Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher pilot launch
As the Tasmanian certifying authority for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT), the Board successfully launched a Tasmanian HALT pilot in June 2021. Delivery is guided by a cross-sectoral steering committee made up of representatives from the Teachers Registration Board, Department of Education, University of Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania, Catholic Education Tasmania, and Christian Schools Tasmania.
Tasmania’s HALT pilot is a unique, three-strand program designed to support teachers to achieve national certification. It includes:
- a modular approach to certification*
- enrolment in a Graduate Certificate of Education with the University of Tasmania
- professional learning aligned to each certification module.
Running HALT as a pilot allows the model and materials to be assessed and refined to suit Tasmania’s education sector. Applicants, assessors, and their school leaders contribute to shaping the process in many ways. In return, all fees are fully subsidised, including for the Graduate Certificate of Education. As the certifying authority, the Board has ensured that feedback opportunities are available for applicants, assessors, and stakeholders via a range of mechanisms.
In June 2021, the steering committee hosted a full-day, face-to-face introductory workshop to launch the certification and education streams of the pilot. Thirty-five HALT certification applicants from all around Tasmania, and stakeholder representatives from across the state’s education sector attended. The workshop was opened by internationally acclaimed Emeritus Laureate Professor of Education and Chair of the AITSL Board, Dr. John Hattie.
The day focussed on supporting applicants to unpack the Teacher Standard descriptors at the advanced career stages of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher as they work towards national certification. It was also a vital opportunity for applicants to meet each other for the first time and connect in person as a cohort.
The first certification assessment cycle was undertaken in late 2021. As of the end of 2021:
- 27 senior teachers and education professionals completed the national Assessor Training Program or refresher training
- 25 teachers were working towards HALT certification:
- 10 applicants working to evidence their practice at the Highly Accomplished career stage
- 15 applicants working to evidence their practice against the Lead career stage
- 13 applicants submitted a portfolio for Module 1 assessment
- 23 applicants successfully completed the first unit of the Graduate Certificate of Education.
Critical to the HALT certification process are those who undertake the assessment of applicants’ evidence submissions. Certified assessors have completed the national Assessor Training Program, which comprises approximately 50 hours of professional learning. The program equips educators to make rigorous, consistent, evidence-based judgements on a teacher’s professional practice.
Assessors must maintain the currency of their training by undertaking HALT assessments, or refresher training, every 12 months. As experts in the Teacher Standards, assessors are also an incredibly valuable capacity-building resource for their schools/clusters and may be engaged in a range of other activities, including:
- as a principal’s delegate supporting colleagues progressing from provisional to full registration
- supporting ITE placements
- supporting colleagues who are undertaking the HALT certification process
- formal and informal mentoring.
The Board’s strong relationships with other Australian and New Zealand certifying authorities have been instrumental in the pilot implementation, particularly the ACT’s Teacher Quality Institute, as the certifying authority which has been involved with certification since its inception in 2012. The support of the Teacher Quality Institute was significant to delivering the national Assessor Training Program, by providing their representative Anna McKenzie to run the face-to-face and online parts of the training program (and refresher training) in conjunction with the Registrar and supported by the Office of the Board.
*Certification is undertaken in two stages in many other jurisdictions around Australia. The modular model is a developmental approach that spreads the investment of time and effort (and costs, post-pilot) into smaller increments, reducing the impact for applicants, particularly if they exit the process early.