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This website will be closed on 21 October 2019. Please visit for all information on the professional learning and leadership programmes, events and resources offered by Education Scotland.

Within Education Scotland, the Professional Learning and Leadership team (formerly the Scottish College for Educational Leadership) has the strategic responsibility of providing quality assurance processes for the range of professional learning and leadership development opportunities in Scotland.

Central to this is the national model of professional learning which provides guidance on what high quality, effective professional learning looks like. It identifies the key principles and features of professional learning and offers strategic guidance for education professionals on how to best support, structure and plan for professional learning. It outlines the kind of learning that builds capacity, promotes collaborative practices and supports education professionals to be empowered, enabling them to meet the needs of all learners.

Endorsement of professional learning

A programme that has been endorsed by Education Scotland demonstrates that it is informed by the national model of professional learning and links effectively to the relevant professional standards and current policy context.

Endorsement provides those who commission programmes, as well as those engaging in professional learning, assurance that endorsed programmes offer relevant, significant and sustained quality learning. Such experiences develop depth of professional learning, knowledge, skills and understanding which ultimately impacts on the quality of learning of children and young people.

Endorsed programmes have successfully passed through a robust set of criteria and feature on Education Scotland’s Framework for Educational Leadership, an online resource supporting professional learning for educational professionals at all stages of their career. The Framework will increasingly become the focus for schools and local authorities when planning and preparing their professional learning and development opportunities.

The endorsement process requires anyone seeking endorsement (including schools, local authorities, regional improvement collaboratives, education partners and professional learning providers) across Scotland to refer to the national model of professional learning when planning and preparing their professional learning and leadership development opportunities.

The refreshed endorsement process will be piloted and co-constructed with a range of learning partners across Scotland, to ensure we have a robust, meaningful process which underpins the integrity of the Framework.

Endorsement and the Framework for Educational Leadership

Education Scotland’s responsibility for leadership development and professional learning calls for an expansion of the Framework for Educational Leadership to incorporate professional learning activities as part of an enhanced national offer. To achieve this, the Framework will be redesigned during 2019/2020 to capture this broader professional learning remit.

Should you have any queries, or if your programme already has GTCS Professional Recognition, please contact

New programmes seeking endorsement

Learning providers are invited to complete the application form for the endorsement of professional learning providers. Education Scotland reviews applications prior to submission to the endorsement panel to ensure that all sections are complete and that sufficient information has been provided. Providers are required to present their programme to the next available panel.

Panel dates for 2019 are as follows:

  • Monday 26 August
  • Monday 23 September
  • Monday 21 October
  • Monday 25 November
  • Monday 16 December

Programmes previously endorsed by SCEL and/or holding GTCS Professional Recognition

A programme endorsed by SCEL before April 2019 which is already included on the Framework continues to be endorsed by Education Scotland once a completed programme information form has been received.

There have been established processes for joint SCEL endorsement and GTCS Professional Recognition of leadership professional learning programmes since 2015. Building on this, programmes with GTCS Professional Recognition received prior to April 2019 are also endorsed by Education Scotland upon receipt of the programme information form.

Additional information can be found within the application guidance for providers (see below).


Application guidance for providers, April 2019 (323 KB)

Application form for the endorsement of professional learning programmes, April 2019 (83 KB)

Frequently asked questions, May 2019 (68 KB)