Professional Update

Dear Registrant


Professional Update comes into effect from August 2014. There are a number of things you should do to be ready for Professional Update and this letter and leaflet are designed to help explain them to you. You may have read about Professional Update on the GTC Scotland website, in our e-newsletters, or in Teaching Scotland magazine. You may also have received information from your employer, or attended an event organised by GTCS Scotland, your employer or your professional association, held to explain more about Professional Update.


Engagement in the Professional Update process will become a requirement for all fully registered teachers from August 2014.  You  will  find  enclosed  a  leaflet  which  details  the  key  principles  of Professional Update, outlines the steps in the process and provides links to further information.


GTC Scotland has been piloting Professional Update since August 2012, working with teachers in local authorities, independent schools, universities and Education Scotland. A working group comprising representatives of unions, employers, government, parents, universities, Education Scotland and GTC Scotland has met regularly to agree the way forward, produce guidelines and review progress. We have used the findings of this pilot work to develop the process which will be rolled out nationally from August


We believe  that  Professional  Update,  which  is  premised  on  supportive  and  rigorous  Professional Review and Development (PRD) and sustained professional learning, will contribute to the future quality of the education profession. The process builds on and develops existing good practice and comprises the following interlinked features:


  • An annual update of contact information to GTC Scotland;


  • Engagement in professional learning, including continuing engagement in PRD processes;


  • Ongoing self-evaluation against an appropriate GTC Scotland Professional Standard;


  • Discussion of this engagement and its impact, as part of the PRD process;


  • Maintenance of a professional learning record and portfolio of evidence of impact; and


  • 5-yearly confirmation of engagement in this process with GTC Scotland.


From August 2014,  all registered  teachers  are required to engage  in the  ongoing  process  outlined above, with the 5-yearly sign-off process being implemented on a rolling basis, based on GTC Scotland registration numbers, as detailed in the table below:


2014/2015 Registration years  ending in 9 and 4
2015/2016 Registration years ending in 0 and 5
2016/2017 Registration years ending in 1 and 6
2017/2018 Registration years ending in 2 and 7
2018/2019 Registration years ending in 3 and 8


As your registration number is (to be inserted as appropriate), you will be required to complete the Professional Update sign off process for the first time in session 2017/2018.  Your GTC Scotland registration year is the first two digits of your registration number.


Teachers (including supply teachers) working in local authorities, independent schools and universities will  receive further  information from their  employers  about how they  can record their  professional learning and complete the Professional Update sign off in line with local procedures.


We plan to pilot Professional Update with a small number of registered teachers in the college sector in session 2014 I 2015. Registered teachers working in the college sector due to complete the 5-yearly sign-off will be able to defer this process until the completion of the pilots, and can contact us at: to do so.


We have developed additional guidance for teachers who are not employed in these contexts to ensure that they are able to engage in the process and maintain registration with GTC Scotland. This includes retired  teachers, teachers  about  to  retire, teachers  working  in the  college  sector,  national  bodies, working outwith the education system, working abroad and not currently working. If this applies to you, you will find further information on our website at:


Finally, further information on each aspect of the process can be found in the leaflet and on the GTC Scotland website: Our magazine, Teaching Scotland, will continue to feature articles on Professional Update as we approach August 2014, including detailed information on each aspect of the process, case studies and links to support resources.


Thank you for your participation in Professional Update. If you have any queries about the information contained in this letter please e-mail


Yours sincerely


Kenneth Muir

Chief Executive



Kate  Adams
Customer Services Co-ordinatorT: 0131 314 6080

The General Teaching Council for Scotland
Clerwood House
96 Clermiston Road
EH12 6UT

Professional Update – this affects you!
Professional Update will be rolled out nationally to all teachers from August 2014. Find out more at: