Initial Teacher Education

Strengthened accreditation of initial teacher education programs

Nationally consistent accreditation of initial teacher education programs is an essential means of ensuring that all teachers are prepared to a high standard, and gain the knowledge, skills and experiences to make a positive impact on student learning. Australian initial teacher education programs are accredited by jurisdictional teacher regulatory authorities using nationally agreed Standards and Procedures. As a result of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group’s report Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, strengthened standards and procedures have been developed and agreed to by all Education Ministers.

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Find out more: Revised Standards and Procedures (280KB PDF)

Written guidance material that articulates the evidence requirements of the Standards and Procedures for accreditation of initial teacher education programs is now available

Find out more: Implementation 2016 

What have we done to strengthen accreditation?

Over the course of 2015 AITSL has worked with key stakeholders to design a package of initial teacher education accreditation reforms to be implemented from 2016 that strengthen the accreditation system with a focus on outcomes. The revised Accreditation of Initial Teacher in Australia: Standards and Procedures were agreed by Education Ministers in December 2015. These reforms include greater clarity and rigour around what providers must do to gain accreditation, and ensure that trained accreditation panels apply the same high standards across Australia. The strengthened process focuses on evidence of impact, with providers required to demonstrate their program ensures their pre-service teachers possess the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the classroom by the time they graduate.

Find out more: See Standard 6.3 in the Revised Standards and Procedures (280KB PDF)

Find out more: Demonstrating impact

To inform the revised Standards and Procedures, AITSL undertook a review of the existing panel process. The Outcomes of the 2015 national initial teacher education accreditation panel review provides a summary of the key themes and findings of the perspectives put forward by key stakeholders involved in the national accreditation process of ITE programs. The outcomes of the review informed the development of a strengthened accreditation system.

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Find out more:
Initial teacher education accreditation panel review outcomes (204KB PDF)

What's next?

The implementation of the revised Standards and Procedures will commence in 2016.

Providers should contact their local teacher regulatory authority to discuss their individual circumstances.

Why a focus on accreditation of initial teacher education programs?

In their report Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group found that program accreditation across Australia is inconsistent, leading to varying levels of teacher preparation upon graduation.

The Ministerial Advisory Group also noted an increasing international focus on rigorous program accreditation and quality assurance, requiring provision of research, evidence of program impact and continuous improvement. 

What will the outcome be?

As a result of this strengthened system, all initial teacher education programs will be required to plan for, collect and demonstrate evidence about the impact that their programs are having. This information will form the basis of the accreditation process, with accreditation panels making consistent judgements about programs.

This new approach will lead to all initial teacher education programs being of a consistently high standard and having a demonstrable impact on graduates and in turn the students they go on to teach.

Find out more: Previous national approach to accreditation