On Monday 30 November, NESA announced it would cancel the endorsement of all professional development providers across NSW. NESA's proposed new policy removes the endorsed PD provider status from teacher unions and other professional teaching associations, while retaining that preferential classification for Catholic and independent school employers.
The IEU has made representations to NESA seeking clarification of the status of PD completed in the final weeks of Term 4. On Thursday 3 December, the IEU received assurances from NESA confirming that all registered PD undertaken by members in the final few weeks of Term 4 will be credited as part of your 50 registered hours required for your maintenance of accreditation cycle. This is a welcome result for the many members who have voiced their concerns to the IEU and NESA.
The policy changes came about after questions referring to a handful of individual courses were raised in NSW Parliament earlier this year.
The IEU, other teacher unions, and the various professional teaching associations have been producing highly regarded professional development for years. NESA has now narrowed the focus of any PD it intends to accredit to just four areas: delivery and assessment of NSW Curriculum/Early Years Learning Framework; student/child mental health; students/children with disability; and Aboriginal education and supporting Aboriginal students/children.
Examples of the important PD being undertaken by members in these final weeks include high level first aid courses, often delivered by external providers, and until recently classified as registered PD. These courses, often run over two days, are comprehensive and demanding, and clear indication of the priority members place on the welfare of the students in their care.
The union will continue to pursue the possibility of having such PD categorised as accredited under the new policy.
What this means
As of 30 November 2020, all current NESA endorsement of IEU courses has been cancelled. The current online, on-demand courses offered by the IEU are valid until 31 January 2021. Any members undertaking these on-demand courses will still be able to count the hours towards their maintenance of accreditation, and NESA has assured us that these will count as registered hours.
All teachers must still complete 100 hours of PD over five years. Of this, 50 hours will be within the four priority areas (see above) and 50 hours will be elective PD (formerly known as teacher identified PD). Put simply, the PD needs of individual teachers can still be met within this category.
- All existing PD hours that members have completed, logged and evaluated will still count towards total hours.
- Given the issues with NESA’s eTAMS platform earlier in the year, it is advisable to print out a progress report from eTAMS to keep a record of any PD you have completed, logged, and evaluated.
- Members should still attend, log, and evaluate PD they complete after 30 December 2020 to ensure it contributes towards their PD maintenance requirements.
- If you are concerned you might struggle to meet the required PD hours, we encourage you to undertake the on-demand courses available at the IEUZone.
- There are currently more than 50 hours of courses available on the IEUZone.
- The IEUZone courses will be suspended from 31 January to allow for IEU staff to finalise the NESA uploads before the 5 February cut-off date.
- Undertaking IEUZone on-demand courses before 31 January will allow teachers to count the hours towards their current maintenance cycle and we have been assured that these hours will count towards your registered hours for your maintenance of accreditation cycle.
- If members have any concerns with hours not being recorded on eTAMS they should, in the first instance, contact the NESA Professional Learning team.