IEU: Some of us don’t see the registration process making a difference in practice. How do you believe the TQI registration process is enhancing student outcomes?
TQI: Outcomes for students are built into the registration and renewal process. In their reflection on professional learning (PL), teachers are asked to describe how the PL linked to their thinking and practice and what impact it will have. Some of these ideas can also be teased out in a teacher’s annual professional learning conversation with a PL verification delegate in their school. We hope the benefits for teacher practice and therefore students will be starting to be visible already.
IEU: Are the requirements fair for part-time and casual teachers? Is professional registration and renewal targeted and accessible for relief teachers – and worth the effort? Isn’t there a risk that registration will make relief teaching less attractive? Also, is it fair that there is no pro-rata reduced amount of PL that part-time teachers have to complete?
TQI: Under the TQI Act 2010, all teachers, whether they are permanent or casual, full-time or part-time, are expected to engage in professional learning and in sharing knowledge and practice. A school that employs a teacher who is not professionally registered is now breaking the law. In the end, it’s about schools’ and teachers’ work with students – and professional learning is equally valuable to all teachers, even if they’re part-time or casual.
We all know that part-time and casual relief teachers play an essential role in schools and school systems, and at TQI we are talking with employers, principals and your Union about ways to ensure the registration and renewal process is engaging, relevant and do-able for everyone. We hope casual teachers will value new opportunities for school-based and other professional learning and the chance to engage with other teachers about professional practice. For individual teachers in special circumstances, it is worth talking to the team at TQI about flexible approaches that may help you meet the annual requirements.
The IEU has been very concerned about our casuals and the effect this process has on them. In order to support them the Union organised a branch committee to address these concerns. As a result a number of combined workshops were conducted after school in Term 3 where casual teachers could receive individual support from TQI staff to register their PD. Also the Union has encouraged employers to ‘adopt’ their casuals and assist them by including them in all of their PD sessions.
IEU: Who reads what teachers enter on the TQI portal? What criteria are used to assess these reflections?
TQI: Your reflections on PL in the TQI Portal are only accessible by you, unless you decide to print and share them. (For example, you may wish to share them with a PL Verification Delegate in your school during your annual professional learning conversation). Professional records and reflections are not assessed, but TQI will be conducting random audits to ensure that teachers are recording and reflecting as required for professional registration.
IEU: What is the process for re-registering if a teacher takes long-term leave and lets their registration lapse?
TQI: Four-year trained teachers can re-apply for registration if they allow it to lapse. There are several options available for people who previously had full registration with TQI. If you apply again within two years, no principal’s report or statement of service is needed for full registration. If your absence is for two to five years, you’ll need a short report from a previous principal (and if that is not possible, you’ll need to apply for provisional registration and teach for at least one term before asking your current principal to complete a report). For absences of five years or more, you’ll need to apply for provisional registration and undertake an in-school panel-based process.
IEU: Are you confident that a range of accredited courses are available across curriculum areas to cater for all the professional development needs of ACT teachers?
TQI: TQI works in partnership with employers, universities, unions and external organisations to support the accreditation of PL, but it’s not the responsibility of TQI to ensure that courses are available across disciplines. ACT schools are working with TQI on PL program accreditation to help teachers meet professional registration requirements. And it’s a good opportunity for the importance of school PL priorities to be formally recognised.
IEU: What support is available to schools and other groups to assist them in meeting the requirements of course accreditation?
TQI: On the TQI website, program developers can download a detailed Program Accreditation Guide. There’s also a planning tool to support a holistic approach to PL development and to help schools and other providers complete the online process. TQI staff are always happy to support program developers through the process and explain what needs to be done to achieve accreditation.
IEU: Concerns have been expressed around the time it takes for professional development to be accredited. Can you comment on this?
TQI: We’re pleased to say that complete program applications are assessed for accreditation within 10 working days after they are submitted. Sometimes it’s faster. Please contact TQI if you need an update on an application’s progress.
TQI can be contacted for support and advice around any issues you’re experiencing. Call 6205 8867 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .