Applications and modelling have gained a prominent role in mathematics education reform documents and curricula. Thus, there is a growing need for studies focusing on the effective use of mathematical modelling in classrooms. Assessment is an integral part of using modelling activities in classrooms, since it allows teachers to identify and manage problems that arise in various stages of the modelling process. However, teachers' difficulties in assessing student modelling work are a challenge to be considered when implementing modelling in the classroom. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers' knowledge on generating assessment criteria for assessing student competence in mathematical modelling evolved through a professional development programme, which is based on a lesson study approach and modelling perspective. The data was collected with four teachers from two public high schools over a five-month period. The professional development programme included a cyclical process, with each cycle consisting of an introductory meeting, the implementation of a model-eliciting activity with students, and a follow-up meeting. The results showed that the professional development programme contributed to teachers' knowledge for generating assessment criteria on the products, and the observable actions that affect the modelling cycle.