FAQs

What are the Professional Standards for Lecturers?

The Professional Standards for Lecturers are the key competencies which are needed to undertake the role of a college lecturer in Scotland. As such, they underpin all government-sponsored provision for the Initial Teacher Training/Education (ITT/E) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of college lecturers. This includes all Professional Development Units (PDUs) and Professional Development Awards (PDAs) delivered by approved colleges or other providers. It also includes the full Teaching Qualification (Further Education) – TQ(FE) delivered by approved Higher Education Institutions.

What is a Professional Development Unit?

A Professional Development Unit (PDU) is normally defined as a notional 40 hours of study. Each has its own specification in terms of purpose, outcomes, and assessment procedures. Units may stand alone but can also be grouped to form Professional Development Awards (PDAs). They may carry credit towards achievement of the full TQ(FE).

What is a Professional Development Award?

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are awards formed from related units of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD). An example would be the 'Advanced Diploma: Teaching in FE', which is made up of three separate units.

What is an 'approved provider'?

An approved provider is either:

  • A body which has been approved by the Professional Learning and Development Forum to deliver units of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) from the National Index. These are typically colleges or consortia of colleges, but may also be higher education institutions or private training providers.
  • A higher education institution which has been approved by Scottish Ministers to deliver a course of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) leading to the full Teaching Qualification (Further Education) – TQ(FE).

How do you become an approved provider of units of ITT and CPD?

Any organisation wishing to become an 'approved provider' must submit an application form to the Professional Learning and Development Forum Scotland. The application form, accompanied by Guidance Notes, is available from the Applications and Submissions section of this website.

What is TQ(FE)?

The Teaching Qualification (Further Education) is the full initial teaching qualification for lecturers in Scotland's colleges. Currently there are three institutions - the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling – which are approved to offer programmes leading to the award of TQ(FE). Though all based on the Professional Standards for Lecturers, these programmes will vary somewhat in terms of length, style of delivery and academic level.

Is TQ(FE) compulsory?

At present the TQ(FE) is not compulsory, although it is strongly encouraged that all full-time staff and part-time staff on sizeable contracts should gain the qualification within a reasonable period of time. As a prelude to this, they may wish to undertake one or both of the Initial Teacher Training PDAs. These PDAs may also be suitable for temporary staff or staff whose teaching hours are less substantial.