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Continuing Professional Development: Teaching in Scotland

DescriptionAn overview of the CPD Framework and requirements for teachers in Scotland.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 08, 2003



    Continuing Professional Development

    This document is also available in pdf format (140k)


    Since 2000, the Scottish Executive has worked with local authorities, teacher organisations, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and other stakeholders to develop a national framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The CPD Framework is intended to help teachers to identify and access relevant, high-quality development opportunities that enable them to meet their full potential.

    All the elements that make up the National Framework for CPD are now in place, and this booklet explains how the National Framework can work for teachers. The booklet begins by describing some of the key aspects of the CPD Framework and goes on to answer some of teachers' frequently asked questions about CPD.

    All teachers will wish to make use of Professional Review and Development guidelines, which describe the process by which teachers will identify their CPD needs and outlines the sort of activities that can be recognised as CPD.

    Further documents describing specific elements of the framework have also been published. These documents, together with the elements outlined in this booklet, provide an overall view of the various milestones a teacher could encounter in developing their career through CPD; from the opportunities now available through the Induction Scheme and Standard for Full Registration, through to the Standard for Headship. The Standard for Chartered Teacher outlines the key skills and qualities required of those wishing to achieve the enhanced professional status of Chartered Teacher. CPD for Educational Leaders is the most recent booklet to be published and suggests how teachers of differing levels of experience and at different stages in their career may wish to develop leadership skills.

    All documents referred to in this booklet are available on the internet. Links to them and other useful sites are listed throughout this booklet.

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

    CPD is for everyone; teachers, chartered teachers, principal teachers, depute headteachers and headteachers alike.

    The range of experiences that contribute to teacher development is very wide and should be recognised as anything that has been undertaken to progress, assist or enhance a teacher's professionalism. When planning CPD activities, teachers and their managers should consider the particular needs of the individual, while taking account of school, local and national priorities. Page 7 of Professional Review and Development booklet provides a list of appropriate CPD activities. This list is not exhaustive nor exclusive.

    No matter the individual's grade or aspirations, CPD should address development needs, maximise strengths and enable all teachers to meet the challenge of teaching in the 21st century.

    Induction Placement

    The teachers' pay and condition agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century recognised that the probationary period was a key developmental stage in a professional teacher's career. From August 2002, all new eligible probationers who have graduated from a Scottish university are guaranteed a one-year teaching post with a maximum class commitment of 0.7 full-time equivalent, with time set aside for professional development and access to the services of a nominated probationer supporter.

    New teachers must reach the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) before being fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. The Teacher Induction Scheme offers all probationers on the Scheme the opportunity to reach the SFR in one school year.

    Standard for Full Registration

    The Standard for Full Registration is part of the general move towards the establishment of a competence-based framework for the teaching profession. It presents a direct progression from
    the skills and qualities identified in the Standard for Initial Teacher Education and it is closely related to the Standards for Chartered Teacher and Headship.

    The Standard for Full Registration serves two main purposes. It provides a clear and concise description of the professional qualities and capabilities that teachers are expected to develop during their induction placement. It is also a professional standard against which consistent and reliable decisions can be made regarding the fitness of new teachers for full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

    The competences outlined in the Standard are demanding and even experienced teachers may find it useful to refer to them as an aid to identifying professional strengths and possible development needs.

    Standard for Chartered Teacher

    A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century introduced the new grade of Chartered Teacher. Chartered Teacher status is a means of rewarding experienced, high quality teachers who seek a challenging career without having to pursue school management posts.

    The Standard for Chartered Teacher outlines the level of accomplishment teachers might seek to achieve after having met and maintained the Standard for Full Registration through establishing themselves in the profession.

    The Standard's four key components are professional values and commitments, professional knowledge and understanding, professional and personal attributes and professional action. The Standard focuses on enhanced professional practice and effectiveness in teaching and learning. A Chartered Teacher will promote learning and will be committed to the development of educational excellence in the school and the wider professional community.

    Further detail about Chartered Teacher is available at: www.teachinginscotland.com

    The Standard for Chartered Teacher was distributed to every teacher and is also available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/education/sfct.pdf

    Chartered Teacher Programme

    Several Chartered Teacher Programmes have been launched since August 2003. Access to the programme is open to all fully registered teachers at the top of the main grade who have maintained a CPD Portfolio. Teachers who are interested in undertaking the programme should register their interest with the GTCS. The GTCS will confirm that you are fully registered and at the top of the main scale. They will then provide a certificate of eligibility which you can take to one of the several providers who offer the programme. A list of approved providers can be found on the GTCS website, www.gtcs.org.uk. The programmes that are on offer comprise 4 core modules, 4 option modules and the equivalent of 4 modules for a work-based project. Further details about Chartered Teacher programmes can be obtained from providers or via the National Register of Providers at: www.nationalregisterscotland.org.uk

