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Gaining accreditation

Gaining accreditation is the structured process by which teachers demonstrate quality teaching practice against the Australian professional standards for teachers (the standards) and are recognised for meeting accreditation at a specific career stage.

Accreditation requires teachers to:

  • reflect on their practice
  • apply the knowledge and skills articulated in the standards through consistent, evidence-based practice, over time
  • collect evidence that demonstrates they meet the standards.

Accreditation upholds the integrity and accountability of the teaching profession and ensures high quality teaching in every classroom. It supports teaching as a dynamic and complex process that focuses on improving student outcomes.

Gaining accreditation at proficient teacher stage

Gaining accreditation at proficient focuses on building the core skills for teachers to reflect, analyse, develop and document classroom practice through the lens of the standards for this stage.

It is a developmental stage for graduate teachers (beginning teachers) where they gain guidance, support and feedback from in-school supervisors, mentors and experienced teachers.

What a proficient teacher looks like

Proficient teachers are effective classroom practitioners and active participants in their profession. They:

  • work collaboratively with colleagues, seek out and respond to advice from colleagues and communicate effectively with students, colleagues, parents/ carers and the community
  • know the content they are teaching and apply a variety of teaching strategies to make that content meaningful for all students
  • successfully design, plan and implement effective teaching and learning programs for their students that meet curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements
  • develop safe, productive and inclusive learning environments and use feedback and assessment to analyse and support their students’ knowledge and understanding
  • use a range of sources, including student results, to evaluate and adjust their teaching to better meet students’ needs
  • demonstrate ethical behaviour and comply with relevant organisational policies, processes and requirements
  • know the unique backgrounds of their students and adjust their teaching responsively to meet students’ individual learning needs
  • are active participants in their profession.

Gaining accreditation at highly accomplished teacher stage

Gaining accreditation at highly accomplished requires teachers to demonstrate they are highly effective and skilled classroom practitioners through the lens of the standards for this stage.

Highly accomplished teachers work collaboratively with colleagues to lead improvements in classroom practice that have impacts beyond the immediate classroom.

What a highly accomplished teacher looks like

Highly accomplished teachers are recognised as highly effective, skilled practitioners in the classroom. They:

  • actively monitor their own professional learning needs and align them to the learning needs of students
  • communicate responsively with students, colleagues, parents/ carers and community
  • maximise learning opportunities for all students in their teaching, understand students’ backgrounds and individual learning needs
  • have contemporary, in-depth knowledge of the subject and curriculum content within their areas of responsibility
  • effectively plan and implement innovative learning and teaching programs
  • skilfully analyse student assessment data to inform their feedback to students and modify their teaching practice
  • routinely work independently and collaboratively to improve their own practice and the practice of others
  • 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 lead teacher stage

Lead teachers must demonstrate that they are innovative, exemplary teachers with a breadth of educational experience and a wide sphere of influence as described in the standards for this stage.

Lead teachers are expert in leading others by initiating, evaluating, monitoring and implementing actions that have an impact within and beyond their school.

What a lead teacher looks like

In the classroom lead teachers are recognised by colleagues and the community as exemplary teachers. They are professional, ethical and respected individuals inside and outside their school. They:

  • continually seek to improve their own teaching practice and systematically share their experiences with colleagues
  • consistently demonstrate innovative teaching practice over time and initiate activities that focus on improving educational opportunities for all students
  • synthesise current research about effective teaching and then describe the relationship between highly effective teaching and learning
  • lead processes to improve student performance by evaluating and revising programs, analysing student assessment data and using feedback from parents/ carers
  • skilfully develop knowledge, practice and professional engagement in others through strategic action
  • are expert in mentoring teachers and pre-service teachers and in promoting creative, innovative thinking among colleagues
  • lead school strategies to enhance and to improve the way the school engages parents/ carers in the learning of their children.

Learn more

Department resources

Other resources

  • NESA - NSW Education Standards Authority (opens in new window)
  • AITSL - Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (opens in new window).
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