TEACHING STANDARDS IN ACTION

The Standards and Accreditation section of this website provides teachers in the NSW Department of Education with clear, practical information about teaching standards and accreditation and links to relevant Department, NESA and AITSL policies, procedures and support materials.

Standards and Accreditation »

The TSA Professional Development section of this website provides teachers in the NSW Department of Education with critical information about effective professional development and how TSA courses exemplify and demonstrate these contemporary research-based professional development practices.

TSA Professional Development »

The Access TSA Courses takes teachers in the NSW Department of Education directly to a suite of registered professional development courses aligned to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead career stages.

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SECTION 1 - STANDARDS AND ACCREDITATION

ABOUT THE TEACHING STANDARDS

Teaching standards and the critical role of the teacher

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers are the centrepiece of national reform in the area of teacher quality. They form the core framework against which all teachers now gain accreditation and maintain ongoing accreditation throughout their careers.

Students deserve a system where the very best teachers are working in classrooms and schools.

Through the 2008 Melbourne Declaration, all Australian states and territories are committed to ensuring that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active informed citizens.

The research is unambiguous that successful students are an outcome of high quality teaching, which in turn, is the hallmark of effective teachers and excellent schools.

As well, teachers account for the vast majority of expenditure in school education and their impact on student learning is powerful, far outweighing the impact of any other factor.

Until relatively recent times however, as a nation and as a state we have not had a public statement of what constitutes ‘quality’ in teaching. The now nationally agreed Australian Professional Standards for Teachers provides that public statement.

This public statement attests to the professionalism of teachers – the statement says to the community, this is what quality teaching looks like and this is what you can expect to see good teachers doing in classrooms.

The teaching profession and the community can be confident that the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers have been built on a very strong national and international evidence base and are underpinned by a rigorous analysis of the effective contemporary practice of Australian teachers. The standards were informed by an extensive validation process that involved more than 6,000 teachers to ensure that each Standard Descriptor at each career stage was shaped by the profession.

The following diagram puts the teaching standards - with their inbuilt descriptions of quality teaching - at its centre. It then acknowledges the link from teaching standards up to the goal of more effective teachers and more successful students. As well, for teachers working within the NSW Department of Education, the diagram then makes connections to the structure and support available to assist them to grow and develop their professional practice as described in the teaching standards.



 Diagram showing the NSW Dept Education structures and supports in place to facilitate the teaching standards and accreditation framework

Moving to a standards-based profession

In NSW all teachers employed since October 1 2004 have been required, through an Act of Parliament, to become accredited against teaching standards. This means that for the past 11 years in NSW every teacher new to the profession has been using the Standards and engaging in the accreditation process.

To recognise the professional qualifications and experience of teachers qualified before 2004, this Act was amended in 2014. From 2018 these teachers will be recognised as meeting full accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage as part of their performance and development processes.

Once accredited, all teachers will be required to maintain their accreditation in an ongoing way throughout their teaching careers.

The following time-line provides information about key events that have taken place in recent years as teaching has moved closer to becoming a standards-based profession.


 Key dates and events in moving towards a standards-based profession in NSW. 

2004 - Teaching standards introduced in NSW.
The NSW Institute of Teachers established by the NSW Government in an Act of Parliament. NSW Professional Teaching Standards introduced and all teachers employed after October 1 2004, required to become accredited against these standards.

2006 - Department endorsed to provide registered courses.
The NSW Department of Education gained broad endorsement to provide registered professional development to assist teachers to maintain their accreditation at the Proficient teacher career stage.

2010 - AITSL established by the federal government.
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, (AITSL) was established by the federal government to provide national leadership in promoting excellence in teaching and school leadership.

2011 - Australian teaching standards released.
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers released by AITSL providing a public statement that makes explicit what effective teachers should know and be able to do.

2012 - Australian standards adopted in NSW.
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers adopted and all NSW teachers employed after October 1 2012, required to become accredited to Australian standards.

2013 - Department endorsed to provide courses at higher stages.
The NSW Department of Education gained broad endorsement to provide registered professional learning to assist teachers to maintain their accreditation at the Highly Accomplished and Lead teacher career stage.

2014 - BOSTES established in NSW.
The NSW Institute of Teachers ceased and the NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES established with responsibility for school curriculum, assessment, and teaching and regulatory standards.

2017 - NESA replaces BOSTES in NSW.
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) replaces BOSTES, with responsibility for quality teaching, learning, assessment and school standards. 

2018 - All NSW teachers required to be accredited.
The Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (amended 2014) now requires all NSW teachers to be accredited against Australian standards from 2018 in order to teach in NSW schools.
  • 2004

    The NSW Institute of Teachers established by the NSW Government in an Act of Parliament. NSW Professional Teaching Standards introduced and all teachers employed after October 1 2004, required to become accredited against these standards.

