Professional standards

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) are a public statement that describes the professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement required of teachers. They comprise seven Standards describing what teachers should know and be able to do. They are interconnected, interdependent and reflect the complex role of teaching.

The Standards are grouped into three domains:

of teaching
  1. Know students and how they learn
  2. Know the content and how to teach it

  1. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
  2. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
  3. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning


The Standards are organised into four career stages – Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished, Lead – to reflect a continuum of teacher’s developing professional expertise. Characteristics of the career stages are illustrated through descriptors for each focus area.

The APST also underpin registration decisions at different career junctures.

  • The ‘Graduate’ level of the APST is the benchmark for those completing initial teacher education programs and applying for provisional registration.
  • Teachers progressing to full registration or renewing their full registration must meet the APST at the ‘Proficient’ level.

Australian Professional Standard for Principals

The Australian Professional Standard for Principals is a public statement which sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve in their work and ensure their leadership has a positive impact. It is represented as interdependent and integrated model that recognises three leadership requirements that a principal draws upon within five areas of professional practice.


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