The purpose of the ACER Portfolio Project is to develop valid and feasible methods by which teachers can demonstrate how they meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher levels.

A team of experienced teachers has been participating in this research alongside the ACER Portfolio Project team since early 2014. Research conducted by the team will aim to provide a sound basis on which to assess teachers who have attained high professional standards. We hope that this research will be useful to agencies providing certification to Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers.

Certification systems need to be based on credible and rigorous methods for assessing a teachers’ practice if they are to gain credibility with teachers as a basis for professional certification; and if they are to provide employing authorities with a reliable basis for rewarding teachers who reach high standards of professional practice.   

So far the ACER Portfolio Project Team has developed four portfolio tasks for each of two fields of teaching:

A portfolio task is a set of guidelines for teachers preparing an entry to place in their professional portfolio.  A portfolio is simply the 'box' containing the entries. Each ACER portfolio task provides teachers with a clear structure and scaffolding, which enables them to demonstrate how they meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in their school context.

Each set of tasks is designed to provide evidence that covers all seven standards in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and a basis for certification by a professional certification authority. 

Similar sets of portfolio tasks will be prepared in other fields of teaching (such as early childhood, secondary English or secondary mathematics), as the opportunity arises.

The Portfolio Project has reached the stage where we can test these innovative methods for their feasibility and their credibility with teachers. 

ACER is now seeking primary teachers and secondary science teachers who are interested in field-testing these new methods for assessing teacher performance.