Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Purpose of the Standards

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers is a public statement of what constitutes teacher quality. The Standards define the work of teachers and make explicit the elements of high-quality, effective teaching in 21st-century schools, which result in improved educational outcomes for students. The Standards do this by providing a framework that makes clear the knowledge, practice and professional engagement required across teachers' careers. They present a common understanding and language for discourse between teachers, teacher educators, teacher organisations, professional associations and the public.

Teacher standards also inform the development of professional learning goals, provide a framework by which teachers can judge the success of their learning and assist self-reflection and self-assessment.12 Teachers can use the Standards to recognise their current and developing capabilities, professional aspirations and achievements.

Standards contribute to the professionalisation of teaching and raise the status of the profession. They could also be used as the basis for a professional accountability model,13 helping to ensure that teachers can demonstrate appropriate levels of professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement.

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers is organised into four career stages and guide the preparation, support and development of teachers. The stages reflect the continuum of a teacher's developing professional expertise from undergraduate preparation through to being an exemplary classroom practitioner and a leader in the profession.

The Graduate Standards underpin the accreditation of initial teacher education programs. Graduates from accredited programs qualify for registration14 in each state and territory.

The Proficient Standards will be used to underpin processes for full registration as a teacher and to support the requirements of nationally consistent teacher registration.

The Standards at the career stages of Highly Accomplished and Lead will inform voluntary certification15.

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“I expect these standards will be a useful tool for teachers, enabling them to reflect on their practice, inform their professional development and thereby further enhance their work with young people.”

— Mr Stephen Elder, Director, Catholic Education Office, Melbourne

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