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How it works

The Lead Teacher accreditation level is voluntary and recognises outstanding teachers who show leadership, with a record of exceptional teaching and commitment to enhancing quality teaching and learning.

Applying for higher level accreditation is a significant career decision. Before embarking on the Lead Teacher accreditation process, you are advised to methodically determine your readiness for it.  You can start by assessing your teaching practice against the Standard Descriptors at Lead Teacher level in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Reflect on your role, purpose and practice

Determining readiness for Lead Teacher level accreditation involves reflecting on your current practice against the Standard Descriptors at this level.

Before considering applying for Lead Teacher accreditation, review the characteristics that identify lead teachers and use the insights from the Moderating and Consistency Committee (MCC) advice, to guide your next steps.

Steps toward Lead Teacher accreditation

Know and understand the Standards

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (PDF 300 KB) describe the seven Standards outlining what teachers should know, and be able to do, to teach effectively.

To achieve Lead Teacher accreditation you need to demonstrate that you meet all the Standard Descriptors for Lead Teacher as described in The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Detailed explanation of the purpose, processes and roles of those involved in accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher levels, can be found in the Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (PDF 92 KB).

Speak to your principal or service director

You should discuss your intention to proceed with Lead Teacher Accreditation with your principal/service director. The role of your school principal/service director in the accreditation process at this career stage is detailed in the Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Accreditation – The Role of the Principal (PDF 449 KB). This may vary across early childhood services. If you are an early childhood teacher and have questions on this, email us or call 1300739338.

Start by completing an online preliminary assessment

Before you begin your formal application process, you are invited to use the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards’ (BOSTES) online preliminary assessment tool. The tool assesses your practice and determines if you are operating at the Lead Teacher level before you continue to the application phase. Doing this assessment is strongly recommended but not compulsory. A fee applies.

More about doing an online preliminary assessment

Collect evidence and submit your application

The accreditation process for Lead Teacher is based on the use of different types of evidence, external professional judgements and undertaking a Lead Initiative. 

As a Lead Teacher accreditation candidate, you need to be able to demonstrate that your practice is already in line with all the Standard Descriptors at that level.  The evidence you collect needs to demonstrate this through:

  • documentary evidence
  • reports from referees and
  • a report from an external observer.

More about developing your application

The Lead Initiative

Candidates for Lead Teacher accreditation are required to undertake a Lead Initiative over six months or more. The selection of the Lead Initiative needs to fulfil a set of practice criteria. As the candidate your annotated evidence should reference the Lead Initiative with at least one referee statement mentioning the project and its impact to the assigned Standard Descriptor.

More details on the Lead Initiative.

The Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (PDF 92 KB) and the Evidence Guide for Lead Teacher Standards (PDF 1.02 MB) has information including details on the Lead Teacher Initiative.

Your application review process

Once you have submitted your application into the online system, your Teacher Accreditation Authority (Highly Accomplished/Lead) or TAA (A/L), undertakes an assessment of your application. Your TAA (A/L) has four options:

1.  make a recommendation to accredit and send to the MCC for moderation

2.  make a recommendation not to accredit and send to the MCC for moderation

3.  provide the candidate with some feedback and an opportunity to refine the application and resubmit to TAA (A/L) usually within 3 months

4.  make a decision not to accredit and not send the submission to the MCC for moderation.

The decision to accredit at Lead Teacher level is the sole responsibility of the TAA (A/L) who may opt to adopt or set aside the MCCs advice in their final determination before advising you of the outcome.

Video: Gaining Higher Level Accreditation

Instructional Leader, Dimitra talks about her journey to gain higher level teacher accreditation (duration: 3:16 minutes).

Maintain your accreditation

Once you have been accredited, you will need to maintain your accreditation by consistently demonstrating your practice against the Australian Professional Standards at the level of Lead Teacher. Your maintenance period commences from the day you are accredited at Lead Teacher.

Maintaining your accreditation at Lead Teacher involves:

  • consistently demonstrating practice at the level of Lead Teacher
  • participating in  high-quality professional development (PD), that helps you continuously improve your teaching practice
  • preparing a written report, that describes your practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the level of Lead Teacher.

Read more about maintaining Lead Teacher Accreditation

More information

Please email or call us on 1300 739 338 (within Australia), if you have any questions.