Project Title A validation study of a framework of draft professional standards for NSW teachers
Project Team Professor John Pegg, Dr David Baxter, Dr Scott Dickson, Dr Lorraine Graham, Dr Debra Panizzon (Mrs Anne Parnell project manager)
Period 2003 – 2005
Funding Agency NSW Institute of Teachers
Organisational Base SiMERR National Centre (formerly CRiLT)


This project aims to validate the draft professional standards for NSW teachers, developed by the Interim Committee for a NSW Institute of Teachers, by drawing upon considered teacher, parent and student perceptions. This is to be achieved using an innovative research process that utilises advanced qualitative and quantitative techniques.

The research offers a broad, extensive and intensive program of professional standards validation within two broad study proposals. These proposals are referred to as the Preliminary Study and the Main Study. The two studies draw upon a number of research procedures that allow triangulation of research findings and target different but complementary perspectives. In addition, these procedures are designed, within the proposed budget, to meet fully the specifications laid out by the Interim Committee for a NSW Institute of Teachers.

The Draft Professional Standards for NSW Teachers (Draft Standards) was prepared under four headings that reflect four career stages of teachers.

The first stage, Graduate Teacher, represents the standards of teaching practice expected of graduates of initial teacher education programs, including requirements for professional experience in schools, that would enable graduates to teach in primary and secondary schools in NSW.

The second stage, Professional Competence, represents the minimum standards required to teach without supervision in a NSW school, following induction and professional support.

The third stage, Professional Accomplishment, represents the advanced standards of practice of experienced and successful teachers, including evidence of appropriate professional learning and mentoring of colleagues.

The fourth stage, Professional Leadership, applies to classroom and promoted teachers, including principals, who have superior teaching skills and who have made an outstanding contribution to teaching practice and to the standing of the teaching profession.

The content of the framework includes the following seven elements:

  • Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students
  • Teachers know their students and how they learn
  • Teachers plan, assess and report for effective learning
  • Teachers communicate effectively with their students
  • Teachers create and maintain safe and challenging learning environments through the use of classroom management skills students of diverse backgrounds
  • Teachers continually improve their professional knowledge and practice
  • Teachers are actively engaged members of their profession and the wider community

There are six broad aims that encompass the Project. These are:

  • To validate the draft standards proposed for the four career stages of teacher development against teacher perceptions, experiences and accounts of their own development and of the nature of their work.
  • To investigate a variety of sources of data from which an informed evaluation of the validity of the draft standards can be derived.
  • To ensure that important stakeholders, such as parents and students in addition to teachers, are consulted concerning the standards.
  • To examine whether teachers, at all four career stages, can provide evidence to substantiate their claims to be at a particular stage.
  • To identify possible suitable instruments that could be employed on a large scale to assess teachers according to the draft standards.
  • To explore the possibility of an over-arching theoretical framework to describe the implied development of the progression of the four career stage model.

Related Links

NSW Institute of Teachers

Click here to download this infosheet.

Click here to download the report on this project.