Proposal for ‘badge’ scheme to accredit teachers’ CPD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers could be quality assured, with providers who meet certain criteria able to use a ‘designated badge’ in their marketing, under proposals from the Chartered College of Teaching (CCT). The proposal comes in a report from the CCT in which they reflect on a recent project to design, develop and pilot a system for quality assuring teachers’ CPD.  This project was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and delivered by the CCT, the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) and Sheffield Institute of Education. 

The aim of developing such a system would be to help school leaders find high quality CPD. In the report the CCT point out that teachers in England spend only four days per year on average on CPD and therefore ideally this time should be ‘spent on only the highest quality learning opportunities’. The pilot study involved building on previous scoping work and engaging with stakeholders to design a system that was then tested with 19 CPD providers. The proposed model consists of a five stage process, including submissions from CPD providers being assessed by a trained, paid assessor before being reviewed at a moderation meeting by a panel of assessors. CPD provision which passed quality assurance could then use the ‘designated badge’, and would also be listed on a searchable online database. It is proposed that reaccreditation would then happen every two or three years.

According to the CCT, feedback from teachers, school leaders and CPD providers involved in the pilot indicates there is interest and desire for an effective means of quality assuring teachers’ CPD. They also say that the system developed and tested within the pilot enabled valid judgements of quality to be made. The CCT describe the quality assurance criteria underpinning the proposed system as setting a ‘high, but achievable, bar for quality’. However they point out that time costs associated with the quality assurance process are ‘substantial’. They also say that the system would need to be managed by a ‘reputable organisation with trusted and transparent governance’. While it is not explicitly stated in the report, there is the implication that this organisation might ultimately be the CCT.

Commenting on the report, Dame Alison Peacock, chief executive of the CCT, said ‘Despite the pressures of COVID-19, the feedback we received from the profession clearly shows that there is a strong desire for an effective means of quality assuring teachers’ CPD. This report shows that a CPD QA [quality assurance] system is clearly achievable.’

Also commenting, Maria Cunningham, head of education at TDT said: ‘We know that not all CPD is equally effective. The recommendations and learning we’ve presented in this report have the potential to transform the way in which the sector engages with CPD; first and foremost through supporting teachers to make confident decisions about professional development, but also to recognise providers pursuing only the highest quality of delivery in a currently unregulated marketplace.’

Full report:

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July 12, 2021 (PDF 3.01 MB)

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