  • 2006

    The NSW Department of Education gained broad endorsement to provide registered professional development to assist teachers to maintain their accreditation at the Proficient teacher career stage.

  • 2010

    The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) was established by the federal government to provide national leadership in promoting excellence in teaching and school leadership.

  • 2011

    The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers released by AITSL providing a public statement that makes explicit what effective teachers should know and be able to do.

  • 2012

    The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers adopted and all NSW teachers employed after October 1 2012, required to become accredited to Australian standards.

  • 2013

    The NSW Department of Education gained broad endorsement to provide registered professional learning to assist teachers to maintain their accreditation at the Highly Accomplished and Lead teacher career stage.

  • 2014

    The NSW Institute of Teachers ceased and the NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) established with responsibility for school curriculum, assessment, and teaching and regulatory standards.

  • 2017

    The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) replaces BOSTES, with responsibility for quality teaching, learning, assessment and school standards.

  • 2018

    The Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (amended 2014) now requires all NSW teachers to be accredited against Australian standards from 2018 in order to teach in NSW schools.


Key events in moving towards a standards-based profession in NSW

The purpose of teaching standards

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers define the knowledge, practice and professional engagement needed for high quality, effective teaching that has been shown to improve student learning. In doing this the teaching standards provide a useful framework for a broad range of education stakeholders including teachers, school leaders, teacher educators, professional associations, parents/carers and the public.

In particular, the standards framework gives the profession a shared language for talking about teaching practice – what we know, what we do, what we believe in and what we value about teaching.

Seven standards

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers articulate the key elements of contemporary, high quality teaching through seven standards that form the foundation of the teaching standards framework. These standards are:

  • Know your students and how they learn
  • Know the content and how to teach it
  • Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
  • Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
  • Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
  • Engage in professional learning
  • Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community.

These seven standards are further organised into three domains of Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement that extend across the four career stages of Graduate teacher, Proficient teacher, Highly Accomplished teacher and Lead teacher.

Four career stages

The framework’s four career stages acknowledge and map out a career long continuum of classroom practice, capabilities and expertise that we’d expect to see demonstrated by teachers.

As well the framework’s higher stages of accreditation are designed so that our most skilled teachers can lead and model best practice teaching from which other teachers can learn. These stages provide a career pathway where exemplary classroom teachers can be recognised and rewarded for their expertise, skills and support of other teachers.

This way the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers provides a structure to guide the preparation, development, support and recognition of all teachers; a framework against which all teachers can plan, practise, reflect on and refine their teaching; and a way for teachers to monitor their ongoing growth and development as professionals.

ORGANISATION OF THE STANDARDS

Introduction

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers describe the knowledge, skills and understanding expected of competent and effective teachers. Its framework makes clear the knowledge, practice and engagement required across teachers’ careers.

The standards document uses specific terminology to describe the structure and organisation of the standards and to provide a common language for the profession and the public to talk about teaching practice.

View the 5 minute interactive slideshow below or ‘read’ the screen shots and explanatory information that follows to understand how the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers document is organised.


Introducing Standards, Domains and Career Stages

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers comprise seven interconnected standards that outline what teachers should know and be able to do.

The seven standards are grouped into three domains of teaching. The first two standards focus on the domains of Professional Knowledge, the next three standards focus on Professional Practice and the final two focus on the domain of Professional Engagement.

The same seven standards span four career stages from Graduate teacher, Proficient teacher, Highly Accomplished teacher to Lead teacher.

This diagram from the APST document shows how the seven standards of teaching are grouped into 3 Domains. The Professional knowledge domain encompasses standard 1, knowing students and how they learn, and standard 2, knowing the content and how to teach it. The domain Professional Practice encompasses standard 3, Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, standard 4, Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments, and standard 5, assess, provide feedback and report on student learning. The Professional Engagement domain encompasses standard 6, engage in professional learning, and standard 7, engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community. These Domains and their standards are spread across all the Teaching career stages.

Introducing Focus Areas and Standard Descriptors

Pages 8-19 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers specify the detail of the standards. Each page indicates the Domain, the Standard, the Career Stages, the Focus Areas and the Standard Descriptor as shown in the following graphic.

This diagram shows page 12 from the APST document shows a detailed table describing Professional Practice domain, Standard3.  It labels the focus areas for standard 3, the career stages for standard 3, and the standard descriptors for standard 3 that occur in this table.

Understanding how the Standard Descriptors are numbered

The Standards framework contains a total of 148 individually numbered Standard Descriptors which relate directly to the 7 standards. Each Standard Descriptor contains three numbers indicating the Standard, the Focus Area and the particular Career Stage. For example, 3.2.1 refers to Standard 3, the second Focus Area for Standard 3 and the first Career Stage (Graduate teacher)."


detail of page 12 showing how each of the standard descriptor texts are numbered. The example highlighted is 3.2.1 - Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies. The first digit, 3, stands for standard number 3. the second digit, 2, stands for the focus area, and the thrid digit stands for the career stage.

Understanding the progression of Standard Descriptors

Of critical importance when ‘reading’ the Standard Descriptors is an awareness of how the numbering and intent of the Standard Descriptors progresses from the Graduate teacher stage to the Lead teacher stage.

The progression of Standard Descriptors across the four career stages represents the evolving levels of knowledge, practice and professional engagement that teachers would be expected to apply with increasing sophistication in a broader and more complex range of situations. The example below tracks Standard Descriptors 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4.

Standard 3: Plan and implement effective teaching and learning.

Focus Area: Plan, structure and sequence learning programs.

At 3.2.1, the Graduate teacher stage, the focus is on planning lesson sequences.

At 3.2.2, the Proficient teacher stage, the focus is on implementing well-structured lesson sequences.

At 3.2.3, the Highly Accomplished teacher stage, the focus is on planning, evaluating and modifying learning and teaching programs with colleagues.

At 3.2.4, the Lead teacher stage, the focus is on exhibiting exemplary practice in the planning, implementation and review of teaching programs and then leading colleagues in these processes.

This diagram shows a more detailed insert of page 12 of the APST document, with the full text of 4 of the 148 individual of standard descriptors, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4.

GAINING ACCREDITATION

Gaining accreditation is the structured process through which teachers demonstrate quality teaching practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and are recognised as having met accreditation requirements at a specific career stage.

Accreditation is critical to upholding the integrity and accountability of the teaching profession and in ensuring high quality teaching in every classroom.

Accreditation acknowledges that teaching is a dynamic and complex process with the deliberate intent of improving student outcomes. It provides teachers with the opportunity to reflect analytically on their practice. Accreditation is also a means to demonstrate that they can apply the knowledge and skills articulated in the standards through consistent, evidence-based practice within their context, over time.

In NSW since 2004 there has been a requirement for all teachers entering the profession to gain full accreditation as a teacher. For teachers to gain accreditation they are required to reflect on their teaching and collect evidence that demonstrates they meet Standard Descriptors across all standards within the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers- in total, at the Proficient teacher stage there are 37 Standard Descriptors across seven standards.

From 2018, all teachers qualified before 2004 will receive full accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage to recognise their professional qualifications and experience. These teachers will not be required to gain accreditation by collecting evidence and submitting a report as with new graduates.

The standards specify four career stages, Graduate teacher, Proficient teacher, Highly Accomplished teacher and Lead teacher. The first stage, the Graduate teacher stage, underpins initial teacher education. The next stage, the Proficient teacher stage, underpins the mandatory process of full accreditation for all teachers, whereas the Highly Accomplished and Lead teacher stages are voluntary higher levels of accreditation.

Gaining accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage

Gaining accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage is a developmental process where teachers are supported by in-school supervisors, mentors and experienced teachers who provide guidance, support and feedback. This process has a focus on building the core skills that enable teachers to reflect, analyse, develop and document their classroom practice through the lens of the standards at the Proficient teacher stage.

Teachers at the Proficient stage

Proficient teachers demonstrate ethical behaviour and comply with relevant organisational policies, processes and requirements. They know the unique backgrounds of their students and adjust their teaching responsively to meet students’ individual learning needs.

In the classroom, Proficient teachers are effective practitioners. They know the content they are teaching and apply a variety of teaching strategies to make that content meaningful for all students. They successfully design, plan and implement effective teaching and learning programs for their students that meet curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

They develop safe, productive and inclusive learning environments and use feedback and assessment to analyse and support their students’ knowledge and understanding. They use a range of sources, including student results, to evaluate and adjust their teaching to better meet students’ needs.

Proficient teachers are active participants in their profession. They work collaboratively with colleagues; they seek out and respond to advice from colleagues; and they communicate effectively with students, colleagues, parents/carers and the community.

Gaining accreditation at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage

Gaining accreditation at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage requires teachers to demonstrate they are highly effective and skilled classroom practitioners as described in the teaching standards at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage. Highly Accomplished teachers work shoulder to shoulder with colleagues to lead improvements in classroom practice that will have an impact beyond their immediate classroom.

Teachers at the Highly Accomplished stage

Highly Accomplished teachers communicate responsively with students, colleagues, parents/carers and community. They actively monitor their own professional learning needs and align them to the learning needs of students.

