the next academic session. Therefore, at the start of the next academic session, registered teachers working in universities who have not yet completed the Professional Update sign-off process will be reminded of the immediate requirement to do so by no later than 31 October. Employers will also be notified of the details of teachers in their employment who have still to complete the Professional Update sign-off process at that point.

The development of Professional Update has been premised on all registered teachers having to meet the requirements of the process. It is recognised that not all registered teachers are involved in day-to-day teaching, although some retain a direct engagement with teaching and learning and/ or a responsibility for the assurance of its quality. GTC Scotland believes that those working in national organisations e.g. Education Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority and who are eligible for registration should be encouraged to maintain registration as a commitment to the important role they play in maintaining and enhancing the standards set for the teaching profession as a whole. The Professional Update process for teachers in such roles will enable them to confirm their continued understanding of relevant aspects of the Professional Standards and engagement in appropriate professional learning. It will not, however, be necessary for those registered teachers to confirm this by active service in the classroom. In preparation for the national roll out of Professional Update, GTC Scotland has validated the aspects Education Scotland’s Professional Review and Development schemes specific to registered teachers to ensure that they meet the principles of Professional Update. We have engaged with other national organisations to provide information on the Professional Update processes for registered teachers. The validation criteria for national organisations, to be used where organisations employ a significant number of registered teachers, can be viewed below:

It should be noted that GTC Scotland will not seek to validate corporate PRD schemes as part of the validation process.

The system of recording that teachers will use to record their professional learning will vary depending on where they are currently employed. If you are working in a national organisation which employs a significant amount of registered teachers, you should receive further information from your employer about the systems in place to enable recording of professional learning and completion of the Professional Update sign-off. Where your employer has an existing system in place, or if you are using a corporate system, there is no requirement for you to duplicate information on the professional learning record which can be accessed through MyGTCS.

If you are working for a national organisation which does not employ a significant number of registered teachers, and therefore do not have access to a GTC Scotland validated PRD system, you can record your professional learning on the online professional learning record available through MyGTCS.

Login to MyGTCS

If you do not have access to a designated line manager at the point where you are required to complete the Professional Update sign-off, you can submit your professional learning record directly to GTC Scotland using the MyGTCS online profile system. GTC Scotland will assess the information provided by you in relation to Professional Update and will reserve the right to sample this information and related evidence. If this applies to you, and you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015, please contact us for further information at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

If you lapse from the GTC Scotland Register of Teachers and subsequently rejoin, your year of initial registration with GTC Scotland will determine the designated year of your first completion of the Professional Update sign-off.

The development of Professional Update has been premised on all registered teachers having to meet the requirements of the process. It is recognised that many teachers working outwith the education system, or within the education system but not employed as a teacher, will not have access to a GTC Scotland validated Professional Review and Development (PRD) system but will wish to maintain full registration. To accommodate this, we have developed two categories of registered teacher: Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate). Further information on Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate) can be viewed below:

If you are a teacher working outwith the education system who wishes to maintain Fully Registered (General) status, you are required to engage fully in all aspects of the Professional Update process. Therefore, you should record your professional learning on the online profile available through MyGTCS.

Login to MyGTCS

If you do not have access to a designated line manager at the point where you are required to complete the Professional Update sign-off, you can submit your professional learning record directly to GTC Scotland using the MyGTCS online profile system. GTC Scotland will assess the information provided by you in relation to Professional Update and will reserve the right to sample this information and related evidence. If this applies to you, and you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015, please contact us for further information at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

If you do not wish to maintain Fully Registered (General) status, you have the option to select Fully Registered (Associate) status. Registered teachers choosing this Associate status are exempt from the five yearly Professional Update sign-off. As a fully registered teacher however, you are still expected to meet the expectation of updating your contact details annually. You can access the online profile through your MyGTCS account to record your professional learning if you so wish.

Login to MyGTCS

If you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015 and wish to choose Fully Registered (Associate) status please contact us and we will update your details accordingly at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

The development of Professional Update has been premised on all registered teachers having to meet the requirements of the process. It is recognised that teachers teaching outwith Scotland will not have access to a GTC Scotland validated Professional Review and Development (PRD) system but will wish to maintain full registration. To accommodate this, we have developed two categories of registered teacher: Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate). Further information on Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate) can be viewed below:

If you are a teacher teaching outwith Scotland who wishes to maintain Fully Registered (General) status, you are required to engage fully in all aspects of the Professional Update process. Therefore, you should record your professional learning on the on-line profile available through MyGTCS.

