Author Identifier

John Cole

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Education (Research)


School of Education

First Supervisor

Paula Mildenhall

Second Supervisor

Fiona Budgen


The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has offered certification for teacher career progression to Highly Accomplished and Lead teacher status since 2012. By 2020, about 800 teachers (from an Australian teacher workforce of 300,000) had achieved certification. At the same time, AITSL leadership has advocated for a HALT in every school – which would require 10,000 certified teachers. This research examines the views of teachers from one education sector, in one Australian territory, regarding teacher certification. This research identifies major factors encouraging these teachers to consider certification; drag factors encountered by the teachers during their consideration of certification; and major factors discouraging these teachers from considering certification. The study used focus group interviews with secondary teachers from independent schools in the Australian Capital Territory. Participants were asked about their experiences and interactions with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in terms of their view of the profession and career progression. Findings highlight that the participant-teachers had little appetite to engage with the Standards and saw few connections for the Standards in their daily work or for their career development. This group of teachers saw applying for certification as a threatening and onerous task which provided limited (if any) benefit to their career or their day-to-day teaching. They were unable to quantify the contribution of certified teachers to their sector of education. The study highlights the need for additional research in this area, particularly in other sectors, other states and other settings, to secure evidence of teacher views. Further research is essential to inform the direction for development of the Standards in Australia.

Included in

Education Commons


Paper Location