Professional Learning 

Professional Learning refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. Professional development encompasses all types of facilitated learning opportunities, ranging from formal certification of achievement such as in a college or university to knowledge gained through meetings, development opportunities, internal and external courses, conferences and other learning opportunities. Virtually any activity which provides an element of learning and gaining knowledge can be considered as professional development.

In a broad sense, professional development may include formal types of vocational education, leading to a qualification or training required to obtain or retain employment. Professional development may also come in the form of pre-service such as a certificate in education or in-service professional development programs. These programs may be formal, or informal, group or individualised. Individuals may pursue professional development independently where it is a condition of their employment that they retain a professional qualification, for example accountancy and nursing. Professional development can also enhance and develop the management skills of individuals in order to improve the overall performance of a whole college, department or team.

Professional development opportunities can range from a single event to a formal academic course. It would not be unusual to find those who work in colleges returning to their vocational roots to update their skills and knowledge in a particular industry.

CDN Logo

Lecturers working in Scotland's colleges are required to be flexible, reflective, innovative, creative and personally committed to continuing vocational and professional development. Alongside the development of skills and enhanced practice in teaching, there are requirements to remain up to date or even to lead the field in their subject area and to remain current in all aspects of programme design, accreditation and qualifications. There are also requirements to thoroughly understand and respond to wider legislative and policy developments.

CDN Logo

This guide has been produced to provide an outline of the various pathways that individuals who want to teach in Scotland's colleges could follow to enable them to develop a career in teaching in a Scottish college.