In the classroom, Highly Accomplished teachers are recognised as highly effective, skilled practitioners. In their teaching they maximise learning opportunities for all students, understanding their backgrounds and individual learning needs. They have contemporary, in-depth knowledge of the subject and curriculum content within their areas of responsibility. They effectively plan and implement innovative learning and teaching programs. They skilfully analyse student assessment data to inform their feedback to students and to modify their teaching practice.

Highly Accomplished teachers routinely work independently and collaboratively to improve their own practice and the practice of others. They initiate and consistently model a range of effective teaching practices and flexible strategies to create productive learning environments and to improve the educational outcomes for all students.

Gaining accreditation at the Lead teacher stage

Gaining accreditation at the Lead teacher stage requires teachers to demonstrate they are innovative, exemplary teachers with a breadth of educational experience and a wide sphere of influence as described in the teaching standards at the Lead teacher stage. Lead teachers expertly lead others by initiating, evaluating, monitoring and implementing actions that have an impact within and beyond their school.

Teachers at the Lead teacher stage

Lead teachers are professional, ethical and respected individuals inside and outside their school. They seek to continually improve their own teaching practice and systematically share their experiences with colleagues.

In the classroom Lead teachers are recognised by colleagues and the community as exemplary teachers. They consistently demonstrate innovative teaching practice over time and initiate activities that focus on improving educational opportunities for all students. They are able to synthesise current research about effective teaching and then describe the relationship between highly effective teaching and learning. They lead processes to improve student performance by evaluating and revising programs, analysing student assessment data and taking into account feedback from parents/carers.

Lead teachers skilfully develop knowledge, practice and professional engagement in others through strategic action. They are expert in mentoring teachers and pre-service teachers and in promoting creative, innovative thinking among colleagues. They lead school strategies to enhance and to improve the way the school engages parents/carers in the learning of their children.

At a glance: Requirements for gaining accreditation

TIMEFRAME
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

Permanent full time teachers at this mandatory stage have two years to gain accreditation.

Part time teachers have the equivalent of two years full time service to gain accreditation.

Casual teachers have a maximum of five years to complete their accreditation at Proficient Teacher if provisionally accredited, and a maximum of six years if conditionally accredited.

Teachers are required to know the date that NESA has advised that their period of accreditation will end.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedures Section 4.5 – 4.6.2, Pages 5-6.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Sections 5.5 – 5.6, Page 4.

Teachers seeking accreditation at this voluntary stage have a maximum of three years to gain accreditation.

Before commencing accreditation at Highly Accomplished, teachers need to be assessed as satisfactory in their two most recent annual performance and development assessments.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures:

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher:

Teachers seeking accreditation at this voluntary stage have a maximum of three years to gain accreditation.

Before commencing accreditation at Lead, teachers need to be assessed as satisfactory in their three most recent annual performance and development assessments.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures:

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher:

EVIDENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

Teachers demonstrate their achievement at this stage by collecting a sample of supporting evidence drawn from their classroom practice.

The evidence that demonstrates teachers have met these requirements may be made up of about 6 annotated documents of approximately 3-4 pages each, where a piece of evidence could meet multiple descriptors across standards.

When the school is confident that the teacher has met all Standard Descriptors at the Proficient teacher stage, the school completes the teacher's Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Report. This written report accompanies the teacher's supporting evidence.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedures Section 4.8.3, Pages 7-8.

NESA Evidence Guide for the Proficient Teacher Standards Section 1, Pages 1-5.

Teachers demonstrate their achievement at this stage by collecting documentary evidence against all 37 Standard Descriptors at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage.

Three forms of evidence are required:

  • annotated documentary evidence (including two observation reports one of which must be by the principal)
  • reports from a minimum of three referees and a maximum of eight (including the principal, a teacher colleague and a teacher who has received professional support)
  • a report based on the external observation (where three sessions of teaching practice will be observed).

The teacher develops their application online through the NESA website and can add to their application over time.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 11-11.4, Pages 7-8.  

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, Pages 7-9.

Teachers demonstrate their achievement at this stage by collecting documentary evidence against all 37 Standard Descriptors at the Lead teacher stage.

Three forms of evidence are required:

  • annotated documentary evidence (including two observation reports one of which must be by the principal)
  • reports from a minimum of three referees and a maximum of eight (including the principal, a teacher colleague and a teacher who has received professional support)
  • a report based on the external observation (where three sessions of teaching practice will be observed).

The teacher develops their application online through the NESA website and can add to their application over time.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 11-11.4, Pages 7-8.  

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, Pages 7-8.

EVIDENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT - ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

At the Lead teacher stage, teachers also need to complete a Lead Initiative. This initiative needs to link to the School Plan or Department priorities and take place over a period of six months or more.

Teachers need to discuss their Lead initiative with the principal and seek their support. A statement about the Lead Initiative is included in the teacher's annotated documentary evidence. One referee needs to refer to this Lead Initiative and its impact in their report.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 11.4, Page 8.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, Pages 7-8.

SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

The teacher, with the assistance of the supervisor, reviews and selects their evidence towards the end of the accreditation period. A report and the accompanying evidence is then submitted to the Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA).

The TAA for teachers and executive is their school principal, while the TAA for school principals is the Director, Public Schools NSW.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedures Section 4.8.3, Pages 7-9.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Section 5.7, Page 4.

Teachers are responsible for deciding when to submit their evidence within the maximum timeframe.

Teachers submit their completed application online to the Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L) through the NESA website.

The TAA (A/L) at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage is the Director, Public Schools NSW.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 12, Pages 9-11.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.1, Page 6.

Teachers are responsible for deciding when to submit their evidence within the maximum timeframe.

Teachers submit their completed application online to the Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L) through the NESA website.

The TAA (A/L) at the Lead teacher stage is the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 12, Pages 9-11.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.1, Page 6.

MAINTAINING ACCREDITATION

Like other professionals, once teachers have gained accreditation, they need to maintain it. Teachers maintain the level of accreditation they have gained through engagement in ongoing cycles of focussed, standards-based professional development.

The process of maintaining accreditation acknowledges teachers’ autonomy in shaping their continuing growth and development as a professional. The developmental framework of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers provides a reference point, against which teachers can grow their professional knowledge, practice and engagement in order to build their own capacity and that of others. Herein each maintenance cycle provides opportunities for accredited teachers to reflect on and refine their practice against the teaching standards to ensure their ongoing effectiveness in the classroom.

Professional development is most effective when it takes place within the context of a strong school-based culture of professional learning that produces positive, substantial changes in student outcomes. This means that: professional development is part of a teachers’ everyday work; teachers work together to create coherent curriculum and systems to support students; and they collaborate in ways that advance their collective capacity.

Effective schools create professional learning cultures where professional trust, collaboration, experimentation and critique flourish; where teachers feel supported in making their teaching practice ‘public’; where classroom observation and feedback are common place; and where robust evaluation is built into professional development activities and tracked over time.

Maintaining accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage

Teachers maintaining their accreditation at the Proficient teacher stage have demonstrated successful teaching practice. They are required to maintain this practice through ongoing self-evaluation against the teaching standards and by meeting the professional development requirements at the Proficient teacher stage. Proficient teachers continue to implement effective teaching and evaluate this with others to consistently create an environment where student learning is optimised in their classroom.

Maintaining accreditation at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage

Teachers maintaining their accreditation at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage have demonstrated they are highly effective and skilled classroom practitioners. They are required to maintain their practice and meet the professional development requirements for this career stage. The Teacher Identified Professional Development requirement at this stage has an emphasis on in-school professional development. It also acknowledges that once accredited at this stage, Highly Accomplished teachers continue to share, model, guide and assist their colleagues. The impact of their ongoing Highly Accomplished practice will be evident in the professional growth of the teachers they work with and in improved student outcomes in these classrooms.

Maintaining accreditation at the Lead teacher stage

Teachers maintaining their accreditation at the Lead teacher stage have demonstrated they are innovative, exemplary classroom practitioners. They are required to maintain their practice and meet the professional development requirements for this career stage. The Teacher Identified Professional Development requirement at this stage recognises the emphasis on in-school professional development. It acknowledges that Lead teachers continue to excel and inspire colleagues, parents/carers and the community with their exemplary practice. Due to their ongoing focus and action on improving student outcomes, Lead teachers have a significant impact on the profession.

At a glance: Requirements for maintaining accreditation

TIMEFRAME
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

Teachers accredited at the Proficient teacher stage are required to maintain accreditation. Permanent full time teachers maintain accreditation in five year cycles.

Part time and casual teachers have seven year cycles to maintain their accreditation.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedures Section 5, Page 10-13.

NESA Policy for the Maintenance of Accreditation at Proficient teacher Section 3.4, Page 3.

Teachers accredited at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage, who are full time, maintain accreditation in five year cycles.

Part time and casual teachers have seven year cycles to maintain their accreditation.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 4.4, Page 4.

Teachers accredited at the Lead teacher stage, who are full time, maintain accreditation in five year cycles.

Part time and casual teachers have seven year cycles to maintain their accreditation.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 4.4, Page 4.

REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

Teachers complete a minimum of 100 hours of professional development including:

  • 50 hours of NESA Registered Professional Development and
  • 50 hours of Teacher Identified Professional Development (TIPD).

Within the 100 hours of professional development all Standard Descriptors in Standard 6 and at least one Standard Descriptor from Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 need to be addressed.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedures Section 5, Page 10-13.

NESA Policy for the Maintenance of Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Section 3, Pages 2-3.

