Professional Update

Professional Update (PU) is a process encompassing professional standards and values, the focused professional learning to which all teachers are entitled, reflection upon the impact of that learning, and Professional Review and Development (PRD).

It is intended to be a supportive process which should enable teachers to feel in control of their professional development, and to act as leaders of their own learning.

Time to complete PRD records should come from the 35 hours allocated to CPD.

What works best for teachers as reflective learners is as varied as it is for pupils and students. Professional learning is not simply about attending courses, but can take many forms, for example:

  • Experiential, action or enquiry-based learning
  • Focused professional reading, research or dialogue
  • Peer support, e.g., coaching or mentoring
  • Leading or participating in a working group
  • Co-operative or team teaching
  • Professional or academic conferences.

For a more comprehensive list visit the GTCS website. 

When it comes to providing evidence of professional learning, the focus should be on impact. What difference has the learning activity made to…?

Entries to your portfolio should be brief, giving the date and nature of the learning activity along with a reflection on how it has impacted on you and/or your practice.

There are various tools you can use to record PU-related activity, but whether you use the GTCS MyPL online tool, a reflective diary or a local authority system, you are only required to keep one record - which should contain only what you deem to be significant. Professional Update should be meaningful and bureaucracy-light.

Professional Development and Review

PRD should be focused on your learning needs first. Reviewers should be trained to support you in identifying and meeting your professional learning needs, but they should not determine or dictate all of your learning activity.

PRD should be a collaborative experience – a two-way dialogue, which balances school priorities with your individual learning needs and interests. It should take place as part of a scheduled meeting for which both reviewee and reviewer have had time to prepare. Time for the PRD process comes from within Working Time Agreements and is usually 2-3 hours.

EIS support for PU and PRD

EIS Learning Reps are trained to give information, guidance and support on all aspects of CPD and professional learning, including the PU process.

For a list of Learning Reps visit 

If there is a vacancy for a Learning Rep in your area, please contact Lesley Walker at lwalker@eis.org.uk who will put you in touch someone who can help.