    All candidates will be required to undertake Core Module One. Thereafter, it will be possible for individuals to claim credit for prior learning and experience. Credit will be given where evidence can be provided that the prior learning is relevant (i.e. relates to the Standard for Chartered Teacher), current (i.e. has continued relevance) and has impacted on professional practice. Further details about how to make an APL claim can be found at: www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/education/ctapl.pdf

    CPD for Educational Leaders

    Leadership and management skills are important for all teachers throughout their careers. A framework "CPD for Educational Leaders" is the most recent element of the National Framework to be published. CPD for Educational Leaders provides guidance for those teachers who are looking to develop their leadership skills at whatever stage they are in their teaching career. Copies of the document have been distributed to all teachers via local authorities. It is also available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/ education/cpdel.pdf

    All educational leaders, no matter what their stage, experience or ambitions have development needs, which should be identified and addressed through Professional Review and Development and should reflect the priorities of the teachers as well as the school, local authority and national priorities. The framework in the guidance aims to highlight the competences characteristic of effective leadership and to outline a progressive set of leadership functions and qualities required at different levels and within different contexts.

    Standard for Headship

    The Standard for Headship outlines the key skills and qualities required of effective headteachers. The Standard's three elements of practice for headship are professional values, management functions and professional abilities. The Standard for Headship acts as a template against which those aspiring to be headteachers may evaluate themselves in order to determine their strengths and development needs.

    The Scottish Qualification for Headship programme was designed to enable teachers to meet the Standard for Headship. Involving a large degree of work-based learning, this programme is delivered in partnership between local authorities and approved Higher Education Institutions. Access to the programme is open to teachers who have at least five years' teaching experience and who are registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

    From August 2005, attainment of the Standard for Headship will be a criterion for first time appointment to a headteacher post. The Scottish Qualification for Headship is currently the only recognised route to achieving the Standard. Over the next few years, however, providers will be encouraged to develop alternative provision to enable teachers to meet the Standard.

    CPD Questions and Answers

    Why CPD?

    The quality of the education service depends, above all, on the quality of our teachers. If higher standards are to be reached, and all pupils are to be effectively supported in achieving their potential, it is essential that teachers are well prepared for their work and that they have the opportunities to refresh and enhance their skills throughout their careers.

    What will I have to do?

    A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century introduced an additional, contractual 35 hours per annum for all teachers. Teachers are now required to agree an annual CPD Plan with their immediate managers and to maintain a record of the CPD activities they have undertaken.

    What's in it for me?

    CPD is intended to support teachers and to equip them with the skills and knowledge required to keep pace with the rapidly changing educational and professional environment. The CPD Framework will act as a development tool against which all teachers can identify their strengths and development needs.

    For those wishing to take their careers further, whether in teaching and learning or leadership and management, the CPD Framework will provide guidance on the more specific development experiences that may facilitate their career progression.


    What is the CPD Framework?

    The CPD Framework is based around three Standards:

    • Standard for Full Registration;
    • Standard for Chartered Teacher; and
    • Standard for Headship.

    The national quality based CPD Framework will be applicable throughout teachers' careers and
    will enable them to maintain their professional status and adapt to changing circumstances and pupils' needs.

    Is CPD compulsory?

    Yes. The additional 35 hours of CPD per annum was introduced as a contractual commitment and was accepted by teachers as part of the agreement, A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century.

    What sort of CPD will I have to do to fulfil my contractual commitment?

    CPD is not just about taking courses. Some of the most valuable professional development can be effected through activities undertaken with colleagues and/or in the working environment. Teachers should take as broad a view of professional development as possible, for example by seeking new experiences, establishing new contacts, furthering theoretical knowledge and contributing to school and departmental resources and policy.

    Further guidance about the types of experiences that can contribute to professional development can be found on page 7 of Professional Review and Development guidelines.

    Who decides what CPD I should do?

    CPD activity should be planned in agreement between teachers and managers during the annual professional review. The CPD Plan should be compiled on the basis of individual need, taking account of school, local and national priorities.

    What courses are on offer?

    Professional development opportunities are on offer from a wide range of providers, including local authorities, higher education institutes and private companies. Development provision covers a wide variety of areas, from subject specific programmes to behaviour management and learning and teaching techniques; from information technology skills to personal development issues. Local authorities will have a list of the development opportunities they provide directly. A National Register of Providers is also available and provides a resource for teachers, schools and local authorities wishing to identify suitable CPD from external sources. The National Register database can be found at: www.nationalregisterscotland.org.uk

    How will I know whether a particular CPD opportunity will be any good?

    The National Register of Providers will ensure that CPD opportunities for teachers are meaningful and of high quality, while making a positive impact on professional performance. Mechanisms will be developed for the accreditation of providers of award-bearing programmes (CPD contributing to the Standards for Chartered Teacher and Headship) and for recognition of suitable general CPD Providers.

    Is my school or local authority obliged to fund courses that meet my agreed development objectives?

    No. Schools and local authorities will have to consider the development needs of all their teaching staff, and there may be times when it is not possible or appropriate for every teacher to undertake every development opportunity he or she identifies as useful.