Teachers complete 100 hours of professional development including:

  • 20 hours of NESA Registered Professional Development at Highly Accomplished and Lead and
  • at least 80 hours of Teacher Identified Professional Development (TIPD).

Within the 100 hours of professional development all Standard Descriptors in Standard 6 and at least one Standard Descriptor from Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 need to be addressed.

Within the 80 hours of Teacher Identified Professional Development, 20 hours needs to include Professional Commitment activities, such as: mentoring teachers, supervising pre service teachers, coaching teachers, leading professional learning, developing and implementing projects.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 4.2, Pages 2-4.

Teachers complete 100 hours of professional development including:

  • 20 hours of NESA Registered Professional Development at Lead and
  • 80 hours of Teacher Identified Professional Development (TIPD).

Within the 100 hours of professional development all Standard Descriptors in Standard 6 and at least one Standard Descriptor from Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 need to be addressed.

Within the 80 hours of Teacher Identified Professional Development, 20 hours needs to include Professional Commitment activities, such as: mentoring teachers, supervising pre service teachers, coaching teachers, leading professional learning, developing and implementing projects.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 4.2, Pages 2-4.

SUBMISSION OF MAINTENANCE OF ACCREDITATION REPORT
Proficient Highly Accomplished Lead

Three months before the end of each maintenance cycle, Proficient teachers submit the following to their Teacher Accreditation Authority - Proficient Teacher (TAA):

  • a report focused on how their classroom practice has continued to reflect the teaching standards at Proficient
  • a Professional Development Progress Report printed from their NESA online account (ETAMs) outlining how their professional development requirements have been met in the specified timeframe.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher procedures Section 5.4, Pages 12-13.

NESA Policy for Maintenance of Accreditation at Proficient Teacher:

NESA provides further information about writing and submitting a report.

Between three and six months before the end of each maintenance cycle, Highly Accomplished teachers submit the following to their Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L):

  • a report focused on how their ongoing classroom practice has continued to reflect the teaching standards at Highly Accomplished
  • a Professional Development Progress Report printed from their NESA online account (ETAMs) outlining how their professional development requirements have been met in the specified timeframe.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 5, Pages 4-8.

NESA provides further information about how to maintain Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation.

Between three and six months before the end of each maintenance cycle, Lead teachers submit the following to their Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L):

  • a report focused on how their ongoing classroom practice has continued to reflect the teaching standards at Lead
  • a Professional Development Progress Report printed from their NESA online account (ETAMs) outlining how their professional development requirements have been met in the specified timeframe.

DoE Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Procedures Section 13, Page 12.

NESA Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy Section 5, Pages 4-8.

NESA provides further information about how to maintain Lead Teacher accreditation.

REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

NESA registered professional development

To maintain accreditation all teachers are required to engage in professional development. The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has created different types of professional development that teachers can complete to meet their maintenance requirements. The two broad categories of NESA professional development that teachers engage in on a daily basis are described below:

  • Teacher Identified Professional Development (TIPD) This type of professional learning is self-directed. Teachers choose relevant professional development experiences and activities; reflect upon these in light of the Standards/Standard Descriptors; and document this on their online account with the NESA.
  • NESA Registered Professional Development This type of professional development is in the form of a course, where course content, duration, Standards/Standard Descriptors is fixed. In registered professional development courses, nominated Standards/Standard Descriptors are closely aligned to course content and pre-determined by the course developer.

NESA have also introduced a sub-category of registered professional development called NESA school-based registered professional development. This category is for schools wishing to develop and register school-based courses designed to meet the needs of teachers in their schools. Processes related to this new category are currently under development. In the meantime Department schools wishing to register their school-based courses can continue to use the existing process outlined below.


NB. Registered courses can only be offered by NESA endorsed professional development providers. The Department is a NESA endorsed professional development provider.


The Department as a NESA endorsed provider of registered professional development

The Department has broad endorsement from NESA to provide NESA Registered Professional Development across all stages and standards within the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

As a result the Department is able to review and approve NESA Registered Professional Development created by any Department school, operational directorate or state office. Approval of registered professional development is managed through the Leadership and High Performance Directorate.

The Department’s registered course approval process broadly aligns to the process that NESA applies when it reviews and approves other providers who deliver registered courses to NSW teachers.

Completing registered course applications within the Department

Within the MyPL system, any teacher/officer within the Department can develop course applications.


N.B. In the new MyPL system course developers are now called learning authors.


When creating a new registered course application, a learning author needs to:

  • consult with their supervisor about the proposed course and how the course will meet the selected Standard Descriptors
  • develop the course
  • complete a registered course application in MyPL
  • submit the application via MyPL for endorsement by the supervisor.

Approving registered courses in the Department

Once a registered course application has been submitted by a learning author and endorsed by their supervisor, it is reviewed in date order of submission by the Accreditation Advisors in the Leadership and High Performance Directorate.

