Accreditation v Compliance
Colin Thompson tells the story about the Puzzle duck who was once asked by a puzzled frog where the sun goes every night. It is a bit like the question of how teacher accreditation intersects with compliance of mandatory training in teaching.
The Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (NSW) determined all teachers must attain the status of a ‘Proficient’ Teacher. The Australian Professional Standards is the framework that describes the skills and values that teachers must demonstrate to be accredited. Professional learning in the form of mandatory training is an important aspect of accreditation. Individuals may choose to engage with advanced levels of accreditation, while all teachers must demonstrate and maintain a Proficient level of accreditation every 5 years, or 7 years for casual teachers.
Accreditation is one of the most significant and positive changes in education. Teacher registration ensures that only approved teachers are employed in schools and pre-schools. As in other fields where professionals must be registered, including medicine, law and nursing, teacher registration highlights the unique professional qualifications, skills, knowledge, and ethical standards required to practice.
All teachers and school leaders must complete a range of mandatory training to comply with systematic, departmental, and legislative requirements, ensuring the safety and optimal functioning of the school. Much of this training is conducted annually, online and is important such as the Anti-Racism Policy, Child Protection update and the Code of Conduct. Other mandatory training must be completed on a 3- and 5-year cycle.
The implications of mandatory training moving online are starting to be realised by teachers and school leaders. Teachers are now required to manage this training, classroom planning and practice and find a healthy work/life balance. Online training has created another portal for school leaders to generate compliance reports. School leaders can add this report to the numerous others that flood into the inbox. Without care school days merge into an unhealthy working relationship to the detriment of health and well-being.
In the process of managing the school, leaders are required to monitor staff progress toward completing the mandatory tasks. Systematic differences aside, principals are compelled to report on the staff compliance. School management platforms generate ‘compliance’ reports and present principals with a ‘line of sight’ to support planning and monitoring mandatory training.
Put simply, compliance is a required element of accreditation.