The consultation document on the chartered teacher programme, sent to teachers' homes this week, emphasises that they will be expected to "contribute to the costs".
Indeed, Ronnie Smith, the Educational Institute of Scotland's general secretary, who has invited all teachers to respond to the consultation, warned delegates to the union's annual conference last week to expect to pay.
"They will have to invest time and money - a shared investment - to develop themselves and their careers. The chartered teacher programme will enable teachers to enjoy a return on their investment by enhancing their salary levels. Payment for professionalism, not for pupil performance. That is surely the right way to go forward," Mr Smith said.
He added this week: "Realistically, it's unlikely the employers will be able to fund the cost of teachers who choose to set out on the programme, bearing in mind there is some payback in potential salary advance. There is going to have to be a commitment."
But Mr Smith stressed access should not be denie solely because of costs. In time, he expected the great majority of teachers to work through the programme towards a final salary of more than pound;35,000. The post-McCrone agreement will have failed if the majority do not move through, he said.
Mr Smith believes teachers would be able to offset some of their additional costs with subsidies from employers and through the Executive's individual learning accounts.
The programme proposes 12 modules to complete chartered status, a similar structure to a masters degree. Students following postgraduate modules as part of their masters currently pay fees of up to pound;200 a module. The true cost of a module is pound;500 but universities receive subsidies from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
It seems unlikely, however, that ministers would sanction increased higher education funding for teachers' courses. They believe it is reasonable teachers should invest in themselves. It is also unclear whether teachers will be able to carry out their chartered status work within the additional 35 hours for continuing professional development.
Mr Smith said: "It seems impossible everyone could move to chartered status if they were to confine themselves to 35 hours' CPD. Equally, it would be wrong if it was not allowed within the 35 hours. Maximum flexibility is what we are looking for."