GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Important Policies for Teachers Qualified Outside Scotland

Details of specific policies affecting applications for registration from teachers qualified outside Scotland can be found below. Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list and policies affecting registration are subject to continual review by the Council.


Employment based routes to QTS do not fully meet our standard teacher education requirement for registration. These include:

  • Teach First (without PGCE)
  • QTS assessment only routes
  • The Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP)
  • The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)
  • Schools Direct Training Programmes which do not lead to the award of a PGCE

Applicants who have followed an employment based route to QTS may still be considered for Provisional (conditional) registration. Please see our Provisional (Conditional) registration page for further information.  Teachers who have followed one of these routes may also meet our standard teacher education requirement for registration by completing an appropriate Top-up PGCE (see below for information).

PGCE Top-up Programme

If you have completed an employment based route to QTS (such as the GTP or Schools Direct (Salaried) Programme) you will be able to meet the teacher education requirement for registration by completing an acceptable top-up programme. You can do this before or after applying to us for registration.

We have accredited the top-up PGCE Programme that is offered by the University of Northampton. Information about the programme can be found on the university's website:

University of Northampton - PGCE Top-up (Primary/ Early Years/ Secondary)

If you are not currently employed as a teacher you may still be able to apply for entry to the course, applications will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact the university directly for further information.

If you intend to enrol on any other top-up programme you should contact us before enrolling in order to ensure that this will meet the teacher education requirement for registration.

English Teachers Qualified Outside of the UK

Teachers with an initial teaching qualification for teaching English to non-native speakers will not be assessed for registration in English but will instead be assessed for registration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Please note that there is no registration category for TESOL in primary education.

Secondary Education TESOL is not a standard registration category as TESOL is not commonly taught in Secondary schools in Scotland. Therefore, before applying for registration, please be aware that employment opportunities for teachers who are only eligible for registration in this registration category will be limited.

Registration processes under review

As of 1 January 2016 there were a number of changes to the registration rules for Qualified Outside Scotland and Professional Registration applicants. You can find out more about these changes:


If you qualified outside Scotland and wish to discuss any part of the application process, you should contact Registration Services on:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000


If you would like to discuss anything regarding your probationary period, you should contact the Professional Learning and Development Department on:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000