    Local authorities are responsible for ensuring teachers have access to a wide range of quality development opportunities. There may be more appropriate ways to meeting a development objective than attending a course. The school may prefer to arrange an in-house training session for a number of staff during an in-service day. A colleague who has attended a similar development opportunity may be able to cascade his or her learning. On-the-job training or small-scale, school-based projects may be more effective ways of developing in particular areas.

    How much money has been put aside for my professional development?

    The Scottish Executive has provided significant funding for CPD in 2002/03 and 2003/04. This money will be distributed to local authorities, which will use it to facilitate the provision of quality professional development opportunities for teachers and to further develop CPD infrastructures within schools and local authorities. Some local authorities might choose to devolve a proportion of their funding directly to schools. Schools will not necessarily, however, choose to divide this funding into an allocation per teacher.

    CPD Co-ordinators within schools and local authorities will be required to monitor the development needs of their teachers and ensure that funding is distributed appropriately and fairly to maximise opportunity for all.

    Does my CPD have to be subject/class-related or can it focus on personal development?

    A CPD activity is anything that has progressed, assisted or enhanced a teacher's professional practice and might include issues of personal development as well as specifically educational issues. For a development experience to contribute to the 35-hour contractual commitment, it must be agreed in advance with the teacher's manager.

    When should I do my CPD?

    Teachers will be presented with many opportunities for classroom-based professional development during the course of the 35-hour week. In order to count towards the 35-hour contractual commitment, however, CPD must be undertaken in addition to the 35-hour working week.

    CPD providers will be encouraged to deliver learning opportunities during evening or weekend sessions, or flexibly through the use of ICT. One of the criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Providers will be that the development provision offered involves minimum disruption to the teaching process.

    Nevertheless, it may take some time to establish twilight or weekend sessions, quality on-line provision and meaningful, achievable work-based learning opportunities. While the CPD Framework is still in its infancy, it may sometimes be necessary for teachers
    to be released from the classroom in order to access suitable development provision. There may well be a case, therefore, for saying that teachers who attend a course occurring during school hours should be able to count this as part of the 35 hours of CPD. This will, however, remain a matter for decision by local authorities and for agreement between individual teachers and their managers.

    There will always be occasions when the most suitable development experience is one which must, by its nature, take place during the school day. Where possible in these circumstances, teachers and schools should be encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility of the
    35-hour week.

    The timing of any CPD should be agreed in advance with managers.

    Will CPD be accredited?

    Not necessarily. Professional development activity undertaken in pursuit of the Standard for Chartered Teacher or the Standard for Headship must be both academically validated and professionally accredited. CPD undertaken as part of the 35-hour contractual commitment need not be accredited. The important thing is that the development experience impacts positively on the individual's professional practice.

    What records will I have to keep?

    All teachers should maintain a CPD Profile for the current year and, where appropriate, two previous years. The profile will comprise a CPD Plan, indicating the development objectives and the development activities agreed during the annual professional review and a CPD record, briefly detailing the professional development activities undertaken.

    The maintenance of a CPD Portfolio will also be encouraged as good practice for all teachers. The maintenance of a portfolio will be a condition of entry to the Chartered Teacher programme.

    Further information about record-keeping, including a suggested template for the CPD Profile, is included in the Professional Review and Development guidelines and on the National Register website.

    Does time spent on the Chartered Teacher Programme count towards the 35-hour commitment?

    No. The Chartered Teacher Programme is entirely voluntary and is attached to significant financial incentive. While on occasion there may be elements of overlap between the learning outcomes of contractual CPD, and the competences outlined in the Standard for Chartered Teacher, the programme itself must be recognised as distinct from teachers' contractual commitment. There may be cases, however, where an element of the Chartered Teacher Programme addresses development objectives agreed through the individual's annual professional review. In these circumstances, and where agreement has been reached between teachers and managers, that part of the programme might justifiably count towards the 35 hours.

    Who checks I've met my contractual commitment?

    During the annual professional review meeting, teachers will discuss with
    their managers the CPD they have undertaken over the past year. This discussion should move beyond the amount of time spent on professional development. It should focus on the impact learning opportunities have had on the individual and the implications for professional practice and future development.

    Some schools or local authorities may chose to collate information about the CPD undertaken by their teachers.

    How will those in rural areas be able to access sufficient CPD?

    All parties have identified equality of access to CPD opportunities as an essential component of the National Framework for CPD. We expect CPD to be delivered as flexibly as possible to minimise disruption to schools and the teaching process. Providers will be encouraged to consider a variety of mechanisms for delivery in order to ensure equality of access. The National Register of Providers already lists many providers and CPD opportunities that are available throughout Scotland. Many of these can be tailored to meet local needs.

    How can I keep up to date with what's happening?

    Key documents concerning the developing CPD Framework, will be posted on the Teaching in Scotland website at regular intervals. This
    website can be found at: www.teachinginscotland.com

    The Chartered Teacher Project Consortium also has a website providing information about progress in relation to Chartered Teachers. This website can be found at: www.ctprogrammescotland.org