In 2012, the Principals Australia Institute (PAI) decided to develop a national system for providing professional certification to accomplished school principals, based on the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (APSP) developed by Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has been assisting PAI in the development of valid and reliable methods whereby principals can demonstrate how they meet the standard. This work has included conceptualising the system, developing an assessment and evaluation framework for certification, and developing guidelines for three portfolio initiatives mapped to the APSP.
The portfolio initiatives were field-tested in 2015, and a group of principals was trained to assess them. The portfolio tasks were rated high on validity and, after training, assessors demonstrated high levels of reliability in assessing portfolio entries, identifying benchmarks and setting standards.