– Quality Assurance of Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD QA) report outlines a blueprint for a system that will help teachers and school leaders to choose high-quality CPD

– Chartered College of Teaching worked in partnership with Sheffield Institute of Education and Teacher Development Trust on Wellcome Trust commissioned project

– Following a successful pilot, key requirements developed for a profession-wide national quality assurance system

The Chartered College of Teaching has published a blueprint for the profession to assure the quality of teachers’ professional development through a system of accreditation. The ambitious project, run in partnership with Sheffield Institute of Education – part of Sheffield Hallam University – and Teacher Development Trust, sets out the requirements and a proposed model of a large-scale system to benefit the whole teaching profession.

While effective engagement with high-quality professional development can lead to an increase in pupil attainment and strengthens the recruitment and retention of teachers, not all CPD is equally effective. With teachers in England spending on average only four days per year on professional development, it is vital that it is of the highest quality. The system was piloted with a small number of CPD providers who found the process supported their reflection and development of their offers. Meanwhile, school leaders highlighted the benefits of a system that would save them time and money spent on less effective professional development. The pilot follows a consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to design possible approaches, as well as a review of evidence from around the world.

The blueprint sets out the key requirements for a quality assurance system including the need for:

– accompanying guidance to be provided to schools to support the commissioning of high-quality CPD

– training and guidance to support providers to engage with the quality assurance process

– the system to be managed by a trusted and reputable organisation

– any system that is launched into the sector to be open to ongoing evaluation and development

The proposed model would involve providers submitting CPD portfolios to be assessed against nine quality assurance criteria, organised into three themes:

1. Intent: focusing on the aims and intended impact of the CPD

2. Design: how the CPD is designed to purposefully meet these aims, drawing upon evidence around teacher professional development and effective practice

3. Delivery: the internal processes in place to ensure high-quality delivery and ongoing improvement.

Providers would be expected to meet each of the nine criteria to pass the quality assurance process.

Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, said: “Despite the pressures of COVID-19, the feedback we received from the profession clearly shows that there is a strong desire for an effective means of quality assuring teachers’ CPD. This report shows that a CPD QA system is clearly achievable. In following our blueprint, this system will strengthen the profession’s knowledge in making effective commissioning decisions based on evidence that will drive improvements in the quality of CPD experienced by teachers. At the same time, it will generate new insights which will drive further improvements across the system and in turn benefit teaching across the country.”

Maria Cunningham, Head of Education at Teacher Development Trust said: “We know that not all CPD is equally effective. The recommendations and learning we’ve presented in this report have the potential to transform the way in which the sector engages with CPD; first and foremost through supporting teachers to make confident decisions about professional development, but also to recognise providers pursuing only the highest quality of delivery in a currently unregulated marketplace.”

Professor Emily Perry, Deputy Head of the Centre for Development and Research in Education at Sheffield Institute of Education, said: “We are delighted to have worked with our partners on this project. Together we have shown the potential value and need for a system of quality assurance of teacher CPD which can support schools and teachers to make more informed choices about professional development, help professional development providers demonstrate the impact of their work and in turn lead to improved educational outcomes for all learners.”

The report recommends a final phase of development and testing as part of the next stage in launching the quality assurance system more widely. Visit to read the full report.