All courses are actioned according to which of the following categories they fall into: Fast track, Incomplete or Complex.

Applications and how they progress within each category are outlined below.

The Fast-Track category

These are good quality, straight forward registered course applications where all requirements are in order or where only minor adjustments/additions are needed.

In particular there is succinct but sufficient information provided to clearly demonstrate the alignment between the course content and the Standard Descriptors that the learning author has identified in the course application.

These applications can be registered with a short turnaround. Once registered, the learning author is notified through MyPL of approval.

The Incomplete category

These are applications that contain inconsistent, unclear or incomplete information and need to be returned to the learning author to make specific amendments in order to meet registered course requirements.

Feedback to the learning author is entered in MyPL and/or they are contacted to take action as indicated in the feedback and the application is returned. These applications can be actioned again in date order as soon as they are returned from the learning author with the outstanding issues resolved.

In particular, it is important the learning author ensures strong alignment is evident between the course content and the Standard Descriptors they have identified and that courses are matched appropriately to the intent of the Standard Descriptors at the chosen career stage.

The Complex category

These are applications where the learning author has introduced complexities that require detailed investigation in order to meet NESA requirements for registered courses.

These complexities may include: course delivery that is to extend to teachers in other education sectors; partnership arrangements or memorandums of understanding with other government departments or external organisations; courses that involve participants completing excessive hours over extended time periods before their participation can be completed or courses that are intended for delivery by multiple officers across multiple locations without the learning author’s involvement; or combinations of the above.

With courses in the complex category, feedback to the learning author is entered in MyPL, and/or they are contacted to take action as indicated in the feedback and the application is returned. These applications are likely to require either face-to-face or online communication to clarify issues identified and examine documentation as required.

Once the learning author has amended their application and provided the required information this application will proceed to a final panel review for approval. Registered course panel reviews take place on a fortnightly basis.

SECTION 2 - TSA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

EFFECTIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students’ learning is constantly in flux. As circumstances, technologies and societies change, so do their educational needs. When this occurs, new developments in curriculum and pedagogy arise and gaps open up in teachers’ capabilities to meet these needs. This happens all the time, to all teachers, at all career stages.

Engaging in professional development bridges these gaps. Effective professional development builds the knowledge, skills and qualities of teachers to better the outcomes of their students. When teachers engage in effective professional development, their enhanced knowledge and skill improves their teaching; their improved teaching then enhances their students’ outcomes. This prospect is supported by Yoon’s (2007) oft-cited meta-analysis, which claims that average students can potentially increase their achievement significantly when their teachers participate in quality professional development.

Evidence of the significant role that professional development has in improving the effectiveness of teachers, is acknowledged in its inclusion as a key requirement for the maintenance of accreditation for all teachers, at all career stages.

Characteristics of effective professional development

With the centrality of professional development established as a powerful means for improving student outcomes, attention has now shifted to the kind of professional development that makes such a difference. The available research reveals that professional development with the following characteristics can positively impact on a range of student outcomes.

Relevant

Professional development acquires relevance when it is grounded in practice and closely aligned to specific contextual goals. Explicit, realistic and challenging; matched to individual, school-wide or system goals, effective professional development initiates and sustains changes to practice when it is clearly understood by teachers to be directly related to the needs and requirements of their work (AITSL 2012). Purposeful professional development encourages enquiry and action that is related to real challenges that are relevant to different geographical, cultural and socio-economic contexts.

Collborative

When professional development connects teachers and leaders to their colleagues within and across schools and to external experts, its benefits are magnified and spread. For collaboration to be effective, professional development must actively involve both teachers and leaders in its design, participation and evaluation. It should also facilitate support through coaching and mentoring; observation and feedback (AITSL 2012). In cultivating a professional community of practice, quality collaboration demands more than mere participation. It requires communities to challenge problematic beliefs and evaluate the impact of teaching (OECD 2007).


Practice based

When professional development focusses on both teachers’ practice and students’ learning, it can lead to significant, sustained positive impacts on student outcomes. In their meta analyses of the impact of various professional development programs, Scher and O’Reilly (2009) and Blank and de las Alas (2009) found that when professional development emphasised teachers’ knowledge of subject matter, how to teach it and how students learn, it generated a more positive effect on student outcomes, than those that focussed on other areas.


Future focused

Future focused professional development seeks to build teachers’ capacity to adapt to the changes that arise from our rapidly changing, interconnected world. From pioneering learning models, to emerging technologies, to innovative techniques, exposure to new developments in pedagogy help teachers to deal with the challenges that these rapid changes pose. Since change of this nature can challenge current practice, effective professional development provides support for this process. Effective professional development helps teachers understand what these new pedagogies mean, when to use them and how to apply them. Future focused professional development encourages innovation and adaptability and equips teachers with the capabilities to generate new responses to existing challenges (AITSL 2012).


