The Principal Trial Team comprised over 50 Australian principals from all sectors, systems and states. The Principal Trial Team field tested the certification process by generating evidence that demonstrated the Australian Principal Standard in action in their school context. The principals provided strategic input and feedback on their experience to inform refinement of the Principal Certification model.
Purpose of the Prototype Trial
The purpose of the Trial was for participating principals to:
• reflect on their professional practice and engage in a rigorous professional learning experience to test the validity, reliability and authenticity of the Principal Certification Portfolio Initiatives and corresponding Assessment Framework
• engage in and provide feedback on a “proof of concept” for the Principal Certification process
• submit a Trial sample. They were not expected to generate sufficient evidence or reflective analysis to demonstrate all aspects of the Australian Principal Standard.
Outcomes of the Prototype Trial
As a “proof of concept” of the model for Principal Certification, the Trial successfully demonstrated:
• the design of three Portfolio Initiatives enable a future candidate to demonstrate the Australian Principal Standard in an authentic and manageable way
• the process for assessing evidence of the Australian Principal Standard in the Portfolio Initiatives possesses a high level of validity – that is the extent to which the process assesses what it was intended to assess (the Australian Principal Standard)
• the process for assessing evidence of the Australian Principal Standard in the Portfolio Initiatives possesses a high level of reliability – that is the extent to which the process produces consistent assessments between assessors
• the operational procedures for the Portfolio Initiatives are achievable, administratively feasible and professionally acceptable
• participants reported that they found the Portfolio Initiatives to be authentic; that is, closely connected to their daily practice as leaders of schools and communities
• participation in Principal Certification is a valuable and valued opportunity for professional learning, both for candidates and assessors.