The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Edinburgh College receives Professional Update validation

Edinburgh College’s “Enhance” policy and guidance for staff professional learning and development has been validated by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

The college’s Enhance programme was developed in December 2016 and is designed to support lecturers and college staff to engage in career-long professional learning and development across their career.

Over 150 members of staff engaged in the programme’s first year, reflecting on the professional standards, and considering the impact of their professional learning on students. GTCS was particularly
impressed with the commitment of the Edinburgh College leadership team towards staff professional learning. This was further demonstrated through the development of a coherent structure and routes to support new
lecturers, as well as key staff involved in supporting learning and teaching.

edinburgh-college-professional-update-presentationGTCS Senior Education Officer Vikki Robertson said:

“Edinburgh College has taken great steps towards creating an innovative professional learning programme to help staff grow and develop. We are pleased to validate the Enhance programme with the GTCS quality mark for
Professional Update.

“The GTCS panel was impressed by the leadership team’s commitment to professional learning at a strategic level. Also commended was the Staff Academy which aims to develop a culture of career-long professional learning,
and the Reflective Practice Network which enhances learning through peer observation, professional dialogue and reflection.”

Audrey Cumberford, Edinburgh College Principal, said:

“We are delighted to receive validation from the GTCS in recognition of our commitment to the continued professional development of our staff. At Edinburgh College, ensuring we are meeting, and exceeding,
professional standards is essential to providing the best possible learning experience for our students and to delivering innovative education.”

Since 2014, teachers in Scotland working in local authority schools, national organisations and universities (in teacher education) have been required to commit to engaging in ongoing professional learning across their career. This process is called Professional Update and it is a requirement of professional registration with GTCS. Professional Update became live for registered college lecturers from August 2016 and GTCS has been working in partnership with colleges across Scotland to validate professional review and development policies and systems.

Professional Update requires teachers and lecturers to engage in career-long professional learning through the Professional Review and Development system in a college, to self-evaluate using the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges and/or GTCS Professional Standards, to maintain a reflective professional learning record and discuss the impact of this professional learning through professional dialogue with a line manager. This ongoing process is signed off every five years through GTCS. All local authorities in Scotland, universities delivering teacher education and independent schools have their PRD policy and processes validated by GTCS for Professional Update.  To date eleven regional colleges have achieved GTCS validation.

Further Information:

To find out more about the Professional Update validation, please visit our webpage:

Professional Update

A working group is currently looking at the registration and regulation of college lecturers. Read more here:

College lecturer registration working group