 Challenging

Each teacher, in striving to be the best they can to be, brings with them their unique understanding of what constitutes expert teaching. However, sometimes this understanding has been unintentionally developed in isolation of what research has found to positively impact student outcomes. Effective professional development cues teachers’ existing understanding of teaching and learning but challenges it when it is contrary to the wider knowledge that research makes available. In this way it seeks to reshape dissonant understandings. More than an act of awareness-raising, effective professional development involves negotiating the meaning of new and sometimes challenging learning, and then supporting its deep integration into practice (OECD 2007).


 Sustained

No matter how well-conceived or well-intentioned professional development is, without focussed and sustained implementation, it can fail to change or impact on practice and student outcomes. Within learning cultures that are sustainable teachers and leaders model and nurture learning and provide time and resources to support and evaluate impact (AITSL 2012). Impactful, sustainable professional development requires an ongoing commitment over time. To sustain change, Reeves (2010) recommends that teachers move from superficial compliance with a myriad of sporadic professional development programs towards more selective and deep implementation of a few areas of focus over an extended period of time.



diagram of characteristics of effective professional development

Effective professional development and TSA courses

The suite of courses on the Teaching Standards in Action website (TSA) puts research-based best practice professional development into action. The courses have been designed to incorporate the characteristics of effective professional development that have been found to positively impact on teacher practice and student outcomes. The courses are relevant and flexible across a range of contexts, designed for collaboration and based on authentic practice. They are designed to challenge participants, maintain a sustained focus on impact and recognise and embrace changing local and global contexts.


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Effective professional development and evaluation

Sophisticated, robust, multi-method ways of evaluating professional development are required to track changes in teacher and leader practice over time and to evaluate impact on student outcomes in the short, medium and long term (AITSL 2007). Effective professional development ensures that evaluation is deliberately designed-in from the outset and includes ongoing opportunities to collaboratively reflect on and evaluate practice. In particular ‘teachers and schools must seriously commit to implementation and reflection processes after the conclusion of professional development. Even the most empirically validated professional development will not impact student outcomes if teachers do not subsequently change their classroom practice or monitor corresponding changes in classroom performance’ (CESE 2014).



USING THE COURSES

Using courses on the Teaching Standards in Action website

An aspect of the NESA requirements for all teachers maintaining their accreditation at the Proficient, Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher stage of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) is engagement in NESA Registered Professional Development.

All courses on TSA are NESA Registered Professional Development. They embody the principles of effective professional development and their content directly addresses the evidence-based practice described in the APST. By participating in a TSA course, teachers learn about significant educational research, apply it in their classroom and reflect on their experience with colleagues.

TSA courses can be accessed online via the Department’s Moodle platform, but are not restricted to individual engagement. Their blended model is optimised through purposeful, supported engagement over time with colleagues.

The role of the ‘supervisor’ in TSA courses

Participants will note that an integral feature of TSA course design is the deliberate injection of the supervisor from the professional setting. The role of the supervisor in TSA is to lead and support the professional learning of the teacher/s participating in the courses. This involves meeting with them at the recommended points and supporting them to make connections between the course content and the context in which they work.

The term ‘supervisor’ is intended to be interpreted flexibly within TSA courses. For example a ‘supervisor’ may be a school executive, an expert teacher, a teacher mentor or any teacher with a responsibility for leading the professional learning of others.

The TSA courses can be successfully completed with varying degrees of support from a supervisor. In an ideal scenario the supervisor will work closely with a group of teachers. They will differentiate delivery of the courses accordingly, and provide regular feedback and support to participants to help them apply the course content to classroom practice. It is understood however, that in some circumstances it may only be possible for some supervisors to have minimal involvement.

For each of the TSA courses listed, supervisor support notes have been developed and can be accessed below.

Course completion and recognition of NESA Registered Professional Development hours

All TSA courses are already registered and available for teachers to begin immediately online. There is no need to submit a registered course application, schedule or enrol in an event in MyPL.

On completion of the course, the NESA Registered Professional Development hours will be automatically transferred to a teacher’s NESA record.

This will occur once the following has been completed:

  • all tasks and professional readings
  • participation in supervisor meetings
  • all course evaluation questions in Part D: Reflection.

How can casual and temporary teachers access TSA courses?

Casual and temporary teachers can enrol in a TSA course in a school they are teaching at.

Operational Directorates will also be offering TSA courses in response to the needs of casual and temporary teachers. Teacher Quality Advisors in Operational Directorates can provide further information on local arrangements. Contact the Teacher Quality Advisors via Educational Services.

SECTION 3 - ACCESSING THE COURSES

FILTER COURSES

Career stage

Teaching standards

Standard descriptors

Teaching practices

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