Information for School Leaders
The role of principals and managers
Applicants and assessors need their school’s support to participate in HALT. All components of the pilot are provided free of charge. It is essential that school leaders plan to provide relief and other supports as needed, as most activities will occur during term time. Schools can benefit greatly from this capacity-building opportunity, and school leaders can be confident that the benefits will outweigh the investment.
Applicants need three to five referees who can speak to their practice against nominated Standards, including their principal or a principal’s delegate who is nominated at the beginning of the certification process. Principals or their delegate may also be engaged with assessors towards the end of the certification process when assessors make a site visit to undertake classroom observations.
For more information about HALT, please visit the related pages listed on the left-hand side of this page.
The role of applicants
Tasmania’s HALT pilot is a unique three-strand program designed to support teachers to achieve certification. It includes:
- certification modules
- enrolment in a Graduate Certificate of Education with the University of Tasmania
- professional learning sessions aligned to each certification module.
The certification process is undertaken in three modules, and applicants must prepare a submission for each module in time for the assessment window. Their submission involves compiling a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their practice under the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Teacher Standards) at the Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher career stage. The process can be completed in approximately 18 months to two years.
The role of assessors
HALT assessors are responsible for assessing the portfolios of evidence submitted by teachers who are working towards certification as a Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher. Assessors learn to make rigorous, consistent, evidence-based judgments on a teacher’s professional practice based on the Teacher Standards. Assessors will need support from their school to undertake training and assessment activities, including allowing time through relief.
Becoming an assessor
Assessor training is a rigorous process that takes approximately 50 hours to complete. There are three online learning modules and three face-to-face (or virtual) workshops. Workshops are held over two full days and a half-day.
Assessors must maintain currency of their certification through refresher training and by undertaking HALT assessments.
The work of an assessor
Once trained, assessors will be asked to undertake assessments at set times throughout the year. Each assessment window allows approximately two weeks.
The Board matches two assessors to each applicant’s submission. Assessors are external to the applicant’s school and have no significant prior knowledge of their practice. They undertake an individual assessment, then confer with their co-assessor to write a joint feedback report, with a recommendation to the Board on whether the applicant has met the Standard at the career stage applied for. Assessment of the applicant’s third and final submission also includes a site visit for classroom observations.
The value of HALT applicants and certified teachers in your school
HALT is a formal, comprehensive opportunity for teachers to reflect on their professional practice and receive external feedback. It provides professional growth and leadership opportunities from within the classroom, where teachers have the greatest potential to positively impact student wellbeing and learning outcomes. There are many benefits to having applicants and certified HALTs in your school, including to:
- recognise and promote quality teaching
- provide career progression and leadership opportunities from within the classroom
- have a reliable indication of quality teaching
- strengthen the professional growth culture in your school
- improve in-school and interschool collaboration
- enhanced capacity for positive impact on student wellbeing and learning outcomes.
The value of trained assessors in your school
The national Assessor Training Program is a formal, comprehensive process for educators to reflect on and improve their professional practice. It equips them to make rigorous, consistent, evidence-based judgments on a teachers’ practice, using the Teacher Standards as criteria. Assessors can be regarded as professional standards experts, making them an incredible capacity-building resource for schools. Benefits include:
- expert-level understanding and practice of the Teacher Standards
- greater skill and confidence as a leader/mentor
- the ability to support colleagues working towards HALT certification
- the potential to support teachers with progressing from provisional to full registration as a principal’s delegate, and to support ITE placements
- enhanced capacity to positively impact student wellbeing and learning outcomes.
There is no limit on the number of teachers per school who can be involved. However, admission to the HALT pilot is subject to a selection process. The pilot will aim for a broad representation of fully registered teachers across all Tasmanian education sectors.
Encouraging certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in your school is recommended. However, it is important to note that certification is a voluntary process. It is up to the individual teacher to pursue.
We encourage full registered principals and senior staff who have been in their roles for at least a year to seriously consider becoming an assessor.
Applicant submissions will be assessed by assessors who are external to their school, and have no significant prior knowledge of the applicant’s practice. However, assessors are encouraged to provide support to applicants known to them.
It is strongly recommended that schools nominate at least one assessor if they have one or more teachers undertaking certification, as having a sufficient number of suitable and available assessors is critical to applicants being able to progress through the certification process.
AITSL has produced a principal’s guide to national certification about “Getting the best from your teachers”. The guide is available to download here, and on the AITSL website under “Understanding certification and HALT status“.