Login to MyGTCS

At the point where you are required to complete the Professional Update sign-off, you can submit your professional learning record directly to GTC Scotland using the MyGTCS online profile system. GTC Scotland will assess the information provided by you in relation to Professional Update and will reserve the right to sample this information and related evidence. If this applies to you, and you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015, please contact us for further information at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

If you are teaching outwith Scotland and do not wish to maintain Fully Registered (General) status, you have the option to select Fully Registered (Associate) status. Registered teachers choosing this Associate status are exempt from the five yearly Professional Update sign-off. As a fully registered teacher however, you are still expected to meet the expectation of updating your contact details annually. You can access the online profile through your MyGTCS account to record your professional learning if you so wish.

Login to MyGTCS

If you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015 and wish to choose Fully Registered (Associate) status please contact us and we will update your details accordingly at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

We recognise that there are a number of circumstances which may make engagement in the Professional Update process and completion of the 5 yearly sign-off difficult, including career breaks, extended illness, maternity/ paternity/ adoption leave, unemployment or engagement in only occasional supply work, for which extensions to the 5 year sign-off period may be required. If you are unable to undertake the Professional Update sign-off process in your designated year, you have the opportunity to request a deferral. Further information on deferrals can be found below:

The development of Professional Update has been premised on all registered teachers having to meet the requirements of the process. It is recognised that many teachers not currently in employment will not have access to a GTC Scotland validated Professional Review and Development (PRD) system but will wish to maintain full registration. To accommodate this, we have developed two categories of registered teacher: Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate). Further information on Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate) can be viewed below:

If you are a teacher not currently in employment who wishes to maintain Fully Registered (General) status, you are required to engage fully in all aspects of the Professional Update process. Therefore, you should record your professional learning on the online profile available through MyGTCS.

Login to MyGTCS

You can submit your professional learning record directly to GTC Scotland using the MyGTCS online profile system. GTC Scotland will assess the information provided by you in relation to Professional Update and will reserve the right to sample this information and related evidence. If this applies to you, and you have received a letter from us stating that you are due to complete the 5-yearly Professional Update sign-off during session 2014/2015, please contact us for further information at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

If you are not currently in employment there are three options which are available to you:

  1. Maintaining Fully Registered (General) status
  2. Opting for Fully Registered (Associate) status
  3. Opting to remove yourself from the GTCS register

By selecting 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 including the sign-off process.

By selecting Fully Registered (Associate) status, you will be unable to seek employment, unless you have requested to return to Fully Registered (General) status by contacting GTCS. Registered teachers choosing this Associate status are exempt from the five yearly Professional Update sign-off. As a fully registered teacher however, you are still expected to meet the expectation of updating your contact details annually. You can access the online profile through your MyGTCS account to record your professional learning if you so wish.

Login to MyGTCS

The following information may be of use in terms of the associated time scales and actions required if you wish to return to Fully Registered (General) status after

  • 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.

By opting to remove yourself from the register you are effectively removing yourself from the teaching profession.

Registered teachers who are planning, on retirement, to undertake supply work may choose to complete the Professional Update sign-off process prior to retirement, regardless of their designated year of sign-off. If you are planning to retire in the next year and this applies to you, please contact us and we will update your details accordingly at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

We have developed two categories of registered teacher: Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate). Further information on Fully Registered (General) and Fully Registered (Associate) can be viewed below:

If, on retirement, you have no plans to undertake occasional supply work, you have the option to select Fully Registered (Associate) status. Registered teachers choosing this Associate status are exempt from the five yearly Professional Update sign-off. As a fully registered teacher however, you are still expected to meet the expectation of updating your contact details annually. If you are planning to retire during session 2014/2015 and wish to adopt Fully Registered (Associate) status on retiral, please contact us and we will update your details accordingly at:

professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

We have developed a process to meet the needs of teachers who have recently retired. Further information can be found below:

Retired Teachers and Supply Work.

As a line manager supporting registered teachers in the PRD process, it is important that you are informed about the national guidance on PRD, agreed processes in your local authority or place of employment and the central role of the revised GTCS Standards in the Professional Update process. You can find out more at:

Education Scotland - Revised PRD Guidance

About the Standards

Many local authorities and employers have coaching and mentoring training programmes in place to ensure that reviewers are confident in the process. We have also published advice on coaching and mentoring to support the PRD process and this can be accessed below:

Coaching and Mentoring