‘Australia first’ principal certification board announced

‘Australia first’ principal certification board announced
Today, Principals Australia Institute (PAI) announced the membership of the Principal Certification Advisory Board.

The introduction of a voluntary professional certification system for school principals is an Australian first as it is led by the profession and not the government or education department.

Joining the independent Chair, Susan Pascoe AM, will be respected school leaders Rob Nairn (WA), Michael Battenally (ACT), Anne Ford (WA), Chris Presland (NSW), and Robyn Thorpe CPP (NT).

Also on the Board will be Fiona Nielsen (VIC) and Dr Jim Watterston (VIC), both of whom have regulatory experience outside education or beyond the level of a single school.

PAI CEO, Paul Geyer, said the Certification Advisory Board will play a crucial role, guiding and monitoring the implementation of certification.

“The PAI has a cross section of both school leaders and non-school leaders who are focused on recognizing and lifting the status and quality of principals in Australia,” Geyer said.

“Through the Certification process, individuals will submit evidence of their practice and the associated analysis for assessment against published criteria which are mapped to the Australian Principal Standard.”

NSW Secondary Principals Council (NSWSPC) president, Chris Presland, who was appointed to the board, said the creation of the board is a “fantastic opportunity for highly capable principals to be recognised for the work that they do”.

“To have a certification process that is profession led, rigorous and highly credible is a major step forward,” Presland told The Educator.

“When you look at most other professions, most of their certification processes are driven by one of the leading associations.”

Presland said certification processes need to “transcend employment idiosyncrasies”.

“Matters such as public schools versus private schools really shouldn’t come into a certification process. If it’s going to have credibility, it has to be led by the profession itself and cannot be subject to the whims of bureaucrats or politicians,” he said.

“It needs to rise above that.”

This year, eight principals achieved recognition as Australia’s first Certified Practising Principals (CPP) through demonstrating the impact of their leadership on teacher efficacy, student achievement and whole-school improvement in accordance with profession-developed requirements and the Australian Principal Standard.

“We have had many more registrations and enquiries as we gear up for our next intake of principals to undertake Certification,” Geyer said. 

“This is a step in the right direction for the profession which we believe will lift the status of the profession in the community.”

A second cohort of certification candidates was inducted recently with a further intake scheduled for May.

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